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30/60/90 day plans

If asked to prepare a 30 / 60 / 90 day plan for a forthcoming job interview, it CANNOT be general - it has to be crafted for the particular employer you're going to meet, see or discuss. Such 'tailored ' presentations are the platform to show the hiring manager how seriously you’re taking the opportunity, what you have to offer and the real difference you're intending to make when you're handed the job. The more it speaks to the hiring manager’s needs, the more effective it is.

The plan doesn’t need to be a 30-page report outlining every element of the company’s sales strategy and every data point in the company report, it can be a simple PowerPoint presentation attached to an e-mail or, printed for discussion during the next or final interview round. Quite simply, it should focus on what you're going to do to make money for the company in months one, two and three hence, the 30 / 60 / 90 day plan.

Considering trends and market conditions facing the company in question, you may have also picked up insights from earlier research, past telephone interviews, earlier face to face interviews or, reaching out to current / past employees of the company. Such insights will really bring your presentation to life. WITHOUT such tailoring, it will be a real turnoff if you were to show something generic.

Heather Huhman outlines the gals that should be incorporated into your own, customized plan - breaking it down into three distinct phases:

  1. 30 days – the learning stage
  2. 60 days – adding the Y-O-U
  3. 90 days – the transformation stage

While the likes of 'Understand your boss’s expectations of you', 'Begin forming professional relationships with co-workers', 'Learn about your customers and clients',  and 'Investigate the overall company culture' all make perfect sense, I'd try to think more along the lines of action oriented planning; what EXACTLY will you do, WHO will you meet and WHAT are you looking to achieve BY WHEN?

Though you may actually get some of the detail wrong, you're trying to signal intent; you may incorrectly assume somethings are not already in place and they actually are. Such things - about what exists and what doesn't - can be ascertained when you start in the role and have direct access to all of the company crown jewels.

When I last prepared such a presentation for my role with the Trader Media Group way back in 2009 (mindful that this was for a Senior Product Management position), here's some of the things that I considered to be important at that point in time (BEFORE joining the business a few weeks later):

First 30 days

  • Corporate Strategy & Business Objectives; what’s expected of me?
  • Existing product(s):
  • Insights from within the team; internal perspective – ‘online behaviour’
  • Reqs. gathering from outside; external perspective – ‘offline behaviour’
  • Technology; hosting/colo, access/bandwidth provision
  • Information architecture; structure, tasks & flow between pages
  • Company ‘systems’ & training: processes, policies & procedures
  • Relationship Building; customers, advertisers & team members
  • Relationship Building; sales teams - ‘Your needs are my needs’
  • Relationship Building; print & production teams
  • Baseline KPIs; both financial & non-financial measures
  • Implement a new ideas scheme
  • Establish social media ‘presence’ (via twitter) & a news agenda
  • Review & update my personal development plan

The next 30 days

  • Sharing lessons learned to date; implement critical change(s)
  • Re-check expectations and prioritise any ‘loose ends’ or ‘niggles’
  • Outline product & content roadmap; clear rationale & priorities
  • Reporting; interactive and/or diagnostic control systems
  • Further Relationship Building; 3rd party suppliers & ext. agencies
  • Review competitive landscape; report on latest developments
  • Begin forging plans for research, focus groups & industry forums
  • Focus on Sales Productivity; thoughts on SFA and/or CRM?
  • Measure success of any/all changes already made
  • Establish & facilitate inaugural JAD Workshop
  • Review & update my personal development plan

The last 30 days

  • Focus on implementation inc. business processes & systems
  • Content, search-engine rankings and design - refine, test & improve
  • Resource Plan:
  • Team structure, budgets, forecasts et al
  • Pricing; modelling different upside & downside scenarios
  • ‘Co-opetition’ opportunities; online partnerships?
  • Link building, affiliates, sponsorship and/or co-branding
  • Offline communications:
  • Advertising, sales promotion, PR, direct mail, merchandising & WoM
  • Viral Marketing:
  • Pass along emails, send-2-a-friend, media mentions & incentives
  • Review & update my personal development plan

Looking back, the 'pre employment plan' wasn't far off the mark actually in terms of what actually was done. For a greater detail on how 'the plan' unfolded (in terms of onward development and embellishment), please see Putting Lipstick on a Pig

As a part of the 10 slide presentation, I used a few slides to wrap up some of the trends and / or market conditions facing the business at that time:

The Future (1)

  • The rise and relevance of Hyper-local information
  • Mobile ‘access’; real-time & location-aware
  • Targeted advertising; specific demographics perhaps
  • ‘Sharing stuff’; harnessing the power of social networking
  • Advertisers conversing through social profiling, not just selling
  • Seeking the leaders of all social networks; the influencers
  • With the rise of the social entrepreneurs; niche networks?
  • Social network interconnectedness; widgets et al
  • Newsletters, Expert Tips & published articles
  • Crowd sourcing or else!

The Future (2)

  • Building a network of genuine, passionate friends & followers
  • Not forgetting the ‘spectators’; those on the long tail (or not)
  • Mapping & POI layering; ‘more than just’ navigation
  • Offers, coupons, vouchers and/or category sponsorship
  • Using the most effective and audience-friendly ad products
  • A five-second pre-roll combined with a ten-second lower 1/3 ad unit, according to "Project Inform," a study by MTVN & marketing researcher InsightExpress
  • What is happening to print? What is the outlook for print?
  • ‘Being Yell.com’; a multimedia content company (21/7/09)

Final Thought

  • I think I understand the role
  • I am willing to do what needs to be done
  • The key: measurable success
  • The goal: ongoing improvement
  • The main driver: revenue
  • I can deliver the pieces; goals & targets
  • Thanks for your time

If you agree, disagree or want to ask - what the hell are you talking about; let me know.