Strategic Planning

This is a disciplined effort. It's fundamental decisions and actions to shape and guide an organization. It defines what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, why it does it and focuses on the future.

Effective strategic planning articulates where an organization is going. The actions needed to make progress. Plus how it will know if it is successful. 

This is an organizational management activity used to set priorities. It focuses energy & resources. It highlights how to strengthen operations, ensure employees and stakeholders work toward common goals. Plus establishes agreement around intended outcomes/results.A simple place to start is your standard S.W.O.T analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. However, often overlooked is ALSO doing a S.W.O.T analysis of the CEO & Management Team.

The Problem

Sometimes Strategic Planning processes get complicated. People trying to sound smart or look good. Or they're just clueless of what true strategic planning is. 

Understanding Strategic Planning

Every business needs a strategic plan. Growing a business means making many decisions that will expand your operations. A strategic plan is a key component of planning for growth. It helps you prepare a realistic vision for the future of your business and maximize your potential.

Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set business goals and priorities, focus energy and resources, and strengthen operations. If you decide to grow a business, you must be prepared to embrace the risks that come with it. Taking the time to figure out where you want to take your business and how you will get there can help you reduce and manage those risks — and therein lies the purpose of strategic planning.

Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how to measure its success. It has three key elements:

How to create a strategic plan

There’s no set blueprint on how to structure a strategic plan. But it’s good practice to include the following elements:

  • Internal drivers analysis. This corresponds to strengths and weaknesses.
  • External drivers analysis. This should cover factors such as market structure, demand levels, and cost pressures, which correspond to opportunities and threats.

Where is your business now?

This involves an in depth understanding of your business. You must know how it operates, what drives its profitability, and how it fares against competitors. Be realistic and critical in reviewing how your business operates and separate it from its daily operations.

Where do you want to take your business?

Set your top level objectives. Work out your mission, vision, goals, values, and strategies. Find out where you see your business in five or ten years and what you want your competitive edge against competitors to be. This will be the foundation for the final plan and motivate change.

What do you need to do to get there?

Determine the changes that need to be made to deliver on your strategic objectives. How can you implement those changes? Assess your business as a whole.