Personal Performance Management Starts with MyStrategicPlan

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Strategic Planning Software Improves Accountability

If you don't develop your goals with these characteristics in mind, you are essentially setting your planning effort up for failure

The first step to personal performance management is setting SMART goals, according to Erica Olsen, founder of M3 Planning, a nationwide leader in on-demand strategic planning tools and services,. SMART is the acronym commonly used to describe goals that are specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-targeted, and in her company's recently published article, The Top 5 Pitfalls of Personal Performance, she stresses the importance of these attributes to successful goal setting.

"If you don't develop your goals with these characteristics in mind, you are essentially setting your planning effort up for failure", says Olsen. To facilitate SMART goal-setting and meet the growing demand for the integration of performance management and strategy, she has spearheaded her company's development of MyStrategicPlan, an award-winning online strategic planning system and business tool that ties many business systems and processes together without a huge enterprise system or cost.

In order for effective goals to function as yardsticks for tracking performance and progress, Olsen says they must state how much of what kind of performance and by when it is to be accomplished. They must be relevant, aggressive yet achievable, and be stated in measureable or quantifiable terms. MyStrategicPlan encourages the creation of SMART goals with parameters for measure, target, assignment/responsibility, and start and end dates along with prioritization and cost. Since goals are easy to update and track in MyStrategicPlan, users can also then easily identify goals that are not being met and adapt their strategy accordingly. "MyStrategicPlan helps take the guesswork out of performance management by improving accountability," adds Olsen.

MyStrategicPlan was named a Finalist in the Best New Product or Service - Computer Software category in The 2008 American Business Awards earlier this summer and also presented with the 2008 award for Best Application Service Provider Interactive Application by the Web Marketing Association's annual Internet Advertising Competition. That was the second consecutive win for the top honors in the annual Internet Advertising Competition after being a previous Standard of Excellence award winner.

M3 Planning has established itself as a source for everything related to strategic planning. In addition to their online strategic planning system, the company is also a resource for other strategic planning tools, books, articles, workshops, and facilitations. Through M3 Planning's online client base and onsite strategic planning facilitation work, Erica Olsen has developed and reviewed hundreds of strategic plans for organizations across the country. She has also authored several strategic planning books including Strategic Planning for Dummies and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by The Business Report of Northern Nevada in 2007.

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Matthew Kennard
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