Assignment of tasks to individuals - Strategic Management

One of the most important components of any annual operating plan is the list of goals and personal standards of performance. These give the company the ability to measure performance against the plan. The financial effects of the annual plan will be reflected in the budget and controlled through the time-proven processes of budgetary control. This by itself will not ensure that the company is working to its plan, since budgets can be made to come right for the wrong reasons, and many essential actions cannot be measured through the budget.

Quantified goals and the assignment of tasks to particular people provide the company with a means of controlling all the aspects of the plan: a point which will be discussed in more detail later. One of the tasks of the planner in the scrutiny of the annual operating plan should be to ensure that managers have converted all generalised statements of strategy into specific action steps. It is also necessary to ensure that actions which must be committed next year in order to make possible the plan for future years are also correctly identified and listed.

In a practical situation it is very easy for key actions essential to the longrange plan to be ‘lost’, and for the company not to discover this until too late. The administrative task involved in preventing this is complex – but not difficult – and must be rated as an important part of the corporate planning process. All personal standards of performance should be grouped by organisational responsibilities so that control can be exercised through normal management reporting lines. It also follows that the person who is expected to perform the task must be properly informed about it: an obvious requirement but one that is often overlooked.

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Strategic Management Topics