7-step effective strategic planning process

This TQM article provides an insight into a typical Strategic Planning Process that was used in various organizations and proved to be very practical in implementation. The key processes of this typical Strategic Planning Process are aligned in 7 steps. The details of each step are illustrated below: –

Step 1: review or develop the vision and mission

Able to obtain first-hand information from various stakeholders (Shareholders, customers, employees, supplier communities, etc.).

You can use templates to assess how stakeholders think about your organization. To find out if their performance is aligned with the organization’s objectives.

Review or develop the Vision and Mission of the company with the participation of other stakeholders to ensure that it is still up to date with business changes and new challenges. Also use this session as a means of communication.

Step 2: business and operational analysis (SWOT analysis, etc.)

One of the key considerations of strategic planning is understanding internal (organization’s own) strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats and opportunities. These are commonly known as the four factors of a SWOT analysis.

Engaging multiple stakeholders to provide their views on your organization is key. In the process, you will gain greater buy-in from these policy and strategy implementers.

Step 3: develop and select strategic options

You can use templates to develop several possible key strategies to address your organization’s goals. More importantly, these possible strategies are developed based on stakeholder input (step 1) and business and operations analysis (step 2).

Often several possible strategies are developed and each one seems important. Since it is quite normal for an organization to have several key issues to address, you will be able to use the appropriate tools to select some of the possible strategies. You will be able to apply various prioritization tools as presented in this step.

Step 4 – Establish Strategic Goals

During this step, you will be able to see the big picture of the organization and you will be able to select some strategic options objectively. The template can be used to understand various strategic options, establish key measures, and a comprehensive timeline to ensure that selected strategic options are achieved.

While it is quite common for top management to provide the measures and the schedule, the intent of this step 4 is to make these measures and the schedule SMART. What it meant was Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Realistic (R) and Limited in time (T). When the strategic options are SMART, it will help facilitate communication down the organizational hierarchy for implementation.

Step 5 – Strategy execution plan

Many organizations failed to realize the full potential of their strategies due to poor implementation. In this Step 5, a suitable implementation plan is developed to implement these strategies.

Step 6: set resource allocation

Very often, the management team assigned selected strategies to key personnel and let the person do the job. While most organizations operate with minimal resources, they often end up overloaded with individual work.

Step 7: execution review

One of the key success factors in deploying an effective strategy is constantly reviewing your progress and making decisions about any deviations from the plan. It is vital to decide what to review and with whom to do the review. A new decision may be required as the status of the strategies progresses.

In summaryFollowing these 7 steps in Strategic Planning will ensure that various options are considered, including your execution, resource allocation, and the Execution Review. These 7 steps form a complete cycle for new or existing strategic planning initiatives.

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