Why does senior management need a master plan?

Your management team needs proper guidance to navigate today’s unstable and unpredictable economic climate. That’s where your master plan comes in. It helps you prioritize and organize work effectively and gives you the perspective you need to focus on key projects. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, numerous projects have been cancelled, delayed, or juggled, and priorities and HR needs have been transformed. In a context like this, proper master planning can increase your effectiveness at the general management level and across other critical areas.

Strategic plan vs. master plan

Strategic planning is about seeing far, while a master plan is about seeing clearly. And in these times, we’re all looking for clarity! A master plan is a highly effective tool for organizing your core activities (operations, sales, finances, and human resources) using a comprehensive list of current projects and activities. You prioritize them based on market conditions and your company’s human, material, and financial resources. Merkur can help deploy your company’s master plan.

The ascending order technique

You also have to establish a reasonable timeframe based on project complexity and anticipated ROI. At Merkur, we use the ascending order technique to determine the best period of visibility for your master plan. In practice, we aim for short-term visibility before turning our gaze further ahead. When the long-term view is blurry, we take a step back to focus on creating a shorter-term window of visibility, adjust it according to the situation, and then extend the planning period. Plans are more useful and relevant when they cover a period of time you can actually control. For example, during the initial days of the lockdown, Merkur switched to a day-by-day master plan. As visibility improved, we increased our visibility window to a week, then a month, before eventually returning to our standard biannual period. The important thing is listening and talking to your customers. They hold the key to helping you see clearly.

Regain control of your human resources

If your master plan is comprehensive and realistic, senior management will see the needs, workloads, and bottlenecks likely to emerge within your timeframe. Regardless of whether you’re in the services or manufacturing sector, identifying your bottlenecks and priorities will impact how you define your workforce needs and enable you to adjust production, sales, and profit forecasts for the period.

Prioritize first, then communicate

Regaining control will enable you to communicate priorities and strategic orientations to your management teams, who will in turn share them with their respective teams across their departments. This step is essential for master plan deployment, because prioritizing forces a company to focus on its top projects. Once you’ve rolled out your plan and communicated it to all stakeholders, senior management can step up and start looking further ahead into the future once again.
Senior management must take a leadership role and instill confidence to help teams take ownership of their projects and understand the company’s objectives and what needs to be done. In this sense, creating and deploying a master plan is a highly effective performance management and assessment tool. Merkur can help your senior leadership team develop and roll out a master plan for your company.

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