How to Develop Your Strategic Plan & Other Strategic Planning Related Questions
Developing a strategic plan is a valuable process to have both a strategic planning document that guides the organization, as well as to ask important questions that will allow you to uncover different needs that exist in your organization.In this article, I'd like to share some approaches to help you develop your internal strategic planning framework, from beginning to end.
You can click this link if you want the individual steps in the strategic planning process, how to determine individual strategic priorities. We also have a strategic planning starter kit for video walk-throughs of each.
How to develop your strategic plan?
1. Gather inputs and assess your current strategy:
- How did you get to where you are now? What gaps exist, and what do your stakeholders think about your strategy.
- Include your team early on in the process!
2. Develop your vision, mission, values:
- Where do you want to go, how are you going to get there, and what behaviors do you want to reinforce with your people?
3. Decide on your strategic objectives and tactics on how to fulfill on your vision:
- What are the priority areas that are going to move the needle on your mission and vision?
- Which tactics and actions will help you to move towards your strategic priorities?
4. Create measurements for your objectives:
- How will you know when you are successful? How will you quantify it?
- Use an approach like the Balanced Scorecard
5. Roll out the strategy with your team and generate buy-in and alignment:
- Communicate with everyone in your organization so that they understand what the plan entails, as well as the reason behind it (the vision and mission)
- Cascade goals throughout departments and teams, and ask them how they see they can contribute to the plan.
- Keep two-way lines of communication open to help increase alignment and buy-in for the plan
6. Measure, manage and monitor:
- Now that you have created the strategy and rolled it out to your team, start tracking performance on activities and results. Is your plan on track, do you need to take more actions, do you need more involvement to support the execution. You can use software or simple project management frameworks like a Gantt chart.
7.Reassess and re-align with your vision, mission and values. (Back to Step 1)
- You've made progress on your plan, and the world around you has changed; How have these new developments affected your organization and how do they align with your long term vision. Reassess your strategy, and adapt as necessary.
How often should we update our strategic plan?
While there is no specific rule for updating your strategic plan, we recommend going through the complete strategic planning process every year and doing a strategy review at least every quarter. That way you stay current on changes that might affect your ability to be successful.
How long should the scope of my strategic plan be?
In the fast paced environment we recommend a 3-5 year time frame with annual work plans and quarterly strategy reviews
How do I engage my stakeholders to get their feedback?
You can do large meetings, one on one interviews, online surveys, or a combination that works for you. Taking important stakeholders for a meal or a less formal environment might help you get a more candid response.
What are the best strategic priorities?
There is no "one" best strategic priority. The best ones are the ones that you can accomplish, and will be the most successful in helping you achieve your vision and mission.
What does a good strategic plan look like?
See our blog for six strategic plan examples.
What are some frameworks that I can use to create my strategic plan?
Our favourite business strategy frameworks include: Blue Ocean Strategy, VIRO, VMOST and the business model canvas for creating long term value. Click the link to see Our Favorite Business Strategy Frameworks
I've never created a strategic plan before, where do I start?
We created the strategic planning starter kit to provide you with video walkthroughs and downloadable, fill in the blank templates to help you create your strategic plan with your team. Visit: www.smestrategy.net/strategic-planning-starter-kit for more information