Formatting Your 30-60-90 Day Plan
The typical 30-60-90 day plan is a 1-5 page Microsoft Word document — or a 7-12 page PowerPoint document — that is usually sent electronically to the hiring manager, either after an interview, or before a follow-up interview.
In each 30-day period, you want to focus on 3-7 initiatives or projects. Trying to do too much will be counter-productive. It’s very easy to take on too much during your transition into a new position, but you can’t achieve results without focus. Identify the most high-value activities and prioritize those in your plan.
You can use the template below to create your 30-60-90 day plan, customizing the initiatives to the specific company you’re targeting. The plan needs to speak to the hiring manager’s needs and the company’s specific challenges and opportunities. A generic plan will not be effective.
Template for a 30-60-90 Day Plan
The introduction provides an overview of what you would like to accomplish in the first three months on the job. Outline specific outcomes you’d like to have achieved at the end of the first 90 days.
In the introduction, provide a disclaimer that the plan is provided to stimulate communication about the company’s specific needs in this role and how you, the candidate, can hit the ground running to meet those needs. State, however, that the plan is subject to revision in collaboration with the supervisor’s specific needs.
Be as specific as possible; however, you will want to leave open the possibility that these tasks can be amended or modified if desired, in consultation with the supervisor.
The body of the plan is divided into three separate content sections: the first 30 days, days 31-60, and days 61-90. Each section contains specific tasks or initiatives.
First 30 Days (Meet/Learn/Understand)
In the first 30 days, your goal is to analyze your situation, and ensure the priorities you focus on in the next 60 days are ones that will get you started on the right path. Understanding the history of the organization and learning organizational dynamics and structure will help you recognize potential pitfalls and challenges due to company culture and/or internal politics. You will use this time to meet key internal personnel and external stakeholders, educate yourself about the company and its products and services, get to know your co-workers and customers, and you will collect the information that you will need to plan and execute the projects you’ll be working on. A large part of your work in the first 30 days is to learn about the organization’s history and culture.
However, there is a balance between learning and doing. Spend too little time learning, and you may make decisions that alienate your new colleagues. Spend too much time learning, and your supervisor may wonder if you will accomplish what he or she wants you to do in your new role.
During this time, your activities may focus heavily on building relationships, getting advice, and gathering information. It may seem strange to focus time and attention on these activities, but the information-gathering and learning phase is important. You must identify people in the organization who have the information you need, and begin to build relationships with them so you can learn from them. At the same time, don’t neglect taking action on small projects that can build positive momentum.
• Meet with supervisor to identify specific short-and long-term project goals and key initiatives.
• Make a list of co-workers and schedule informal lunches and meetings with key team members, colleagues, internal stakeholders, and management to identify important issues, discuss past successes, form relationships, and assess company culture.
• Identify who else in the company you need to meet. Ask your supervisor for a list of the 10 key people outside your department that you should get to know, and then set up meetings with those people.
• Are there external relationships you need to build (i.e., customers or vendors?). Research the needs of current customers and analyze existing company relationships with customers. Meet with all existing account contacts.
• Complete company training and/or self-learning to get up to speed on products, services, policies, procedures, and company culture.
• Are there are any other shortcomings in your learning you need to address (i.e., training on a specific software platform)?
• Research existing company literature (website, mission statement, employee handbook, newsletter/daily email list, etc.)
• Review competitive opportunities and create a report to establish closable business in the next 60 days, 90 days, and 6 months.
Remember, you will want to choose no more than 3-7 initiatives per 30-day period.
Days 31-60 (Strategize/Plan)
Once you have taken time to assess the company and get up to speed, the next 30 days will focus on planning and strategizing. Where are there shortcomings that you can help address? Your efforts in the first 30 days are focused on building credibility — but the next 60 days emphasize strategizing and planning to improve performance.
You will also start to learn “how things get done” in this organization. You must sort out who does what, the roles of each individual and department, and how the group has worked together in the past. You’ll want to plan how to create internal and external networks — “coalitions” — to get things done. Who do you need support from in order to achieve change? Don’t neglect “influencers” — people outside your direct chain of command who have the power to make things happen. Sooner or later, you’ll need the support of people over whom you have no direct authority. During this 30-day period, figure out who those people are and how to work with them.
Action is also important in the 31-to-60-day timeframe. Show how you can take what you’ve learned and apply it towards accomplishing specific tasks or projects. You will begin to demonstrate how you can contribute to achieving the company’s goals.
One of the items to include in this time period is a review of the plan with your supervisor to clarify mutual expectations and assess progress towards the plan completion. Now is the time to make course corrections, especially as it relates to the execution phase of the plan.
• Meet with supervisor to assess progress in first 30 days and determine priorities and plan adjustments for next 60 days.
• Ensure all plans for first 30 days are completed.
• Continue to have bi-weekly meetings with team members to move forward on [XYZ] project.
• Create territory routing and call cycle plan to increase number of contacts with existing accounts.
• Develop account prospect database (compiled from Hoovers, trade journals, LinkedIn, Salesforce.com, and incoming leads).
• From discussions with supervisor and product specialist, formulate plan to close short-term opportunities.
• Meet with key account decision-makers and identify specific steps needed to bring business in this year.
• Schedule four new account meetings per week. Update CRM weekly to grow prospect database.
• Create pilot program for [specific new initiative] and gather team and client feedback.
• Begin to strategize on a major initiative to focus on in the final 30-day period of the 30-60-90 day plan.
Don’t miss Part 3 of this series, coming soon!