Strategic Planning Process
All companies should have a business strategy, and most do. However, based on our experience, most strategic planning processes are treated as an annual event. The strategic planning process is typically very predictable; near the end of the third quarter, functional group leaders come together and develop a comprehensive short and long-term business strategic plan. As a final act, the strategic plan is presented and discussed with the executive group, the strategy is agreed upon, and the process ends.
This is the point where many companies fail in their strategic planning process. Once the plan is presented, many organizations place the strategic plan into a large binder, place it on the shelf and leave it there until the following year, serving only as a reference to the next strategic plan.
Successful companies don’t place their strategic plans on the shelf to collect dust. They transform them into working documents that are used as a roadmap to assure execution. The aspirational goals of the strategic plan are translated into an actionable management plan that is aligned to deliver the results outlined in the strategic plan, including:
- KPM’s (to be measured and improved on a regular basis)
- business and process alignment throughout the organization
- departmental goals and action steps (with deadlines to assure completion)
- individual goals action steps (with deadlines to assure completion)
- improvement priorities
- training needs with dates for completion
Develop a well thought out strategic plan and make it into a “living document.” Use it as the foundation for developing an ongoing management process designed to deliver results. Corporate Strategic Planning should not be just an annual event, it is a managed process that is developed, implemented, and adjusted on an ongoing basis