How to Write a 30-60-90 Day Plan (+ Template)

Written by Coursera • Updated on

A 30-60-90 day plan can set you up for success in your new job. Find out how to write one for a smooth transition.

[Featured Image]: A woman with long dark hair wearing glasses and a blue shirt has a pen up to her chin and she is thinking about her 30-60-90 day plan.

A 30-60-90 day plan is a set of objectives for new employees to achieve in their first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job. The plan is meant to smooth the transition into a new role, give direction to what can be a confusing time, and allow the employee and managers to set expectations and monitor progress.

The specifics of how to format or what to include in a 30-60-90 day plan may depend on your workplace or team. Still, the fundamentals may be universal. Here’s a template and guide to get your plan started.

30-60-90 day plan template

A 30-60-90 day plan will have clear objectives for each 30-day increment and key details that flesh out and support those objectives.

Here’s a pared-down template for a 30-60-90 day plan that you can customize according to your needs.

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How to write a 30-60-90 day plan

The specific goals outlined in your 30-60-90 day plan can be as detailed or broad as you need them to be. Generally, you’ll want to include overall objectives and specific ways to measure your progress toward those objectives.

Each goal will be different, depending on your role and expectations. Check with your manager to see if there are specific templates or methods the organization uses to set out 30-60-90 day plans.

1. Clarify short- and long-term priorities.

Understanding what the role’s greater purpose is for the organization will help you define the short-term goals you should set. Make sure you have a good grasp on what’s expected of you in the role. This might be a good time to consult your manager—or if you’re a manager, key team members—to ensure your expectations are aligned.

2. Set an objective for each phase.

Once you have a good understanding of your role, you can lay out objectives for your 30-, 60-, and 90-day marks. Think about the steps it’ll take to set yourself on track to be successful in the role long-term. The first two phases might entail learning and aligning yourself with company goals. Aim for fluency in your role by the 90-day mark. A typical progression might look like the following:

  • 30-days: Learn as much as you can. Ask questions, learn tools, and get to know the people on your team and the organization’s objectives. 

  • 60-days: Align yourself with team and organization priorities. The second phase can also be considered a learning phase, but try to go deeper. Now that you have a more solid understanding of the basics of the organization, try to see how new ideas might get folded in. What are some pain points the organization or your team is facing? What else do you need to know to do your job better?

  • 90-days: Execute. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to your work. 

This is one example of how you might lay out your first 90 days on the job. Yours might look completely different—for example, you might relegate the entirety of your 90 days to continuously learn different parts of the job, if your role calls for it. 

3. Fill in key details.

Once you have your overarching objectives in place, determine several ways you’ll achieve each—anywhere from two to five, depending on your needs. 

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. (Some resources might use different adjectives, like “agreed-upon” or “reasonable.”) SMART goals clarify the actions you’ll take to set yourself up for success in achieving your objective and determine metrics for success so you know when you’ve accomplished them. For example, instead of setting a vague objective like “Increase website page views,” you might say: “Increase the number of website page views by 10 percent by the end of month.” You might then go on to determine actionable ways to achieve this, like “Publish three social media posts a week” or “Increase search engine results page ranking by five positions by including relevant keywords.”

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Watch the video below for more about SMART goals.

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Learn more about SMART Goals

How to write a 30-60-90 day plan for an interview

You may be asked to create a 30-60-90 day plan in an interview. This allows the recruiter to see what kinds of ideas you have for the role and how you would manage your first few months on the job. While it might seem hard to write a 30-60-90 day plan for a job you’re still interviewing for, keep in mind that the interviewer knows this and won’t expect you to have a perfect plan right away. 

1. Use what you know. Use the information you have on hand via the job description, and ask any relevant questions (for example, “What are the team’s immediate priorities?”).

2. Ask for some time to sketch out your ideas. Take a minute or so to organize your thoughts and think through what the main objectives of your 30-60-90 day plan would look like.

3. Fill in key details. Once you have your main objectives, try to come up with a few ways you would achieve them—use SMART goals if you can. If you don’t have a lot of information, these can be hypothetical. 

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview

Getting started

With a 30-60-90 day plan, you can ensure the first three months of your new job have clear direction. Start developing a 30-60-90 day plan for your next role with Assimilating into Your New Job, a free Guided Project that you can complete in less than an hour.

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