Building confidence in your business plan results in auditable ‘risk’ documents. The documents explain the decisions you make within business planning and over the year. They also explain the assurance you give the boss.
The how-to steps in this guide create the artefacts in this list. You don’t need to understand all of them now.
- A risk register.
- A set of unit objectives for the year. For each objective there is a defined set of outcome pictures arranged from the best to the worst imaginable. You create these in your first steps to confidence (jump ahead to those). The objectives defined during risk assessment should be consistent with the unit goals also shown in the business plan, after updates to both are complete. The objectives may be represented differently in different places.
- A loose idea of the likelihood of each of the defined outcomes for each objective. These likelihoods are the direct basis for confidence in delivering on the business plan. They are reached by going through the risk management process.
- A list of controls and risk-treatment strategies to be implemented or maintained over the year.
- Proposed changes to the business plan, if you end up without enough confidence in achieving the existing plan.
- A list of recommendations and discussion topics for the boss. You will have recommendations if you found ways to improve outcomes and confidence, but those ways are too big for your unit to follow.
The documents are not the end result. The process is not about filling templates. The end result is outcome assurance based on smart decisions and effective actions.
The first result that matters comes at that moment when you look your boss calmly in the eye to discuss assurances and issues. In that way you will put foundations under your future.
The second result comes a year later, when reality has unfolded. You match the unfolded reality with the unfolding of your business plan, and confirm the extent to which your predictions came true. This too will involve calm assurance.
The documents are a way of passing on your assurance to anyone in doubt.
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