We’ve always taken the idea of planning seriously, but have recently focused on improving the act of planning.
We’ve iterated through different planning methods, and have now handled on what we believe is a really elegant homegrown planning system. I’ll share that at some point.
We took a step back and realized that one of the biggest blockers was actually getting it done. Every month I had to turn into “the bad guy” trying to get everyone (even executives) to follow through on our commitment. We individually reviewed each persons plans, discussed at length, rounds of revisions. There was one point where we were doing quarterly OKRs and only finalizing them halfway through a quarter.
So we implemented one tactic that now seems obvious – and it’s worked. We spend one morning a month – the whole company – dedicated to planning for the upcoming month. It’s on a repeating calendar invite, so it is automatically blocked off for the whole company. Everyone knows what to do. Everyone does what they are supposed to do.
IMHO – shutting down the company for a few hours is absolutely worth it to make sure the remaining hours in the month have clear goals and tasks for everyone in the company.