[2024 Annual Planning] The end of the year is nigh

November 8, 2023

We are now in the final two months of the year. Since most of the year is over, now is a great time to schedule planning for next year in 2024, especially if you are an HR or business owner.

When it comes to planning for the year 2024, we aim to steer clear of unrealistic and overly fantastical goals. Setting such goals not only renders the planning itself meaningless but also envelops the entire company in a bubble of wishful thinking, making it challenging to execute and realise these dreams in reality.

Therefore, when you engage in discussions about the 2024 annual plan, it's crucial to follow these three key steps:

[Review - Adjust - Layout]

Review: Digitizing and Analysing Everything that Happened in 2023

DATA DATA DATA! To review the year 2023, it's essential to transform everything that occurred into digitised data for analysis.

It's vital to rely on objective facts when looking back at what transpired in your company in 2023. This approach helps you identify areas where progress was made and where challenges persist.

If your company is unable to compile and analyse data for a comprehensive review, this could pose a significant potential crisis for your company's future.

In today's fiercely competitive market, relying on gut feelings for judgement and operations is no longer a sustainable approach. (Of course, this raises the question of the critical role of data analysis, which we can delve into in another article.)

If your company can gather data for the review, that's excellent! Your next step is to identify three key data metrics for each department. These metrics will offer insights into the performance of each department.

Here are some suggested key data metrics for each department:

Sales/Business Development:


Human Resources:


These are just starting points. You should tailor your key data metrics to align with your company or department's specific objectives.

Adjust: Refining Solutions from the Data

So, after the first step of reviewing, issues will be laid out in front of you. It's time to propose solutions and adjustments. However, one key prerequisite for making adjustments is that they must align with the company's goals.

If your company's goal for the coming year is to increase profitability by 50% while maintaining the same costs as in 2023, each department should focus on strategies that contribute to this overarching goal.

For example, the Sales Department should concentrate on improving the repeat purchase rate and average transaction value, rather than merely hiring more salespeople to boost performance.

The Marketing Department should prioritise cost-effective lead generation and lead conversion techniques over expensive marketing campaigns.

In the case of HR, the focus should revolve around enhancing each employee's efficiency with existing human resources or restructuring job roles to ensure that the right people with the right skills are in the right positions.

When each department approaches this process with such a mindset, the blueprint for the 2024 annual plan begins to take shape.

Layout: Transforming Adjustment Ideas into Goals, Placed in the 2024 Calendar

The final and most critical step is to break down the adjustment plans as much as possible and slot them into the calendar for 2024.

While this may sound simple, it often proves to be the most challenging, as planning for the future can be intimidating.

However, remember this fundamental mindset:

"Plans are meant to be changeable. The purpose of a plan is to provide a unified direction for the team, not to lead blindly."

If you need more input on setting the annual plan or goal setting for 2024, consider participating in our upcoming HR Forum in December.

In the forum, we will discuss how to set company goals and plan the blueprint for 2024. (We highly recommend HR professionals to attend, as it will extensively cover topics like talent development, HRD Corp, and workplace culture.)

Click here for more details about the HR forum.

Final Words

A well-thought-out annual strategic plan is the cornerstone for any organisation looking to thrive in today's fast-paced business environment.

It not only provides a clear direction but also ensures that all departmental objectives align with the broader organisational goals.

Implementing such a plan can streamline operations, enhance productivity, and foster a positive work culture, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the business.

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