Annual Operation Plan

The annual operation plan is your roadmap to accomplishing next year’s objectives whether they are for an academic program, training and competition, a candidate’s campaign, or a non-profit organization’s fundraising.  Almost any enterprise can use an annual operation plan and almost any planner can use an adaptable planning tool.

planning-cycleLook at the Round Picture

Take a moment to think about how you visualize the critical points of an annual operation plan.  Are those points outlined in pages of narrative, placed on a linear timeline, embedded in PowerPoint diagrams with arrows and lines that direct you one way and another that are predicated on what has (or hasn’t) been accomplished?
Now, imagine the salient points of your annual operation plan easily viewable at a glance.  Your eyes don’t have to be searching through lengthy reports or along a linear map with a “start here” that leads to “there” and another “there.”

With a circular template from, the information you need to summarize your annual operation plan is immediately before your eyes in calendar form.  Look at the starting point of your calendar template and follow the days, weeks, months, and quarters of the template to your finishing date.  You’ll find that you are viewing both your start and finish points side by side, giving you a complete picture at once.

Building Your Annual Operation Plan

Building your plan means gathering some basic data and it may help to ask a few basic questions to get you started:

  • Where are we / where am I now?
  • Where do we / do I want to be?
  • When do we/I want to reach the objective?
  • How do we / do I reach the objective?
  • How should progress be measured?


Knowing the answers to these questions enables you to identify the components necessary for achieving your plan.  The component information you assemble will also help you to prepare the budget that will be required to get you to your destination point.

Starting Large or Small

plandisc’s circular templates can be used by individuals, departments, and organizations to identify the key elements they are responsible for achieving in a given period of time.  The fully customizable, cloud-based templates are designed with cells and concentric rings (also called “levels”).  The general format is in a 52-week calendar year.  The key elements of an individual or department’s operation/activities are entered into the cells and levels of the template.  They can include critical due dates, activities relative to their own area objectives, and benchmarks that must be reached.

Because the activities and objectives of individuals and departments typically intersect with other areas of a company, important components from each area can be integrated into a master template that becomes the tracking tool of the annual operational plan.  And as benchmarks and milestones are reached, individual and master templates can be updated to reflect completion (or missed deadlines flagged for further attention).

Making Annual Operation Plan Templates Work for You

The power of planning templates is not just in filling in the cells, it is in the interaction and distribution of the templates.  As the cells are filled in, the template transforms from a tool to a plan.  And when individual plans are shared, integrated, and then published, all key players know at a glance how their responsibilities intersect.   The circular templates can be attached to other critical files like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.  They can be shared in print and the Intranet and posted on your home page.

The flexibility and adaptability of circular templates means that they become more than just a picture on a screen or paper – they are an integrated and interactive part of your annual operation plan and what keeps you traveling that circle from start to finish.