A handful of military leaders, notably in the United States Army, embrace a fairly standard five-paragraph memo to outline, strategize, and communicate unique action plans. I feel the following memo structure, identified by the acronym SMESC (or “Sergeant Major Eats Sugar Cookies”), will serve most civilian leaders well. I have every intention of practicing it into my business in the future:
- Situation: What is the problem?
- Mission: What is the principle task at hand and purpose behind it?
- Execution: What strategy are we going to use to accomplish the task?
- Support: What are the logistics? How many troops and resources will we need?
- Command: What other groups should be involved and how will they communicate?