Strategies, no matter how well conceived, always require people to activate them. Doing this demands a foundation for strategic planning that inspires organizational commitment and results. We have a model that we have found particularly effective in helping organizations do this – click here for a white paper on this model. Our model has eight phases:
Phases of Strategic Planning
- Planning to plan:
This phase covers the who, what, why and how of the planning and decision-making process; it includes key stakeholders to frame up the planning process and set the stage for successful implementation.
This calls for understanding why the organization exists or should exist. It may incorporate designing a new mission statement or determining that the existing statement is still relevant.
Here we determine the three-five-year direction for the organization; this is the sweet spot because it focuses on strategy over operations, while still allowing flexibility for change.
- SWOT analysis:
Identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the vision previously established.
- Key focus areas:
Utilizing the SWOT analysis, we identify six key focus areas (KFAs), which will provide a backdrop to the concrete action plan to follow in the next phase.
- Measurable goals:
In order to reach each KFA, performance-specific objectives must be created in a quantifiable manner.
Strategies are the “how-to’s” associated with each goal, incorporating who, what, when, where, how, and why.
Plans are made sustainable through a broader organization engagement, along with visibility and accountability for each KFA as well as recognition and rewards for progress made.