8 Step strategic planning process
The below 8 steps give you an overall view of the general actions that should be followed when putting together any strategic plan.
1. Getting prepared.
Decide on the team who will be involved in the planning process , gather all needed information ensuring all information is up to date and as accurate as possible which is very important to ensure sound decisions results from this whole process. Identify any specific issues that needs to be addressed.
2. Clarify the mission and vision statements.
Identify, clarify and reach consensus on the company's mission and vision statements , corporate values and culture, the main goal of why the company exists and create an image of what success looks like for your company.
3. Identify your current and future market position. (Perform a SWOT analysis)
Gather up-to-date information on internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats so you can develop an understanding of all critical issues. Use the SWOT tool to organize your information (see SWOT analysis article on a detailed description of this crucial strategic planning tool).
4. Agree on priorities.
As in any planning process, all priorities need to be set and agreed as well as broad strategies for handling critical issues and what outcomes are to be sought. It is important that you and your planning team agree on all major and key priorities.
5. Put the plan together.
In this step you should start putting all the bits and pieces of your plan together (in one document ) to facilitate implementation and constant review.
6. Distribute tasks and assign actions
Now that your plan has been placed together in one document, its time to start assigning specific tasks to each specific team, department or individual.
7. Roll-out the plan.
Now your plan needs to be communicated and circulated to everyone in your organization to ensure alignment. Now this is very important, to ensure that everyone is aligned and all the energy and efforts of each individual are on the same direction , successful companies make sure their strategic plan is not only communicated to department heads or the most obvious stakeholders but each and every person in the company needs to be aware and buy into the plan.
8. Hold everyone accountable.
The plan will not be effective without processes and metrics that ensures everyone is doing their part. The plan needs to be constantly monitored and performance needs to be measured through either monthly or quarterly strategy staff meetings. to hold people accountable and making sure that the plan activities are actually happening and corrective actions and adjustments can be taken to rectify, tweak and effectively manage performance in light of the strategic plan.
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