Ace The Basics of Strategic Planning

 

In the interest of strategic planning month, we’re taking you back to the basics of strategizing for your organisation. Every business has some form of plan or business plan, however, without being strategic, all of that planning is much less like pay off. 

 

So, let’s start with a definition of what we really mean by strategic planning; a clear understanding of what this is among management will help them to execute their strategy and to effectively communicate it throughout the organisation. 

 

Strategic planning is an organisational management tool which is used to streamline and enhance operations within the business; it will draw on analysis from both in and outside of the business and help to form a plan for improvement which gives the organisation direction and strategy while effectively achieving business goals. 

 

Aims.

Layout the overall aims for the business, these can then be segmented and broken down further if needed for a larger business with more departments. This is what your strategic plan is strategizing towards achieving. To plan for your business you need to have these at the forefront of all of your subsequent decisions. 

strategic planning

Strategize.

Together with your outlined aims and objectives, collate external market data to develop your strategic plan. This will include a SWOT analysis, competitor and customer analysis, financial analysis and market research. 

By drawing on all of the information gathered from the wholistic analysis of your organisation and market, you’ll be able to prioritise and identify any gaps which may be present in the current structure of your organisational performance. 

 

Cascade.

As you move closer to implementation, bring your ‘people’ into focus, they are an important aspect of your strategic planning. Ask yourself does every cog in your business machine know how they fit into the strategic plan and what their responsibilities are specifically?  Ideally, the plan will cascade through your organisation and engage all levels of the business, so preparing all departments for impending changes before they actualise would be shrewd. 

 

Following It Through.

Once all planning is in place, it’s time to go, low those plans through.  Goals outlined, strategy formed through analysis, and strategic planning shared throughout the organisation, it is now time to implement all of these steps, from first to last. Organisational change is a natural next step to the organisation to benefit from your strategic planning.  For the outcome of your strategic planning efforts to make a difference, the business may be required to function in a dramatically different way and you may need to incorporate space for organisational change to occur.