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Strategic Planning

We provide a seven-step blueprint to install Strategic Planning as an integral part of the Management Process.
  1. 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.

    Someone 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.

  2. 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 personal goals.

  3. 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 strategic planning.

  4. 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 foreseeable future.

    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 total team.

  5. 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 tactical goals.

    Small teams are established to identify:
    •  The key tasks for each goal (including metrics, time, etc.)
    •  The manager(s) accountable for achieving the goal

    The results of this work is put in report form and given to all members of the Planning Team for review.

  6. 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.

  7. This 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 corrected.

    •  The process can then be improved and streamlined to fit the unique realities of the organization.

    •  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 organization.

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.

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