Strategic planning of the company as a tool to improve efficiency

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    The basic hard skill of specialists in any field is competent time management. Professionals regard the plan of the company’s department as a reference book that sets the rhythm, streamlines the process. This approach ensures a reliable legal and financial position of the business, helps to achieve results and gives a chance to sleep, rest, leave work today, and not after midnight.

    Plan outline

    The work plan of departments and employees is focused on the overall strategy of the organization. There are global goals, for example, to reach a net income of 10 million per year or to increase the percentage of product exports. Planning is a tool for developing strategic decisions to achieve such goals.

    Universal plan scheme:

    1. Fix the time. Write clear dates or time ranges.
    2. Specify tasks. Specifically formulate what, where, when and in what volumes.
    3. Keep count. Mark the completion or failure of each of the planned items. Summarize intermediate results.

    The work plan of services and departments is drawn up taking into account internal regulations, job descriptions of employees of a particular enterprise. A template approach is unacceptable – this is a utopia. Everyone who ignores the planning scheme sooner or later faces the problem of goal degradation. The result is material losses, professional burnout, stagnation.

    The Importance of Planning

    Clio conducted a survey among respondents-employees of large legal and investment companies. 74% of participants indicated that they are experiencing an acute shortage of time. Over 33% admitted to regular deadline delays. A good work plan can make all the difference because:

    • increases the degree of personal responsibility of employees;
    • separates responsibilities and improves productivity;
    • strengthens discipline in the team;
    • optimizes the workflow;
    • introduces time-calculation;
    • covers all areas of activity of the legal service;
    • helps to control and analyze the results.

    The work plan of the departments is included in the general concept of the company’s development. According to this document, managers evaluate the efficiency of a particular employee and the structural unit as a whole, analyze what a full-time employee can handle, and on what issues it is easier and cheaper to turn to an outsourcing company.

    Agile planning

    The classic content of the medium-term plan for 1 calendar year is strategic, background and regularly recurring tasks. This is not enough for narrow-profile specialists, so they actively use agile (flexible) planning. This time management tool allows you to:

    • respond quickly to urgent tasks;
    • have at hand a ready-made algorithm of actions in case of force majeure;
    • minimize financial risks;
    • adjust the overall plan in a timely manner;
    • show mobility;
    • save time and effort.

    Example. One of the company’s goals for the year is to reduce accounts receivable by 30%. This is a global goal, including for lawyers. As part of agile planning, legal specialists evaluate the content of contracts, the presence of signs of bankruptcy in the counterparty, and the feasibility of collecting debt in court in the near future.

    Agile work planning can be compared to the French saying: “Imagine that every item in the plan is a frog. By eating one frog a day, you will avoid the swamp.”

    Contents of the plan

    Conventionally, any plan of the structural divisions of the company includes blocks and sections with analytics and analysis, financial activities, representation of interests in courts and other institutions. There is no universal template.

    The content depends on the direction of activity, the business cycle of the company, its strategy and scope of authority. For example, the main planning vectors for lawyers:

    • claim function, pre-trial settlement of disputes;
    • monitoring of accounts payable and receivable;
    • control of enforcement proceedings;
    • contract law, system of sanctions;
    • corporate law and labor relations;
    • writing off material assets from the balance sheet;
    • protection of intellectual property rights, including the company’s right to a trademark, inventions and rationalization proposals;
    • lawyer consulting;
    • monitoring, systematization and analysis of legislation;
    • adaptation of the internal legal acts of the company to the norms of the current legislation;
    • protection of business reputation, compensation for damage;
    • violation prevention.

    The unspoken rule of proportion in any department plan is: 20% overall strategic objectives, 50% clear predictable activities and actions, 30% force majeure, additional functions, unforeseen circumstances.

    An effective and competent work plan of the organization contains specific, realistic, achievable items with clear deadlines and a clear expected result. This is the creed of any planning.

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