Execution PhaseLong-term, strategic plans often run the risk of becoming “shelf-paper.” You prevent this from happening to your long-term financial plan via the Execution Phase.
Executing the plan. Put the plan into practice with tools and processes that translate strategy into action.
- The budget is the most important execution tool, because the budget is where the final financial decisions are made. Design clear links from the financial planning process to the budget.
- Participant commitment is also crucial. If participants are committed to the success of the financial plan, they will develop their own personal goals for plan success that will be more powerful than any someone else can invent for them.
- A scorecard of key metrics of financial health can be created. The ratios used by bond rating agencies are often a good place to start because bond ratings are of great interest to many stakeholders of the plan.
- Action plans describe the specific steps needed to execute a strategy, who is responsible for that step, the deliverable they will produce, and when they will produce it.
Monitoring. Keep the financial plan in the forefront by using it regularly for decision making.
- Update the forecasts to reflect new information.
- Update the council on progress made against the plan.
- Hold regular (e.g., quarterly) meetings with executive management to review progress made on action plans and to review key indicators of financial health.
- Take time to conduct a period “strategic diagnosis” of the economic environment to make sure you are not taken by surprise by changing conditions.
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