We often hear of 90-day plans, but how do you create one? How do you identify the priorities for a 90-day plan?
I’ve successfully used this tool over the past eight years. It was one of the keys to successfully landing a Director of Marketing job. 100 or 90-day plans are often used as a tool to prioritize and manage workload, measure performance of new hires, or both.
My last employer made it clear that he wanted a 100-Day Plan during my first three months into my job as Director of Marketing.
Deliverables for Core Work Areas
As part of the job interview process, I created a Needs Assessment template to identify my future CEO’s company priorities for the 100-Day Plan. This template approach can be used for any department. My needs assessment was written from a Marketing perspective that covered the following major areas:
- Strategic planning
- Sales tools
- Competitive intelligence
In each area, I listed work or deliverables that should be completed for each respective area. For each work or deliverable, I had the key stakeholders in identify:if the work/deliverable had one of the following priority levels:
- Current (no update required by me)
- High Priority (Now)
- Important (This Quarter)
- Low (Set a Due Date)
- Notes columns
The notes columns help me remember if there are special circumstances or dependencies that I must remember, as a I work on the deliverable.
The Needs Assessment helped me identify the work that needed to be completed for the following areas:
- Lead generation: identify lead generation activities and work on the product marketing for new and existing products.
- Key messaging action plan: identify the key messaging for current product; identify the target audience; how product satisfies their business needs; and what features are used to solve those problems. This will drive the sales tools like Solution Development Prompters, but also Marcom efforts.
- Sales reference guides: develop Sales Reference for sales people. These are materials for existing product for direct sales and a tailored one for channel partners.
- Product Marketing for new product in development: start the product marketing process with new product in development, so my new employer would have a Product Launch Plan with all Marcom activities identified and ready for the early 2006 launch.
- Initial competitor sale tools: identify key competitors and how product(s) compare, creating side-by-side sales tools.
- Market planning: provides a means to start next year’s process.
Instant Marketing Department
This is part of my repeatable process for creating a marketing department, its functions, and deliverables. I identify the Marketing Department’s priorities through the Needs Assessment. I also estimate the number of house each deliverable would take to complete in the needs assessment. I use these estimate to determine how long the deliverables would take to complete. I determine the resources available in my department in man hours. Because there will be more man hours required for all items on the Needs Assessment, I work with my CEO and stakeholders, again, to determine priorities the must-haves for now (this quarter), next quarter, and beyond the next quarter.
The finalized Needs Assessment with due dates, becomes my 100-day plan that my new CEO measures my performance with. Using Excel, I create my 100-day plan spreadsheet that’s used to manage my department’s workload and performance against 100-day deliverables and due dates.
From my CEO’s perspective, the Needs Assessment is like “just adding water” to his marketing priorities, creating an instant Marketing department. From his perspective, he tells me his priorities and I turn them into actionable items.
Needs Assessment and 100-Day Plan Free Templates
The 100-Day Plan template below is a first draft. It doesn’t include specific deliverables that I identified as part of my finalized 100-Day Plan. Here are the links to the free downloads for the Needs Assessment template and 100-Day Plan template: