Ready for 2012? – part 1

 In Building Successful Partner Channels, Business Model Management

Ready for 2012? – part 1

Some are already in the middle of the 2012 “preparation process” while others still have the task somewhere on their to-do list.

Will it be a “same procedure as last year” type exercise? Or are we going to do it differently this time? Do you want the 2012 achievements to be very different from your 2011 achievements?

In a series of blog posts we will provide some best practice hints to how the 2012 “project” can be prepared.

Ambition & Mission: #1 worldwide!

OK, it is not best practice hints for everybody. The hints are meant for ISV’s (Independent Software Vendors) with ambitions of becoming the global leader in their field. This may not happen in 2012. But if 2012 is not a step on the path to global market leadership the probability for “Mission Accomplishment” will be smaller next year. Now is the time to get started on the journey.

If you have already set your mind on a global leadership position you most likely also have substantial growth rates for 2012 in mind?  What is you 2012 ambition? 25% – 50% – 75% – 100% – more? What should grow? Profit, revenue, market share, gross margin, cash on hand, number of customers, number of resellers, return on assets, valuation, staff?

The objective of the series of blog posts under the main headline “Ready for 2012?” is to outline a 2012 “preparation process” where you end up having a plan and a budget which is a stepping stone to a position as a the global market leader and where the stakeholders are 100% aligned and committed to execute the plan and deliver the numbers.

The 2012 preparation process

We are deliberately using the term “preparation process” to avoid the terms strategy, plan, budget, KPI’s etc. at this stage. We will get to that, but let’s keep the process open for now.

Preparing for the next fiscal year is an execise undertaken by most companies.  However, if you are on the path to global leadership one issue is more crucial than any other:

Will all stakeholders be executing according to the final 2012 plan?

Achieving maximum thrust with the resources we have available requires all stakeholders pulling and pushing in the same direction.  How can you orchestra your 2012 preparation process ensuring that as of January 1st 2012 all forces are working towards the same objectives = your objectives

Alignment & Identification

Achieving alignment and identification for your 2012 plan is crucial for gaining maximum (revenue, gross margin, market share, profit) impact for each EUR spend on the cost side.

Alignment is the assurance that all stakeholders have a common interpretation of the plan. Yes, this is the plan

Identification is the buy-in from each of the stakeholders to the plan.  Yes, this is my plan!

It is not as difficult as you may think.  There is a way and it is fairly simple.

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PS.: A note on lines of businesses and geographies

Are you running several lines of businesses?  If you do, you must replicate the planning process for each line of business. Each line of business needs it’s own mission, vision, strategy, customer value proposition, value chain, ideal customer profile, Go-To-Market approach, execution team etc.

Are you operating in several geographies?  If you do, you must replicate the planning process for each geography. Each geography needs it’s own P&L and execution team.

In the situations described above you need a coordination team to set the directions, oversee the process, review the outcome and consolidate the final plans.

This series of blog posts on planning for 2012 are primarily addressing the individual business unit.  We will conclude the series with some hints on how to manage several business units and geographies.

Next blog post on “Ready for 2012?” Who should be involved?

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