Setting Goals to Drive Business Continuity Progress

Rob Giffin Rob Giffin | Feb 12, 2020

I want to talk about how to focus your efforts and drive progress for your program.

Do you always get pulled into the latest crisis or the next big thing? Or, maybe worse, you’re chasing some of those. Or, maybe for you, it’s just hard to demonstrate the progress you’ve made over the last year.

Today, I want to talk about a framework for setting business continuity program goals that will align your focus with the organization’s strategy and help you achieve great results.

Now, the framework that I’m going to share with you is something that I personally use that has had a big impact on my work. And, I can say that because I am the ultimate “Shiny Object” person – the kind of person who sees something new and loves to chase it down even if distracted from other priorities. This framework has allowed me to drive focus for not only the short-term goals for the quarter, but also for the long-term looking a year or more out.

And, before we dive in, I invite you to check out our Business Continuity Automation Guide. It’s the complete guide to maximizing your time and effort as a business continuity professional, and I know it will have a big impact on your organization.

Okay, let’s go!

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Annual + Quarterly Business Continuity Goals

The first step is to set annual goals, as well as quarterly goals. These can be singular goals or a series of goals, but you need to make sure they accomplish two things. First, your goals should align with the strategy of the business. Second, they should help increase buy-in. I encourage you to write them yourself and then review them with your steering committee for input and acceptance.

Take five minutes to write down your goals. Don’t worry about getting them perfect from the start. The intent here is to align your business continuity goals to the strategy of the organization, as well as where you want the program to be at the end of the year. Over time, you will become better at predicting what you can achieve within a given quarter or year.

Typically, you should select between three and five goals for both the annual level and the quarterly level. And, please note, you don’t need to set your quarterly goals out at the beginning year for every quarter. Just sit down at the begging of each quarter and determine what you want to accomplish this quarter that will move the program in the direction of the annual goals.

This process of writing down your goals and sharing them with the steering committee is invaluable because it ensures that you are aligned with the strategy of the business and focused on the most important things to move the program forward. This also gives you a way to demonstrate the progress you have made over the quarter and the year versus the goals you set for yourself.

And, right now is a great time to do this. Take a few minutes to write out 3-5 goals that you want to achieve. They don’t have to be perfect, but it has to be done. Once you have your list, share your goals with your program sponsor or steering committee to get their input and ensure they are aligned to their priorities.

 

Weekly Business Continuity Goals

The second step of the framework helps you take your program even further by setting goals at a weekly level. Every Monday morning, I sit down and write one or two goals (no more!) that I want to accomplish by the end of the week. The filter that I use for this is, “Where can I add the most value to the organization?” That’s your weekly goal and, ideally, it should align with your quarterly and annual goals.

Having the discipline to set a weekly goal and hold yourself accountable to it will have a massive, positive impact on your ability to focus on the most important things and achieve goals over the long-term. As an added benefit, the steering committee will gain confidence over time in your ability to hit and achieve goals.

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Set SMART Business Continuity Goals

When writing goals, you want to make sure you make them SMART. Meaning, you want them to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

However, you need to make sure they’re challenging at the same time. Internally, we set our benchmark of success at 80% goal completion. If you are achieving 100% of your goals, then you may not be setting your goals high enough. If you are only achieving 25% or 50% of your goals, then you are probably setting goals that are either too hard or that don’t have enough focus behind them. So, strive for 80% goal completion as an indicator that you’re setting the right goals at the right level.

 

Bringing It All Together

Leveraging this framework for setting business continuity goals helps you:

  • Drive focus in the short-term (weekly goals)
  • Drive focus and show progress in the long-term (quarterly and annual goals)

And, together, this framework provides a great way to build confidence in your business continuity program across your organization.  

Now, if you’re looking for the ultimate guide on how to maximize your time and free yourself up, our Business Continuity Automation Guide will show you how to do that.

This guide shows you how to calculate your own value on an hourly basis, helps you identify low-value activities (time wasters) that should come off your plate, and then provides ideas on how to get rid of the low-value activities forever. 

 

Connect With Our Team

We help companies around the world build strong business continuity programs.

If you’re ready to automate your business continuity program and accomplish more this year than you ever thought possible, please book a strategy session with a member of my team today to:

  • Discuss your program goals
  • Explore your current challenges
  • Learn how we can help you achieve your goals

Are you ready? Book a meeting, here.

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