Scaling The Ladder

Building a 100-day plan for management success

Why 100 days, you ask?

Completion of 100 days is a significant landmark in most jobs. The US President gets 100 days to prove himself. Most CEOs set out their vision and agenda within a span of 100 days. The time period 100 days is considered an important landmark for making things happen in most jobs.

We can use this benchmark constructively in many ways, specific examples are:

• Achieving a turnaround in a department or a functional area – A 100-day plan can be used to revitalise a low-performing department or functional area.

• Inducting a new manager – New managers need handholding, support and steps to immerse into a new system and a plan like this can help them to come up to speed.

• Getting traction on a new strategic initiative or project – A 100-day plan can be used to start off a strategic plan, for example, training needs analysis, goal setting, migration to a new system, evaluation of strategic accounts, getting into strategic alliances etc.

• Encouraging your team to complete a stretch goal – Such a plan can also be used to motivate your team to shoot for a stretch goal.

• Aim at increasing sales, getting more traffic, conversions or a product launch – One of the most effective uses of a 100-day plan is to aim at a very specific one-time goal, for example, a sales drive or getting more traffic to your website or a product launch.

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How to get started

Following steps can be used in making an effective 100-day plan:

Step 1: Visualise the end goal

Start by visualising what you would like to see at the end of 100 days. Imagine the scenario in detail, try to make the situation specific.

Step 2: Describe outcomes specifically, make them measurable

Start putting some numbers around the goals that you would like to see – for example, a 100% increase in sales or 5,000 views of the YouTube video or zero defects in the production of X component or give job offers to 50 candidates.

Step 3: Build a dashboard

The next step is to build a dashboard or a scorecard that will tell you whether you are winning or losing. Encourage your team to fill out the dashboard every day. This will help to see the progress made on a daily basis. A "burndown" chart which plots completion of goal against the specified time period can also show the progress.

Step 4: Break it down

Break the 100-day goal down into logical intervals, for example the completion at the end of 50 days, 25 days and 10 days.

Step 5: Put a review mechanism in place

Conduct biweekly or weekly reviews to measure progress. This will also help you to make mid-course corrections, if any. Make your whole team participate in reviews. Quick, focused meetings work best to see progress and to decide next steps.

Step 6: Get additional resources

Evaluate progress and if needed, ask for additional resources if you are not on course to achieve your goals by mid point. Also, revise the strategy or do some mid-course corrections to the plan.

Step 7: Celebrate

While keeping the tempo and momentum on for the end goal of getting to the 100-day goal, celebrate regularly. This will help the team to stay energetic and focused towards achieving the goal.


Implementing 100-day plans are great as they infuse new energy, bring tremendous focus and help the team to rally towards a common goal. Effective managers can use this tool to bring about great results. Follow the seven steps above, and you’ll be on the way to achieving your goals!

Sharad Verma is the global head of human resources for a financial technology organisation based in India. With over 20 years of human resource experience, his expertise lies within talent retention and development specifically geared toward middle management, and he blogs regularly on these topics. To contact him, email


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