A monthly business review is one of the best ways to make sure your strategic plans stay on track. But how do you avoid getting stuck spending too much time preparing and a too much time in a meeting that may or may not be adding value? This post will give you a roadmap to follow.

What is a Monthly Business Review?

A Monthly Business Review (MBR) is a meeting where you come together to review actual performance against your strategic plan. The primary purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity to reflect on the previous period and see if you are still on track to achieve the targets and if necessary, implement corrective actions before it is too late.

Monthly Business Reviews are one of the critical rituals of a company that wants to be excellent at execution.

Why is a Monthly Business Review important?

  • Focus: A monthly review of the business will ensure you stay focused on the established vital few priorities.
  • Ownership: By encouraging individuals to take ownership of the metrics that are part of the MBR and to commit to corrective actions when required, the level of individual ownership and commitment will increase.
  • Reflection: A scheduled period of reflection is critical for learning.  A monthly cadence insures you have 12 periods of reflection in a calendar year.

Focus: Improves communication

Engaging people across your business and providing a specific format where individual KEY metrics are reviewed and discussed will reinforce the focus that those metrics represent.  The purpose of any goal or target is to focus the energy and attention of the goal seekers.  The monthly cadence is a good interval to provide this strategic reminder.

Ownership: Engage individuals to take responsibility

A monthly business review has the potential to pull in greater insight from across your business. Whether you’re sharing information company-wide or sticking with select leaders from each department, it immediately expands the scope of expertise.

The more that every leader and employee knows what’s going on with everyone else, the better you can align and produce effective goals. It also provides the opportunity to identify potential solutions or issues from outside your core team’s responsibilities.

Reflection: A scheduled time to learn and react

It’s easy to let operations and processes become stagnant and standard. Without a regular performance review, any potential problems may remain to fester well beyond when they’re first identified. You don’t want to waste company time and resources on things that are ineffective, but it’s difficult to change course without first processing it.

By setting aside the monthly time for a monthly business review, it provides the opportunity to commit to learning and adjusting anything and everything. This isn’t based on off-hand information but on solid information and data that helps you identify and evaluate what’s most important for your business.

How to conduct your Monthly Business Review

Agenda for a Monthly Business Review

The Agenda for a Monthly Business Review should include Goals, Metrics, and Projects, but your primary focus should be on the Metrics.  Specifically you should be reviewing each metric and its Target vs. Actual performance.  If the actual performance is not where it should be, you should be looking to ensure that there is a plan to fix it in the next period.

A simple formula to follow for a successful Monthly Business Review:

  1. State the Strategic Goal or perspective
  2. Identify the Key Metrics
  3. Identify the Target Value and the Actual Value
  4. Express the status as a color: Red/ Yellow/Green
  5. Add a brief comment for each metric explaining the reason for the color code.

Questions to ask in a Business Review

The following questions are appropriate for a Monthly Business Review:

  • Is the strategy or goal still important and relevant?
  • Is the chosen metric still the best way to measure our progress?
  • What is our progress toward the established target?  (Indicated with color Red, Yellow, Green).

If target is Green, ask:

  • Is there anyone who performed exceptionally that should be recognized? (This is a great opportunity to provide kudos)

If the Target is Yellow, ask:

  • Do we know why we missed the target?
  • Is a corrective action required?

If the Target is Red, ask:

  • What is being done to bring this metric back to green?

Best Tools & Resources to Conduct a Monthly Business Review

Download this Business_Review_Template PDF to help you more easily and efficiently manage your Monthly Business Review with metrics and targets in place.

Moreover, you are prompted to use these resources from KPI Fire to conduct better business reviews and maintain your CI projects:

If you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to download your free DEMO version of KPI Fire to easily and efficiently plan, execute and manage your Monthly Business Review.

Watch as Keith Norris, CEO of KPI Fire takes you step-by-step on how to use KPI Fire to make your Monthly Business Review the most important meeting of the month…