Starting a new job can be an exciting yet overwhelming time. You want to make a positive impression and quickly demonstrate your value, but where do you begin? This is where a 30-60-90 day plan comes in handy. A 30-60-90 day plan outlines your goals and priorities for your first three months in a new role.
It provides structure and direction to effectively onboard into an organization. In this article, we will explore best practices for crafting a 30-60-90 day plan and share sample templates to help you create one. Whether you’re in your first post-college job or transitioning into a new leadership position, a solid 30-60-90 day plan sets you up for success. Read on to learn how to make the most of your crucial first 90 days through planning, relationship building, and achieving quick wins. Templates and examples will help make an intimidating process more approachable.
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What Is A 30-60-90 Day Plan?
A 30-60-90 day plan outlines an employee’s goals and priorities for their first 3 months in a new job. It establishes objectives to complete within the first 30, 60, and 90 days of employment. The 30-60-90 day framework helps new hires quickly integrate into the organization, build relationships, and demonstrate their abilities. An effective plan allows managers to align priorities, provide adequate ramp-up support, and track progress during the crucial onboarding period. Essentially, a 30-60-90 day plan helps set clear expectations and positions new employees for early wins.
30-60-90 Day Plan Templates
A 30-60-90 day plan is an outline developed by new employees for their first 3 months on the job. It helps ramp up and prioritize key objectives during the crucial onboarding window.
The 30-60-90 day plan highlights goals to be accomplished in the first 30, 60, and 90 days in the role. It aligns objectives with specific strategies and actions for achieving them within each timeframe. Metrics for tracking progress may also be included.
Overall, the 30-60-90 day plan provides a structured roadmap for launching into a new position. Following the plan enables quickly ramping up productivity through focused efforts on onboarding, learning processes, building relationships, and achieving quick wins. It serves as a communication tool for aligning with management on goals for the critical initial period in a new job.
When To Make A 30-60-90 Day Plan
A 30-60-90 day plan is most useful when starting a new job or transitioning into a new role within a company. The three-month timeframe allows enough time to learn, build relationships, and achieve results, without being too long where momentum is lost.
More specifically, here are common situations when crafting a 30-60-90 plan is recommended:
- Joining a company as a new grad – Helps you transition from academic to professional mindset. Outline learning the industry, team dynamics, skills development.
- Starting a job in a new industry – Guides your immersion into an unfamiliar environment. Research the landscape, vocabulary, processes, standards.
- Being promoted as a first-time people manager – Structure how you’ll establish leadership skills. Set milestones for team building, communication style, accountability.
- Taking over a previously poorly performing team – Rebuild trust and morale through early listening sessions. Celebrate quick joint wins.
- Kicking off a new project as project manager – Define scope, resources, timeline, budget. Mitigate risks early. Summarize how pieces fit together.
- Moving to a higher level individual contributor role – Determine what new skills needed and knowledge gaps to fill. Seek mentors.
- Switching functional roles (engineering to product) – Outline how you’ll get up to speed on different mindset, metrics, processes.
- Being acquired/merging companies – Clarify your place on new org chart. Set meetings with new cross-functional partners.
- Starting a nonprofit or small business – Establish urgent priorities. Balance strategic vision and tactical needs.
The more responsibility or ambiguity in the transition, the more a structured 30-60-90 day plan can help focus energy to build confidence and credibility in a new professional situation.
Benefits Of A 30-60-90 Day Plan
Starting a new job or transitioning into a different role within a company brings a mixture of excitement and anxiety. You want to add value quickly in your new position but there is so much to learn and navigate at the outset. This is where a thoughtfully crafted 30-60-90 day plan can provide immense value.
A 30-60-90 day plan outlines your goals, priorities, and key actions for your first three months on the job. It acts as your roadmap for a strong start that sets you up for ongoing success. But what exactly are the benefits of mapping out a 30-60-90 day plan versus just winging it? There are many advantages to clarifying your objectives and milestones for the initial phase in a new role.
Here are the key benefits of developing a 30-60-90 day plan:
Provides Roadmap for Success
A 30-60-90 day plan outlines measurable goals and concrete actions for ramping up quickly in a new role. It serves as a roadmap for where to focus time and energy during the crucial onboarding period. With clear goals and priorities mapped out ahead of time, new hires can hit the ground running rather than getting lost in ambiguity. The cadenced 30-60-90 structure recognizes that onboarding happens in stages and priorities will evolve. A detailed roadmap sets clear performance expectations and indicates what success looks like from day one.
Aligns Manager and Employee Priorities
Both manager and employee benefit from aligned priorities and expectations through a 30-60-90 day plan. For managers, a 30-60-90 day plan allows them to clearly communicate priorities for the role and onboarding period. It also serves as an early signal of areas where the new hire may need extra guidance. For employees, a 30-60-90 plan enables asking clarifying questions upfront to get on the same page as the manager. It reduces anxiety about whether efforts are aligned with manager expectations. Regular 30-60-90 day check-ins provide opportunities for timely feedback in both directions.
Encourages Relationship Building
A major part of onboarding is establishing connections across teams and stakeholders. A 30-60-90 day plan provides a structured way to prioritize relationship building with the most critical people early on. For client-facing roles, it can identify key customers to connect with in the first month. For internal positions, it can outline cross-functional partners to meet with. First impressions matter, so the 30-60-90 day period jumpstarts intentional relationship development. The cadence also allows checking in at 60 days on how well the new hire is connecting and collaborating across the organization.
Allows Tracking Progress and Milestones
The structured 30-60-90 day framework creates built-in milestones for tracking progress and success. Within the first 30 days, the focus is on learning systems, processes, and priorities. At the 60 day mark, the focus shifts to building relationships and working toward short-term goals. By 90 days, the employee can demonstrate achievements and lessons learned. Rather than a long, daunting ramp-up period, the 30-60-90 structure breaks the onboarding journey into measurable segments. It facilitates check-ins and provides a timeline for showing abilities.
Supports Accomplishing Quick Wins
During onboarding, achieving some quick wins is crucial for confidence and positive momentum in a new role. The 30-60-90 structure encourages defining some goals or milestones that can realistically be accomplished within the first month or two. Quick wins show value and set the employee up for success rather than getting bogged down in massive long-term projects initially. For the employee, this provides motivation and affirmation that they are on the right track. For managers, it builds trust and justifies the hiring or transition decision. Early wins lay the foundation for ongoing achievement.
What Does A 30-60-90 Day Plan Include?
Creating a comprehensive 30-60-90 day plan allows you to proactively structure your priorities and expectations for ramping up in a new role. But what should actually go into this critical plan? There are several important components to include that will set you up for a successful start.
First, it’s helpful to understand the overall purpose and format of a 30-60-90 day plan. The idea is to outline measurable goals and milestones to reach within your first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job. This breaks down the onboarding period into digestible chunks. For each milestone timeframe, you want to include the specific actions and targets that will drive success.
Here are the key components to include in a 30-60-90 day plan:
1. First 30 Days: Orientation & Foundation Building
- Learning and Onboarding:
- Understand the company’s culture, organizational structure, products/services, and systems.
- Complete any required training programs or certifications.
- Familiarize oneself with team members, managers, key stakeholders, and direct reports if applicable.
- Initial Assessments:
- Evaluate the current status of the role or project.
- Identify key challenges, opportunities, strengths, and areas of improvement.
- Gather as much data and resources to inform future strategies.
- Setting Up Tools and Systems:
- Ensure access to necessary tools, software, and platforms.
- Set up regular meetings or check-ins with supervisors or team members.
- Initial Goals:
- Setting short-term, achievable goals based on immediate priorities.
- For instance, closing a small sales deal, completing a specific task, or understanding a process thoroughly.
2. Days 31-60: Deeper Integration & Strategy Development
- Detailed Analysis:
- After gaining a foundational understanding, dive deeper into analyzing data, trends, and systems in place.
- Identify potential gaps or areas of inefficiencies.
- Strategy Development:
- Begin formulating strategies based on the assessments from the first 30 days.
- Seek feedback from peers, supervisors, or stakeholders on proposed plans.
- Building Relationships:
- Foster deeper connections with team members, clients, or stakeholders.
- Attend relevant meetings, workshops, or seminars to broaden networks within the organization.
- Intermediate Goals:
- These are more ambitious than the initial goals but still achievable with concerted effort.
- For instance, launching a small project, achieving a higher sales target, or proposing a change in a particular process.
3. Days 61-90: Execution & Contribution
- Begin executing the strategies and plans developed during the 31-60 day period.
- Track progress regularly and make necessary adjustments based on outcomes.
- Increasing Autonomy:
- Start taking more initiative, handling tasks with less supervision, and demonstrating leadership where applicable.
- Feedback Loop:
- Solicit feedback on your performance, strategies, and projects.
- Use this feedback to refine actions and strategies moving forward.
- Compare actual achievements against the objectives set at the beginning.
- Identify successes, challenges, and areas for further growth.
- Long-term Planning:
- Start thinking about goals beyond the 90-day period.
- Consider opportunities for personal growth, career advancement, or future projects.
How To Write A 30-60-90 Day Plan
Now that we’ve covered the key components of a 30-60-90 day plan, let’s discuss how to actually craft an effective plan. Writing your first 30-60-90 day plan can seem daunting, especially if the format is new to you. However, following a step-by-step approach makes the process very manageable.
First, make sure you understand the purpose and goals of a 30-60-90 day timeline. It is meant to help focus your efforts and establish milestones during the important onboarding period. An actionable plan sets clear objectives and priorities for your new role.
While formats can vary based on individual and company needs, there is a straightforward method to writing a 30-60-90 day plan.
Here are steps to follow:
Step 1: Understand the Purpose and Goals
Before starting on your plan, ensure you understand the purpose of your 30-60-90 day plan. Is it to impress a potential employer, guide a new project, or onboard a new team member? Depending on the objective, your approach will differ.
Example: Let’s assume you’re creating a plan for a new Sales Manager role. The ultimate goal might be to increase sales, improve the efficiency of the sales team, or launch a new product.
Step 2: Research and Gather Information
Begin with a deep dive into whatever area or role you’re creating the plan for. If it’s a new job, this means understanding the company, the role, and the industry. If it’s a project, it means understanding its objectives, challenges, and the resources available.
Example: For the Sales Manager role, you’d want to understand current sales figures, the sales process, team dynamics, the customer base, and the products or services being sold.
Step 3: Break It Down by Timeframe
Segment your plan into three parts: the first 30 days, the next 30 days (60 days total), and the final 30 days (90 days total). Each segment will have a distinct focus:
- First 30 days: Typically about learning. This might involve understanding company culture, getting to know team members, understanding current systems and processes, and identifying areas of improvement.
- Next 30 days: This is often the phase of deeper involvement and starting to implement changes.
- Final 30 days: By now, you should be executing on bigger strategies and setting a trajectory for future performance.
Example: In the first 30 days, the Sales Manager might focus on meeting the team, understanding the sales process, and reviewing past performance. By 60 days, they might start training sessions or implement new sales strategies. By 90 days, they might be looking to see the results of these changes.
Step 4: Set Measurable Milestones
For each timeframe, set specific, measurable milestones or goals. It’s crucial that these are tangible so that you (and others) can easily gauge your progress.
Example: By the end of 30 days, the Sales Manager aims to have met with all team members individually. By 60 days, they aim to have initiated a new sales training program. By 90 days, they target a 10% increase in sales.
Step 5: Address Potential Challenges
Anticipate potential challenges or roadblocks you might face during each segment and note down strategies to overcome them. Being prepared for hurdles not only showcases your problem-solving abilities but also ensures smoother transitions as you work through your plan.
Example: The Sales Manager identifies that a potential challenge in the first 30 days might be resistance to change from longstanding team members. They might plan regular one-on-one sessions, or team-building exercises, to foster trust and openness.
Step 6: Seek Feedback
Before finalizing your plan, seek feedback. If it’s for a job interview, you can ask a mentor or colleague. If it’s for a project or a new role you’ve already secured, ask someone familiar with the domain.
Example: The Sales Manager could present the plan to a trusted former colleague or a mentor in the sales field for insights and potential improvements.
Step 7: Revise and Implement
Based on the feedback, make necessary revisions. Once satisfied, it’s time to put the plan into action. Remember, while the 30-60-90 day plan serves as a guide, it’s also flexible. Be prepared to adapt as needed.
Example: Upon receiving feedback, the Sales Manager revises some of their strategies for the 60-day mark. Once in the role, they adjust their plan slightly based on real-time insights and challenges.
How Long Should A 30-60-90 Day Plan Be?
There is no single definitive length for a 30-60-90 day plan, as the appropriate length will depend on the specific situation and amount of detail required. However, here are some general guidelines for how long a 30-60-90 day plan should be:
- 1-2 pages – A very concise 30-60-90 day plan for a relatively simple or temporary role transition may only need to be 1-2 pages long. This hits the key goals and metrics without extensive detail.
- 3-5 pages – For most professional positions, a 3-5 page 30-60-90 plan provides enough space to include all relevant components while remaining scannable and focused. This is often seen as the standard length.
- 5+ pages – More complex roles like executive positions or jobs requiring heavy technical ramp-up may warrant longer 30-60-90 day plans exceeding 5 pages. This allows going in-depth on goals across multiple business units or functions.
- Visuals and whitespace – Supplement your 3-5 pages of core content with visuals like charts outlining goals and timeframes. Whitespace also improves readability for longer plans.
- Concise writing – Regardless of length, use clear, direct language and avoid fluff. Extended length plans should enrich content rather than pad writing.
The ideal length balances thoroughness with brevity. Most professionals recommend 3-5 pages as the sweet spot. But focus first on mapping out the right content for your situation, then consolidate or expand as needed. The end goal is a focused, personalized plan with enough detail to successfully guide your onboarding period.
Sample 30-60-90 Day Plan Template
Objective of the Plan: [Describe the purpose of this plan – is it for a new role, a project, or another endeavor?]
First 30 Days: Orientation & Foundation
- Understand the Landscape:
- Schedule introductory meetings with key stakeholders and team members.
- Review any existing documentation, reports, or resources related to the role/project.
- Participate in training sessions or workshops as necessary.
- Identify Strengths & Opportunities:
- Conduct SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).
- Identify immediate areas of improvement and quick wins.
- Establish Communication:
- Determine preferred communication channels with team members and other departments.
- Attend regular team meetings and one-on-one sessions.
- Set Short-Term Goals:
- Develop a list of achievable goals for the first month.
- Collaborate with supervisors or team members for feedback.
Next 30 Days (Days 30-60): Strategy & Implementation
- Deepen Relationships & Networks:
- Foster relationships built during the first 30 days.
- Attend or initiate team-building activities or sessions.
- Develop & Implement Strategy:
- Based on findings from the first month, lay down a clear strategy or action plan.
- Begin to implement changes or improvements.
- Engage & Collaborate:
- Engage more deeply in collaborative projects or tasks.
- Seek feedback regularly to ensure alignment with team and organizational objectives.
- Monitor & Measure:
- Track progress against the goals set during the first 30 days.
- Utilize tools, software, or metrics relevant to the role or project.
Final 30 Days (Days 60-90): Optimization & Future Planning
- Refine & Optimize:
- Review the strategies implemented in the previous phase.
- Make necessary adjustments based on feedback and outcomes.
- Set Long-Term Goals:
- Establish goals for the next quarter or six months.
- Discuss these goals with supervisors, team members, or other stakeholders.
- Review & Present:
- Prepare a detailed report or presentation on the achievements and challenges faced in the last 90 days.
- Share insights, metrics, and feedback with relevant parties.
- Plan for Continuation:
- Establish a roadmap for the coming months.
- Identify potential challenges and develop strategies to mitigate them.
Potential Challenges & Solutions: [List out any anticipated challenges during each phase and potential solutions or strategies to address them.]
Resources & Tools Needed: [List out any tools, software, or resources you anticipate needing throughout the 90 days.]
Feedback & Adjustments: [Maintain a space for notes on feedback received during the 90 days and any adjustments made to the plan.]
Crafting a 30-60-90 day plan equips you with a structured roadmap for ramping up quickly in a new role. By setting clear goals and priorities for your first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job, you can drive focused effort toward the activities that matter most. While the format of 30-60-90 plans can vary, this article outlined best practices for including the essential components and following an effective development process.
To help you get started drafting your own 30-60-90 day plan, we’ve included links to download free customizable templates. These high-quality templates allow you to plug in your own objectives, milestones, and metrics for the 30-60-90 day structure. With a comprehensive plan guiding your onboarding period, you’ll be set up for a successful start in your new role.
How detailed should my plan be?
While it should be comprehensive, it’s essential to strike a balance. Overloading the plan with minutiae can make it unwieldy, but being too vague can make it ineffective. Aim for clarity and specificity in your objectives, ensuring they’re measurable and achievable.
Can the plan be modified once it’s started?
Absolutely! While the 30-60-90 day plan serves as a guide, real-world situations may require adjustments. It’s essential to remain flexible and adapt the plan as necessary based on feedback and changing circumstances.
Who should I share my 30-60-90 day plan with?
If created for a job interview, you might present it to your potential employer. Once in a role, it can be shared with a supervisor, mentor, or team members to gather feedback and ensure alignment with broader objectives. If it’s for a personal project, you might share it with stakeholders or those affected by the project’s outcomes.
Are there instances when a 30-60-90 day plan is not appropriate?
While useful in many situations, not all roles or projects will benefit from a structured 30-60-90 day plan, especially if the objectives and circumstances are highly unpredictable or fluid. It’s crucial to gauge the environment and determine if such a structured plan would add value.
What should I do after the 90 days are up?
After 90 days, review the entire plan, reflect on accomplishments, challenges faced, and any gaps. This reflection can then inform your future strategies, whether that’s creating a plan for the next quarter or adjusting your long-term objectives.
Do I need any specific tools or software to create or manage a 30-60-90 day plan?
While you can create a plan using basic tools like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, some people find value in using project management software, especially for more complex roles or projects. Tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com can help track tasks, deadlines, and collaboration.