If you’re like us, you planned too much for 2016, and there were customers you didn’t get, money you didn’t make, and goals you never accomplished. Instead of sighing and pushing those goals straight off the 2016 page and onto the 2017 page, however, we decided to try something different this year.
We use HubSpot as our marketing platform, so when it came time to map out 2017, we thought we’d take a different route and use what the HubSpot CEO calls an MSPOT document to get started.
Mission, Strategy, Projects, Omissions, and Tracking
MSPOT stands for mission, strategy, projects, omissions, and tracking, wherein:
- Mission: rarely changes
- Strategy: annually changes
- Projects: 4 or 5 big annual initiatives
- Omissions: projects we decide not to do
- Tracking: numbers we watch to see if we’re on track
We think one of the most important parts of the MSPOT is the omissions. We know what we want to happen in 2017, and we know what we plan to do to get it – but do we know what we’re not going to waste our time with?
What We'll Do ...
One thing we want to do, for example, is be certified in all things HubSpot in 2017. That’s 10 certifications, and it didn’t sound like a lot until we thought “10 certifications times 2 hours per certification test times 3 or more hours per certification study course” … and we realized that being super-HubSpotters in 2017 is a 69-hour-per-person proposition (assuming everyone passes every certification the first time around.) Whew!
What We Won't Do ...
So we made some omissions in that project – does it make sense for our content editor, for example, to be certified in sales? Inbound marketing, yes. Content marketing, also yes. Sales? Probably not so much. The new goal is that everyone at Leading Results holds the HubSpot certifications for the things that apply to them; in doing so, every certification will be held by someone and we’ve still met our goal of being certified in all things HubSpot.
This isn’t a new strategy – in 1997, Steve Jobs said, “Focus is about saying, ‘no.’” – but the conventional wisdom that more is better seems to have taken over when it comes to goal-setting. But as we’ve, and likely you’ve, discovered, setting more goals doesn’t mean getting more done. In taking the time to use the “omissions” section of the MSPOT and being discerning about our goals, we’ve given ourselves permission to say no to projects that won’t support our overall mission/strategy or that perhaps will, but at too great a cost.
The value of the MSPOT is simplicity. It communicates our mission and strategy in a clear, simple, and concise way that saves time, removes uncertainty, helps us prioritize our actions, and in general will keep us focused throughout the year – not just on what TO do, but also on what NOT to do.
Did you change the way you approached your planning for 2017? Do you think the MSPOT would be helpful for you? Let us know in the comments!
And, to further the HubSpot Inbound Marketing cause: