Planning vs. Agility: Strategies for Leaders to Strike a Balance

Planning vs. Agility Strategies for Leaders to Strike a Balance-01

The global pandemic wreaked havoc on just about every aspect of life, both at home and at work. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for business leaders, as statistics and business forecasts gave way to the corporate survival instinct.

Frequently, planning appears to be at odds with agility. Business agility refers to an organization’s ability to pivot and react rapidly, embrace internal and external change, and commit to continuous improvement. In comparison to a rigid tree that breaks, an agile organization is like a sturdy tree that bends to survive in the face of constant wind.

How can companies strike a balance between planning and agility? It’s doable if businesses use the following strategies:

Break planning down into tiny, OKR-focused groups

The objectives and key results (OKR) structure help businesses be more agile by focusing resources and attention on specific strategic goals. Every aspect of the company should have a purpose, just as each cog in a machine affects the ability of the others to perform and accomplish the desired result.

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Smaller, more manageable teams are able to innovate and pivot more quickly than a department or organization as a whole, setting OKRs and achieving goals more quickly. Small, self-managed teams prioritize and concentrate on the most important tasks, ensuring that resources are used efficiently. Since teams are not bogged down in the red tape that stymies many firms, an issue that necessitates a pivot can be solved quickly and smoothly.

Leverage collaborative technology

Traditional planning methods usually start at the top and work their way down the organization. They do, however, frequently fail to support an agile environment.

Technology and the pandemic have compelled firms to work together more across the board. Performance management tools, when utilized correctly, can assist connect individual and team plans and goals with the organization’s overall strategy. They can also be a helpful sign of what’s working and what isn’t, allowing teams to refocus before a problem gets out of hand.

Scalable agility, which is supported by an OKR architecture, necessitates incorporating these ideas into daily processes. It gives all employees a voice and the ability to execute new ideas.

Make it a point to communicate and check in on a regular basis

The quality of the planning is only as good as the execution. Smart businesses make the most of their planning in order to succeed. This approach relies heavily on communication, particularly transparency. It reinforces a shared attitude and blueprint for success when all employees understand the organization’s goals and how to achieve them.

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Everyone’s role and contribution are reinforced when goals are stated publicly and frequently. Managers and teams meet frequently to assess how well each individual and team is performing. Any snags can be addressed more quickly, allowing the individual, team, organization, and mission to continue moving forward.

When it comes to obtaining information from frontline personnel, agile leaders should exemplify the value of curiosity and constant learning. This creates a communication culture, with the overarching purpose of making the best decisions possible.

Review plans regularly

Businesses should apply what they have learned today to their future plans. Leaders should walk them through circumstances that could be disruptive. Also, they should make a plan that can be put into action swiftly and successfully. Even if they never have to use the plan, having it in place will provide them the flexibility to keep working when others are floundering.

The long-term strategy isn’t something that agile organizations set and forget. Company leaders should review their broad company strategy and priorities on a quarterly basis to ensure that the strategy and organizational goals are still relevant and aligned.

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Umme Sutarwala is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She is a media graduate with 2+ years of experience in content creation and management. Previously, she has worked with MNCs in the E-commerce and Finance domain