We provide a seven-step blueprint to install Strategic Planning as an integral part of the Management Process.
- A Planning Team is created to work with the CEO. Many
times it is simply the Senior Management Team or the direct
reports of the President/CEO. Sometimes the team is
custom-made to include other key managers of significant
functions. Having 8 to 12 members on the Planning Team
allows for a broad scope of thinking with experienced
manpower to do the subgroup work involved.
should be selected for the role of Coordinator. The work
will involve arranging meetings, consolidating flip chart
notes, preparing drafts and final team reports, etc.
- An overall assessment of the current state of the
organization is carried out. This saves a great deal of time
as it reduces the misunderstandings when members come from
different perspectives, different assumptions and different
Any existing statements on the
organization’s vision, mission and values should be
revisited and updated as necessary. If they do not exist,
then this strategic groundwork should be done by the team.
This provides a unified direction from which to begin
Based on the results of Step Three, 4
to 6 Critical Success Factors (CFRs) are identified by the
team. These are usually one-word terms such as Growth,
Profitability, Products or Quality. This step generates a
good deal of discussion within the team and the result is
important as it defines where the focus will be for the
Each CFR is then transformed into
a number (usually 4 to 6) of Strategic (long-range)
Objectives. This is done in sub-groups based upon subject
expertise. A Strategic Objective is a “what by when”. An
example would be “To have annual sales of $50 million from
new products by 20xx”. Given 5 CFRs and 5 Strategic
Objectives for each, a total of 25 long-range objectives
would be generated in the sub-groups and shared with the
Based on these Strategic Objectives,
short-term corporate goals are created by the sub-groups,
shared with the Planning Team and modified as necessary.
These goals are typically 12 to 18 months in duration. There
are usually 4 to 6 short-term goals for each of the
long-range objectives creating the potential of 100 or more
Small teams are established to
• The key tasks for
each goal (including metrics, time, etc.)
manager(s) accountable for achieving the goal
results of this work is put in report form and given to all
members of the Planning Team for review.
- This step begins the process of linking the strategic
objectives and the short-term corporate goals to individual
assignments. Based on the work done in the first five steps,
key accountabilities are delegated by the CEO to his/her
direct reports who, in turn, delegate portions of their
accountabilities to the next level down, and so on. In this
way, employees’ work output is directly aligned with the
strategic plan of the organization. This results in every
employee understanding their role in the overall
implementation of the organization’s Strategic Plan.
step involves the institutionalizing of the Strategic
Planning process. Strategic Planning is not an exercise that
is done once every five or ten years. It is an important
part of an ongoing Accountable Management System.
• At an appropriate time
(typically semi-annually), the Planning Team should review
what was accomplished and how it was accomplished. Delays,
omissions and incorrect assumptions should be identified and
• The process can then be improved
and streamlined to fit the unique realities of the
• The process becomes more
efficient and effective each time it is done.
Once the system is in place, there is no continuing need for
outside expertise as it becomes an internal method of
managing with clear accountabilities, at all levels of the
We also help senior management to understand the various elements involved in Strategy Implementation, the organization's capabilities now and what will be needed to reach their strategic objectives.
In addition, we help with Effective Strategic Management as a continuing process that responds to competitive markets and changing environments by assessing and adjusting the organization's direction, providing a way to focus the organization's energy and ensuring that members of the organization are working toward the same goals.
Copyright 2005 Mackenzie and Associates/i>