Strategy for the New Year… what’s yours!

January 21, 2010

It is the beginning of the new year and once again we are in the middle of our operational reviews and board meetings with the management teams of the expansion software companies we have invested growth capital in.

Over the last few days I am reminded again why it is so crucial for software founders, CEO’s and management teams to make sure they have not only set their Strategic Goals for the coming year but that they are SMART GOALS (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable and Timely). For more on this visit the link below

The importance behind defining the Strategic themes or goals for the new year with your management team is to create the alignment and focus of all the operational resources across you team. It also sets up the framework for measuring your progress against these strategic goals as a team during your daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly operational and management meetings.

Once you have set your strategic goals for the year you break them down into quarterly (SMART) goals for each of the operational management teams. Those teams then break them down further and assign them out to the teams within their organization.

This process creates focus around execution on the few things that matter for you to achieve your annual goals. It also provides a decision frame by which you evaluate and make decisions around where you align your resources for the new year and whether you take on new tasks during the years. If they do not align with your strategic goals they are not worth doing and will be a distraction and waste of your critical resources both capital and people.

As I mentioned earlier it will also provide you the founder and or executive a framework to measure the team’s progress against these goals on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis with your team. If each of your managers comes prepared to your management meeting with their (SMART) goals for the quarter and has them color coded in green, yellow or red with a list of impediments that may be in the way for the team to remove you can easily identify whether you are on track or need to adjust.

Think about it… if you are not there yet take some time now with your team and get there… this will set the direction, the tone and help you focus and execute for successful 2010!

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.