You just became a manager and are excited about the new opportunities (and salary bump) that await you.
But underneath the excitement is often an undercurrent of anxiety and uncertainty. Will you be able to manage your team well? What does the boss expect of you? How will you know if you're doing a good job in this new position?
For many, the answer is a 30-60-90 plan. It's a guide detailing the goals and tasks you'll accomplish over the first three months on the job.
Let's look at an example plan you can use and do a deep dive into this valuable tool for managers. That way, you can hit the ground running.
What Exactly is a 30-60-90-Day Plan for Directors and Managers?
A 30-60-90 plan for directors and managers is a roadmap of the goals and actions they'll focus on during their first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job.
The framework for the 30-60-90-day plan is the same whether you're a director, employee, or hold another role—only its content changes to reflect your position.
While a higher-up can create this plan, they'll likely ask new hires to do it as part of the onboarding process. They'll then review it and approve it. This avoids micromanaging and empowers managers to take charge of their position.
Download the 30-60-90-Day Plan Template
Here's a 30-60-90-day plan example that you can use as a template. Just click "Make a copy: to download your own.
The template includes the following:
Job title: _______________
The core belief that guides everything your company does. Make sure your plan helps further your company’s vision.
30 Days: Develop a Strong Foundation
This first month in your manager role is about getting as much information as possible about the new company and the people you work with. You also want to establish yourself as an effective leader.
Start date: ________
End date: _________
Main result: Integrate into the company and develop a rapport with the team.
- Become familiar with the company culture, people in it, and products or services sold
- Get to know the new team and their strengths
- Build relationships with key stakeholders
- Understand the managerial role as part of the company's bigger objectives
- Understand the details and nuances of the position
- Schedule one-on-one meetings with every direct report
- Create a reference file with every direct report's position, strengths, and job responsibilities
- Introduce yourself to key stakeholders
- Read through company material on products and services
60 Days: Lay the Groundwork
The second month is when you'll dive deeper into the company, departments, and your team. You'll gain a deep understanding of how things are done before working on improving the processes.
Start date: ________
End date: _________
Main result: Implement and improve on existing processes and systems
- Understand the company's current best practices and procedures in your department
- Explore current challenges in your department
- Improve on existing procedures
- Create a shared document of current processes for key activities and share it with the team to make it easy for them to be contributors
- Review and update the shared document with ideas on improving best practices and procedures
- Create a plan with solutions to one or more problems the department faces
90 Days: Lift Off
In the third month, you take everything you've learned and all the procedures you and your team honed and put it to the test with a small project.
Start date: ________
End date: _________
Main result: Successfully deliver on project objectives
- Create a manageable plan to succeed on a project
- Learn to collaborate as a team
- Hold a meeting for project kickoff
- Create a roadmap with milestones for the project
- Delegate work to each team member
- Re-evaluate procedures and processes
What Are the Key Elements of a 30-60-90 Plan?
A 30-60-90 plan should include the goals and tasks you want to accomplish every 30 days. Below is a closer look at our plan to help you customize yours.
Your company's mission statement is the core belief that guides everything they do, so it should also be the guiding voice in all your actions. Having the statement in full at the top makes it easy to check that your plan fits within your business's vision.
Start and End Dates for Each Period
You likely won't start your new role on the first of the month. Marking when each 30-day period begins and closes makes it easier to track your progress as you move toward the finish line.
This is the big-picture objective you want to accomplish within 30 days. You'll break it down further when listing your goals, but this should be a one-sentence summary of what you want to achieve.
Your first 90 days at the new job are about developing the foundation you need to be successful in the coming months and years. It's not a time for lofty objectives and aggressive targets. Instead, set goals that'll help you reach your main result.
If you want to break down the goals section further, you can categorize them as personal, learning, and performance goals. Here's more about them:
- Personal goals help you grow your social-emotional and practical skills, like learning to give and take feedback well or doing better with time management.
- Learning goals relate to deepening your knowledge about the industry or company, like reviewing code books or other resources in your industry. It could also be learning new skills, such as software that your team uses.
- Performance goals are the results you want to reach, such as reducing the time it takes to set up new jobs in AutoCAD by 25%.
What you want to accomplish during each 30-day set should be clearer than glass. That way, you and your hiring manager can confirm if you're on target and if adjustments need to be made. Use the SMART goal framework (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) to create tasks and metrics that can be checked off.
3 Tips for Making a 30-60-90-Day Plan for Managers
1. Ask Your Supervisor for Guidance
Just because you're making the plan doesn't mean you have to think of everything yourself. Don't be afraid to reach out to your manager about priorities, challenges and initiatives they'd like your help with, and the things to know about the company culture and existing systems.
Once you're done with your plan, your supervisor will likely want to take a look and approve it. Ask for feedback and edit your 30-60-90-day plan accordingly.
2. Use Your 30-60-90-Day Plan as a Guide, Not a Rule Book
As you learn the ropes of the new job, get to know people, and familiarize yourself with the company, you may have to tweak your plan to account for the new information you learn. That's okay and is to be expected.
3. Keep the Language Simple
You want your 30-60-90 plan to be straightforward and practical. While you may have made good use of a thesaurus to bolster your accomplishments on your resume, you don't need to do that for your plan.
That way, you can quickly and easily understand it. So, just focus on concretely showing what you plan to accomplish during the next three months.
How To Use a 30-60-90-Day Plan for Managers in an Interview
You can write a 30-60-90 plan after you get the job, but did you know you can wow potential employers by creating one beforehand?
Having one ready to go during the interview process speaks volumes about your interest in working with the company. It also shows you understand the role and take it seriously.
You can use the template above for your plan and customize it for the position. While you won't be able to ask your supervisor for guidance, you can use the job ad as your reference to create your goals and tasks.
For example, as a construction project manager, your job description might ask that you interact with architects, inspectors, engineers, clients, and other personnel.
So, one of your goals in the first 30 days could be to meet the people outside the company you'll be working with, and one of your tasks could be to call and introduce yourself to them.
Set Yourself up for Success With a 30-60-90 Plan
A 30-60-90-day plan removes the ambiguity from what you're expected to accomplish in the first 90 days as a new manager. They clarify your highest priorities and provide a clear action plan to get you working up to company standards.
If you're hunting for a job or looking for a promotion, you can even create a 30-60-90 plan to impress interviewers. It may take some time, but it'll pay off on your path to becoming a successful manager.