We have two weeks left before the end of the year. It’s crunch time, which means we must create your milestone targets if we are going to have a roadmap in place for you to deliver in 2022.
Just a quick recap, at this point you should know how you have performed year to date, which levers you need to keep, add, or eliminate to perform to the targets your company has set for 2022, and now you are going to create your milestone targets.
What is a milestone target? Well, how do you eat an elephant? It’s one bite at a time, right? The same holds true for hitting your overall targets in 2022, you must hit smaller target after smaller target which will then add up to achieving your overall goal. These smaller targets are what we call milestone targets.
Here are a few questions you want to ask yourself to help you create milestone targets:
What must you achieve in Q1 to lay the proper foundation for Q2?
What must you hit in Q2 to deliver in Q3 and in Q3 for Q4?
Or you can break it down even further: What must you deliver in January to hit your February target?
Most everything builds in business, right? So create milestone targets that allow you to build on the previous period of success. If as an example you had a target to achieve 100% on a customer service metric, and the company is giving you the entire year to ramp up and end at 100%, then you could hypothetically say Q1 would deliver at no less than 25% to the annual target, Q2 would deliver at or above 50% to the annual target, Q3 at 75%, such that by the time you close out the year you are at 100% of your target.
If you aren’t starting from zero, then you may want to work backward to create your milestones. A few questions to get you started using this method are: Where are you performing now vs the target? (You already know because you did this first.) What is the gap between the current state and future target? What levers can be used to deliver to the future target? What must be resolved or improved to help you deliver?
Define these details, then set a timeframe for when you will arrive at the goal. For example, I’m going to close the gap in my current performance by June, 2022. Many times the company will establish the timelines and overall targets so you know the timeframe you must work within.
Think about it this way, it’s like physically driving to a set destination in your car. If it’s a 6-hour road trip, you must plan for meals, fuel stops, etc. All of those stops along the way are required for you to successfully arrive at your destination. Those stops are your “travel milestone targets.”
With that analogy in mind, go back to your 2022 roadmap for a second. Realize that for every metric or KPI, you must define the smaller targets that when achieved over time, will help you deliver to your larger target.