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Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its current strategy (1-5 year direction) and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It also typically includes measurable goals (SMART Goals) and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to track the status of progress on executing your organization’s strategy. Often, a company’s strategic Plan is created annually at the beginning of each fiscal year to set the business strategy and goals for that year, and the goals and KPIs are often reported on and analyzed quarterly to help keep the plan on track.
Strategic planning became prominent in corporations during the 1960s and remains an important aspect of strategic management.
Strategic Planning vs. Business Planning: Think of the business plan as the “Who and What” part of a company’s planning, outlining who runs the company, what company’s purpose and core values are, who the competition is, what’s unique about the business, what the financial projections are.
The strategic plan, on the other hand, is the “How and When”, often focusing much more on the specific measurable goals and performance indicators that are important right now, and in the short run.
The Strategic Plan answers important questions such as:
• What’s important right now?
• How will you measure success (company Dashboard)?
• What metrics matter and how will you track them?
• How will the company adjust to changes in the industry?
• When will each activity take place, who will do it, and when do you need to
reach specific milestones?
• Who must you release/hire in order to execute your strategy?
• Which customers do you need to respectfully fire, and which new ones do you
need to pursue?
• Which products should you remove/add to your portfolio?
The strategic planning process can take several days (often in the form of an off-site retreat for the company’s leadership team), but it’s beneficial for everyone involved. As a business leader, you’ll have a much better idea of the current goals and objectives that need accomplished to grow the business, as well as the means to measure and track those goals and objectives.
The process should also involve your employees. For them, knowing the core aspects of the strategic plan can foster an increase in both job satisfaction and productivity. Having organizational clarity from top to bottom makes your employees feel more connected, informed and valued. Your employees are often more involved in the day-to-day operations and can provide you with a unique view of the company and issues that may be hard to spot from the captain’s wheel house. Employees can share with you what they think is and isn’t working with the business today, which can help better inform your planning for the future.
The experts at Work Wolves have vast experience helping company’s to develop an approach to Strategic Planning, as well as a document format to record, present and monitor the plan throughout it’s execution. We’ll work closely with your entire leadership team to get you started in the right direction, and to help you review your final plan for completeness and clarity. Let us help show you how effective strategic planning and strategic execution will help put you miles ahead of the competition who fail to do so. As they say, in business if your fail to plan, then plan to fail.