How to Create a 30-60-90 Day Plan

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New jobs can be incredibly stressful. Oftentimes, you go in knowing what it is that you’d like to accomplish based on the description of the job you’ve applied for, but that’s about it. Knowing that job description in addition to what you were able to ask during the interview process are the only things you have to go on. With that little amount of information, it can be difficult to really know what to expect. The solution to this is called a 30-60-90 Day Plan. This plan is your key to doing well during the first three months of your new job and will impress your new company or your new manager when coming on board. These plans are most often created by new employees, but they can be created by managers for new hires, as well.

What is a 30-60-90 Day Plan?

A 30-60-90 day plan is a set of goals and guidelines for your 30, 60, and 90-day marks at a new job. It will often include priorities, as well as measurable performance standards that you, or your employer, hope for you to attain. Performance standards will come included with what metrics you plan on using to measure your success, and by what time it should be achieved.

When is the Best Time to Create a Plan?

Reasonably, the creation of a 30-60-90 day plan can be started as soon as you’ve found out that you’ve gotten an interview with any company! These plans are a good way to impress your would-be employer . They signal that you’ve come to the table prepared. With a plan like this, it’s important to understand what the plan should consist of. Goals will be less specific than they would be if the plan was created after landing the job and will be inclusive of learning company policies and becoming an efficient employee. If certifications are required, adding them into the plan if you don’t have them can help strengthen your position on why you should be hired.

The Four Components of a Plan

When you’re making your 30-60-90 day plan, there are four major components that you should set for each benchmark date. Keep the following components in mind.

1. Focus

When you’re making your 30-60-90 day plan, keep in mind what each month’s benchmark should be focused on. Some examples of common focuses are learning in the first 30 days, planning up to the 60-day mark, and then application of skills and plans by your 90-day mark. These are the typical expectations of most companies, and can really help you pinpoint your goals. Focuses may change, however, depending on your place on the corporate ladder.

2. Goals

Your focuses will ultimately affect your goals, and they can be tailored to making progress depending on those focuses. Additionally, they can be altered each benchmark date depending on progress in your position or based on the needs of the company. Goals can be categorized in a few ways, such as learning, performance, and production goals. Personal goals can also be included when trying to build new relationships with coworkers or your team if you are in management.

3. Priorities

Setting priorities is a process that can be done before or after setting goals during the planning of your 30-60-90 day plan. Oftentimes, the priorities may be set by your new employer based on your performance, or what they deem to be the highest needs of your position or title. Priorities are often flexible, changing as needed, and never really remain the same based on the workflow of the company at any given time. During slow times, education may be the highest priority, while during higher traffic times production will be the priority focused on.

4. Measurements and Metrics

These are the ways in which you will determine whether or not you’re on track to meet your goals, and ultimately complete your 30-60-90 day benchmarks. You want all of your goals to be measurable, and the measurements and metrics you choose to use will determine if the goals are effective, or if they may need to be reevaluated.

Things to Keep in Mind

When creating your plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. These things will help you to create a plan that is useful and attainable, both of which are key. Without them, the plan will be of no use to you or your company.

Drill Down

When creating a 30-60-90 day plan, it’s important to start with the big picture and then make your way to the details. Starting with a focus, then drilling it down into goals and methods of measurement is a lot easier than the other way around. Starting with goals will cause you to lose sight of what really matters. Think of it as an umbrella; your focus is the main concept you’ll be reviewing, while everything underneath it will be more specific and granular.

Seek Advice

This is one of the best ways to make sure that you’re on the right track. When making your 30-60-90 day plan, it’s entirely okay to use your coworkers, your bosses, or other involved parties as resources for the plan. You want to make sure that the plan you have suited their needs, as they’ll be the people to determine its effectiveness and your overall performance as you move forward. Always ask when you’re not sure, and even when you are, it’s not a bad idea to ask for advice.

Make your Goals Attainable

Quite often the ego of man gets in the way of realistic goal setting. When looking at what you’d like to accomplish and where you need to be at certain benchmarks, be reasonable and realistic. You’re the new person on the totem pole, and there is no expectation for perfection or mastery within a 90 day period. You’ll want to make sure your goals reflect what you are actually capable of achieving, and not overshoot. It’s better to set expectations of yourself rather than higher because you never know how involved the process will be. You may be in for a surprise from time to time.

Be Prepared for Changes

It’s rare that a 30-60-90 day plan will stay the same throughout the duration of it. Day 1 and day 90 are often very different in terms of the structure of the plan, as well as the goals, though focuses tend to stay the same. Being willing to change is a huge key in determining success, as the only constant in life changes. Expect your plan to be changed and treat it more like a fluid than a rigid structure. Go with the flow!

The Steps to Creating a 30-60-90 Day Plan

Follow these simple steps to create your first 30-60-90 day plan:

  1. Review the job you’re in or applying for. Having an understanding to the best of your ability when it comes to the job you’ve landed, or want to land, is key in creating the plan. It’s what the entire plan is based on, after all.
  2. Choose a focus. The focus should be vague, more like a concept you’d like to cover rather than something more specific. Remember, your focus is the umbrella, and many things can fall under it. An example would be Learning or Applying Knowledge .
  3. Set your goals. These are what you want to be detailed. They don’t have to be entirely specific but should outline a measurable achievement. For example, your goal could be to learn all of the computer systems that the job utilizes.
  4. Determine your metrics. This is how you’ll measure if your goals are meeting your expectations and if they’re being attained.
  5. Check your progress on benchmark dates. Using everything you’ve put together, check the progress of your plan on your 30, 60, and 90-day mark to determine if your goals are being met.
  6. Change the plan when needed. Remember that it’s okay to change the plan if new priorities appear, or if you need to set new goals to achieve as you accomplish your current goals. Flexibility is key.

Other Applications

These plans don’t have to just be applied to new jobs. They can be used when defining new projects, creating new teams in the workplace, or when you’re trying to enrich yourself for the benefit of your job. They’re a versatile tool that should be used more often.

A Useful Tool

When used properly, a 30-60-90 day plan can be the strongest tool in your arsenal. It allows you to actively measure progress while learning all of the aspects of a new job and shows you’re dedicated to the work you do. Just remember that the needs of the company , and thus the details of the plan, can change at any given time. The abilities to self-assess and be flexible are invaluable, almost as much as a good 30-60-90 day plan is. Sources: The 30-60-90 Day Plan: Your Guide for Mastering a New Job [Template + Example] | Glassdoor 30-60-90 Day Plan: Ultimate Guide Plus Template | The Muse

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