03 Jul '08
Your annual roadmap
In my last post I talked about identifying those Key Result Areas that spell success for our lives. These KRAs do not necessarily change from year to year unless the focus of your job changes. KRAs are the broad definition of success. What does change is the Annual Ministry Plan (AM), which describes how one is going to fulfill each of the Key Result Areas in a given year.
Annal Ministry Plans (AMPs) are the specific steps one is going to take in any given year to fulfill one's KRAs. Before the beginning of a year all members of a team should have determined both their KRAs as well as the specific plan they intend to drive to fulfill those KRAs. These plans are developed by the individuals who must drive them and are then endorsed by their supervisor. They are specific enough to be measurable and form the basis of a monthly meeting with supervisors.
At the heart of intentionality is a commitment to thoughtfully and prayerfully think through what needs to be done and how one should do it. It is the difference between accidental and intentional living. This may be a stretch for those who are not used to planning, but they will get used to it and the results of their work will be measurably better.
Intentionality is about understanding what the end goal is (KRAs) and how one should best get there (AMPs). While the secular world has long stressed such planning, the ministry world has been significantly behind, especially when it comes to focusing on results. Good ministry is impossible without good planning.
Another advantage of AMPs is that supervisors and team members now have a way to measure progress. There is a plan and supervisors can use this plan to gauge progress. Because the team member developed the plan him or herself (with the supervisor sign off), they can be held accountable for its execution.
For individuals, the Annual Ministry Plan provides the roadmap for the year in terms of what they need to concentrate on. The hard part is done (knowing what to do) and now one can concentrate on executing the plan. This is a wonderfully helpful tool for self management. It puts the responsibility for ministry execution on individual team members rather than on the team leader. It empowers and provides for accountability.
There are people in the ministry world who believe that results do not really matter. I am told on occasion that "the only thing that matters is faithfulness." While faithfulness is a non-negotiable, results do matter because they matter to God. We are all about much fruit (John 15). Annual ministry Plans help us measure how much progress we are making according to the plans we have laid out.
The ministry world is notoriously lax in helping people know the success of their performance on an annual basis. With KRAs and AMPs, it is possible to have an objective annual performance review. How did the team member do in fulfilling their AMP and therefore fulfilling their KRAs? Even if it is not done perfectly (perfection is not the goal, intentionality is), the presence of an identifiable plan makes evaluation objective and easier and forms the basis of the next year's Annual Ministry Plan.