How To Write A Strategic Plan That Gets Results + Examples
Are you feeling overwhelmed with the thought of writing a strategic plan for your business? Do you want to create a plan that will help you move your team forward with inspired alignment and disciplined execution? You're not alone.
Gone are the days of rigid, 5- or 10-year planning cycles that do not leave room for flexibility and innovation. To stay ahead of the curve, you need a dynamic and execution-ready strategic plan that can guide your business through the ever-evolving landscape.
At Cascade, we understand that writing a strategic plan can be dreadful, especially in today's unpredictable environment. That's why we've developed a simple model that can help you create a clear, actionable plan to achieve your organization's goals. With our tested and proven strategic planning template , you can write a strategic plan that is both adaptable and effective .
Whether you're a seasoned strategy professional or a fresh strategy planner, this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step on how to write a strategic plan. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive, easy-to-follow strategic plan that will help you align your organization on the path to success.
Follow this guide step-by-step or skip to the part you’re most interested in:
- Pre-Planning Phase: Build The Foundation
Cascade Model For Strategic Planning: What You Need To Know
- Key Elements of a Strategic Plan
How To Write A Strategic Plan In 6 Simple Steps
3 strategic plan examples to get you started, how to achieve organizational alignment with your strategic plan.
- Quick Overview of Key Steps In Writing A Strategic Plan
Create An Execution-Ready Strategic Plan With Cascade 🚀
*Editor’s note: This article is part of our ‘How to create a Strategy’ collection. At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to each piece within this collection so you can dig deeper into each element of an effective strategic plan and more related resources to master strategy execution.
Pre-Planning Phase: Build The Foundation
Before we dive into writing a strategic plan, it's essential to know the basics you should cover before the planning phase. The pre-planning phase is where you'll begin to gather the data and strategic insights necessary to create an effective strategic plan.
1. Run a strategic planning workshop
The first step is to run a strategic planning workshop with your team. Get your team in the room, get their data, and gather their insights. By running this workshop, you'll foster collaboration and bring fresh perspectives to the table. And that’s not all.
The process of co-creating and collaborating to put that plan together with stakeholders is one of the most critical factors in strategy execution . According to McKinsey’s research , initiatives in which employees contribute to development are 3.4 times more likely to be successful. They feel like the plan is a result of their efforts, and they feel ownership of it, so they're more likely to execute it.
💡 Tip: Use strategy frameworks to structure your strategy development sessions, such as GAP analysis , SWOT analysis , Porter’s Five Forces , Ansoff matrix , McKinsey 7S model , or GE matrix . You can even apply the risk matrix that will help you align and decide on key strategic priorities.
2. Choose your strategic planning model
Before creating your strategic plan, you need to decide which structure you will use. There are hundreds of ways to structure a strategic plan. You’ve likely heard of famous strategic models such as OKRs and the Balanced Scorecard .
But beyond the well-known ones, there's also a myriad of other strategic planning models ranging from the extremely simple to the absurdly complex.
Many strategic models work reasonably well on paper, but in reality, they don't show you how to write a strategic plan that fits your organization's needs.
Here are some common weaknesses most popular strategic models have:
- They're too complicated. People get lost in terminology rather than focus on execution.
- They don’t scale. They work well for small organizations but fail when you try to extend them across multiple teams.
- They're too rigid. They force people to add layers for the sake of adding layers.
- They're neither tangible nor measurable. They’re great at stating outcomes but lousy at helping you measure success.
- They're not adaptable. As we saw in the last years, the business environment can change quickly. Your model needs to be able to work in your current situation and adapt to changing economic landscapes.
Our goal in this article is to give you a simpler, more effective way to write a strategic plan. This is a tested and proven strategic planning model that has been refined over years of working with +20,000 teams around the world. We call it the Cascade Strategy Model.
This approach has proven to be more effective than any other model we have tried when it comes to executing and implementing the strategy .
It’s easy to use and it works for small businesses, fast-growing startups, as well as multinationals trying to figure out how to write a fail-proof strategic plan.
We’ve created a simple diagram below to illustrate what a strategic plan following the Cascade Model will look like when it's completed:
Rather than a traditional roadmap , imagine your strategy as a flowchart. Each row is a mandatory step before moving on to the next.
We call our platform Cascade for a reason: strategy must cascade throughout an organization along with values, focus areas, and objectives.
Above all, the Cascade Model is intended to be execution-ready —in other words, it has been proven to deliver success far beyond strategic planning. It adds to a successful strategic management process.Key elements of a Strategic Plan
Key Elements Of A Strategic Plan
The key elements of a strategic plan include:
- Vision : Where do you want to get to?
- Values : How will you behave on the journey?
- Focus Areas : What are going to be your strategic priorities?
- Strategic objectives : What do you want to achieve?
- Actions and projects : How are you going to achieve the objectives?
- KPIs : How will you measure success?
In this part of the article, we will give you an overview of each element within the Cascade Model. You can follow this step-by-step process in a spreadsheet , or sign up to get instant access to a free Cascade strategic planning template and follow along as we cover the key elements of an effective strategic plan.
Your vision statement is your organization's anchor - it defines where you want to get to and is the executive summary of your organization's purpose. Without it, your strategic plan is like a boat without a rudder, at the mercy of strong winds and currents like Covid and global supply chain disruptions.
A good vision statement can help funnel your strategy towards long-term goals that matter the most to your organization, and everything you write in your plan from this point on will help you get closer to achieving your vision.
Trying to do too much at once is a surefire way to sink your strategic plan. By creating a clear and inspiring vision statement , you can avoid this trap and provide guidance and inspiration for your team. A great vision statement might even help attract talent and investment into your organization.
For example, a bike manufacturing company might have a vision statement like, “To be the premier bike manufacturer in the Pacific Northwest.” This statement clearly articulates the organization's goals and is a powerful motivator for the team.
In short, don't start your strategic plan without a clear vision statement. It will keep your organization focused and help you navigate toward success.
📚 Recommended read: How to Write a Vision Statement (With Examples, Tips, and Formulas)
Values are the enablers of your vision statement —they represent how your organization will behave as you work towards your strategic goals. Unfortunately, many companies throw around meaningless words just for the purpose of PR, leading to a loss of credibility.
To avoid this, make sure to integrate your organization’s core values into everyday operations and interactions. In today's highly-competitive world, it's crucial to remain steadfast in your values and cultivate an organizational culture that's transparent and trustworthy.
Companies with the best company cultures consistently outperform competitors and their average market by up to 115.6%, as reported by Glassdoor .
For example, a bike manufacturing company might have core values like:
These values reflect the organization's desire to become the leading bike manufacturer, while still being accountable to employees, customers, and shareholders.
👉 Here’s how to add vision and values to your strategic plan in Cascade:
After you sign up and invite your team members to collaborate on the plan, navigate to Plans and Teams > Teams page, and add the vision, mission and values. This will help you to ensure that the company’s vision, mission statement, and values are always at top of mind for everyone.
📚When you're ready to start creating some company values, check out our guide, How To Create Company Values .
3. Focus Areas
Your focus areas are the strategic priorities that will keep your team on track and working toward the company’s mission and vision. They represent the high-level areas that you need to focus on to achieve desired business outcomes.
In fact, companies with clearly defined priorities are more likely to achieve their objectives. According to a case study by the Harvard Business Review , teams that focus on a small number of key initiatives are more likely to succeed than those that try to do too much.
That’s also something that we usually recommend to our customers when they set up their strategic plan in Cascade. Rather than spreading your resources too thin over multiple focus areas, prioritize three to five.
Following our manufacturing example above, some good focus areas include:
- Aggressive growth
- Producing the nation's best bikes
- Becoming a modern manufacturer
- Becoming a top place to work
Your focus areas should be tighter in scope than your vision statement, but broader than specific goals, time frames, or metrics.
By defining your focus areas, you'll give your teams a guardrail to work within, which can help inspire innovation and creative problem-solving.
With a clear set of focus areas, your team will be better able to prioritize their work and stay focused on the most important things, which will ultimately lead to better business results.
👉Here’s how you can set focus areas in Cascade:
In Cascade, you can add focus areas while creating or importing an existing strategic plan from a spreadsheet. With Cascade’s Focus Area deep-dive functionality , you will be able to:
- Review the health of your focus areas in one place.
- Get a breakdown by plans, budgets, resources, and people behind each strategic priority.
- See something at-risk? Drill down into each piece of work regardless of how many plans it's a part of.
📚 Recommended read: Strategic Focus Areas: How to create them + Examples
4. Strategic Objectives
The importance of setting clear and specific objectives for your strategic plan cannot be overstated.
Strategic objectives are the specific and measurable outcomes you want to achieve . While they should align with your focus areas, they should be more detailed and have a clear deadline.
According to the 2022 State of High Performing Teams report , there is a strong correlation between goals and success not only at the individual and team level but also at the organizational level. Here’s what they found:
- Employees who are unaware of their company's goals are over three times more likely to work at a company that is experiencing a decline in revenue than employees who are aware of the goals.
- Companies with shrinking revenues are almost twice as likely to have employees with unclear work expectations.
Jumping straight into actions without defining clear objectives is a common mistake that can lead to missed opportunities or misalignment between strategy and execution.
To avoid this pitfall, we recommend you add between three and six objectives to each focus area .
It's here that we need to start being a bit more specific for the first time in your strategic planning process . Let's take a look at an example of a well-written strategic objective:
- Continue top-line growth that outpaces the industry by 31st Dec 2023.
This is too specific to be a focus area. While it's still very high level, it indicates what the company wants to accomplish and includes a clear deadline. Both these aspects are critical to a good strategic objective.
Your strategic objectives are the heart and soul of your plan, and you need to ensure they are well-crafted. So, take the time to create well-planned objectives that will help you achieve your vision and lead your organization to success.
👉Here’s how you can set objectives in Cascade:
Adding objectives in Cascade is intuitive, straightforward, and accessible from almost anywhere in the workspace. With one click, you’ll open the objective sidebar and fill out the details. These can include a timeline, the objective’s owner, collaborators, and how your objective will be measured (success criteria).
📚 Recommended read: What are Strategic Objectives? How to write them + Examples
5. Actions and projects
Once you’ve defined your strategic objectives, the next step is to identify the specific strategic initiatives or projects that will help you achieve those objectives . They are short-term goals or actionable steps you or your team members will take to accomplish objectives. They should leverage the company’s resources and core competencies.
Effective projects and actions in your strategic plan should:
- Be extremely specific.
- Contain a deadline.
- Have an owner.
- Align with at least one of your strategic objectives.
- Provide clarity on how you or your team will achieve the strategic objective.
Let's take a look at an example of a well-written project continuing with our bike manufacturing company using the strategic objective from above:
Strategic objective: Continue top-line growth that outpaces the industry by 31st Dec 2023.
Project: Expand into the fixed gear market by 31st December 2023.
This is more specific than the objective it links to, and it details what you will do to achieve the objective.
Another common problem area for strategic plans is that they never quite get down to the detail of what you're going to do.
It's easier to state "we need to grow our business," but without concrete projects and initiatives, those plans will sit forever within their PowerPoint templates, never to see the light of day after their initial creation.
Actions and projects are where the rubber meets the road. They connect the organizational strategic goals with the actual capabilities of your people and the resources at their disposal. Defining projects is a vital reality check every strategic plan needs.
👉Here’s how you create actions and projects in Cascade:
From the Objective sidebar, you can choose to add a project or action under your chosen objective. In the following steps, you can assign an owner and timeline to each action or project.
Plus, in Cascade, you can track the progress of each project or action in four different ways. You can do it manually, via milestones, checklists, or automatically by integrating with Jira and 1000+ other available integrations .
📚 Recommended read: How to create effective projects
Measuring progress towards strategic objectives is essential to effective strategic control and business success. That's where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in. KPIs are measurable values that track progress toward achieving key business objectives . They keep you on track and help you stay focused on the goals you set for your organization.
To get the most out of your KPIs, make sure you link them to a specific goal or objective. In this way, you'll avoid creating KPIs that don't contribute to your objectives and distract you from focusing on what matters.
Ideally, you will add both leading and lagging KPIs to each objective so you can get a more balanced view of how well you're progressing. Leading KPIs can indicate future performance while lagging KPIs show how well you’ve done in the past. Both types of KPIs are critical for operational planning and keeping your business on track.
Think of KPIs as a form of signpost in your organization. They provide critical insights that inform business leaders of their organization’s progress toward key business objectives. Plus, they can help you identify opportunities faster and capitalize on flexibility.
👉Here’s how you can set and track KPIs in Cascade:
In Cascade , you can add measures while creating your objectives or add them afterward. Open the Objective sidebar and add your chosen measure.
When you create your Measure, you can choose how to track it. Using Cascade, you can track it manually or automatically. You can automate tracking via 1000+ integrations , including Excel spreadsheets and Google Sheets. In this way, you can save time and ensure that your team has up-to-date information for faster and more confident decision-making.
📚 Recommended reads:
- 10 Popular KPI Software Tools To Connect & Visualize Your Data (2023 Guide)
- How To Track KPIs To Hit Your Business Goals
Corporate Strategic Plan
Following the steps outlined above, you should end up with a strategic plan that looks something like this:
This is a preview of a corporate strategic plan template that is pre-filled with examples. Here you can use the template for free and begin filling it out to align with your organization's needs. Plus, it’s suitable for organizations of all sizes and any industry.
Once you fill in the template, you can also switch to the timeline view. You’ll get a complete overview of how the different parts of your plan are distributed across the roadmap in a Gantt chart view.
This template will help you create a structured approach to the strategic planning process, focus on key strategic priorities, and drive accountability to achieve necessary business outcomes.
👉 Get your free corporate strategic plan template here.
Coca-Cola Strategic Plan
Need a bit of extra inspiration to start writing your organization’s strategic plan? Check out this strategic plan example, inspired by Coca-Cola’s business plan:
This template is pre-filled with Coca-Cola’s examples so you can inspire your strategic success on one of the most iconic brands on the planet.
👉 Grab your free example of a Coca-Cola strategic plan here.
The Ramsay Health Care expansion strategy
Ramsay Health Care is a multinational healthcare provider with a strong presence in Australia, Europe, and Asia.
Almost all of its growth was organic and strategic. The company founded its headquarters in Sydney, Australia, but in the 21st century, it decided to expand globally through a primary strategy of making brownfield investments and acquisitions in key locations.
Ramsay's strategy was simple yet clever. By becoming a majority shareholder of the biggest local players, the company expanded organically in each region by leveraging and expanding their expertise.
Over the last two decades, Ramsay's global network has grown to 460 locations across 10 countries with over $13 billion in annual revenue.
📚 Recommended read: Strategy study: The Ramsay Health Care Growth Study
✨ Bonus resource: We've created a list of the most popular and free strategic plan templates in our library that will help you build a strategic plan based on the Cascade model explained in this article. You can use these templates to create a plan on a corporate, business unit, or team level.
We highlighted before that other strategic models often fail to scale strategic plans and goals scales across multiple teams and organizational levels.
In an ideal world, you want to have a maximum of two layers of detail underneath each of your focus areas. This means you'll have a focus area, followed by a layer of objectives. Underneath the objectives, you'll have a layer of actions, projects, and KPIs.
If you have a single team that’s responsible for the strategy execution, this works well. However, how do you implement a strategy across multiple and cross-functional teams? And why is it important?
According to LSA research of 410 companies across 8 industries, highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable. And this is what Cascade can help you achieve.
To achieve achieve organization-wide alignment with your strategic plan and impact the bottom line, there are two ways to approach it in Casade: through contributing objectives or shared objectives .
1. Contributing objectives
This approach involves adding contributing objectives that link to your main strategic objectives, like this:
For each contributing objective, you simply repeat the Objective → Action/Project → KPI structure as follows:
Here's how you can create contributing objectives in Cascade:
Option A: Create contributing objectives within the same plan
This means creating multiple contributing objectives within the same strategic plan that contribute to the main objective.
However, be aware that if you have a lot of layers, your strategic plan can become cluttered, and people might have difficulty understanding how their daily efforts contribute to the strategic plan at the top level.
For example, the people responsible for managing contributing objectives at the bottom of the plan ( functional / operational level ) will lose visibility on how are their objectives linked to the main focus areas and objectives (at a corporate / business level ).
This approach is best suited to smaller organizations that only need to add a few layers of objectives to their plan.
Option B: Create contributing objectives from multiple plans linking to the main objective
This approach creates a network of aligned strategic plans within your organization. Each plan contains a set of focus areas and one single layer of objectives, each with its own set of projects, actions, and KPIs. This concept looks like this:
This example illustrates an objective that is a main objective in the IT strategic plan , but also contributes to the main strategic plan's objective.
For example, let’s say that your main business objective is to improve customer satisfaction by reducing product delivery time by 25% in the next quarter. This objective requires multiple operational teams within your organization to work together to achieve a shared objective.
Each team will create its own objective in its plan to contribute to the main objective:
- Logistics team: Reduce the shipment preparation time by 30%
- IT team: Implement new technology to reduce manual handling in the warehouse
- Production team: Increase production output by hour for 5%
Here’s how this example would look like within Cascade platform:
Although each contributing objective was originally created in its own plan, you can see how each contributing objective relates to the main strategic objective and its status in real-time.
2. Shared objectives
In Cascade, shared objectives are the same objectives shared across different strategic plans.
For example, you can have an objective that is “Achieve sustainable operations”. This objective can be part of the Corporate Strategy Plan, but also part of the Operations Plan , Supply Chain Plan , Production Plan, etc. In short, this objective becomes a shared objective between multiple teams and strategic plan.
This approach helps you to:
- Cascade your business strategy as deep as you want across a near-infinite number of people while maintaining strategic alignment throughout your organization .
- Create transparency and a much higher level of engagement in the strategy throughout your organization since objective owners are able to identify how their shared efforts contribute to the success of the main business objectives.
The more shared objectives you have across your organization, the more your teams will be aligned with the overarching business strategy. This is what we call " alignment health ”.
Here’s how you can see the shared objectives in the alignment map and analyze alignment health within Cascade:
You get a snapshot of how is your corporate strategic plan aligned with sub-plans from different business units or departments and the status of shared objectives. This helps you quickly identify misaligned initiatives and act before it’s too late. Plus, cross-functional teams have better visibility of how their efforts contribute to shared objectives.
So whether you choose contributing objectives or shared objectives, Cascade has the tools and features to help you achieve organization-wide alignment and boost your bottom line.
Quick Overview Of Key Steps In Writing A Strategic Plan
Here’s a quick infographic to help you remember how everything connects and why each element is critical to creating an effective strategic plan:
This simple answer to how to write a strategic plan avoids confusing jargon and has elements that the whole organization can both get behind and understand.
💡Tip: Save this image or bookmark this article for your next strategic planning session.
If you're struggling to write an execution-ready strategic plan, the Cascade model is the solution you've been looking for. With its clear, easy-to-understand terminology, and simple linkages between objectives, projects, and KPIs, you can create a plan that's both scalable and flexible.
But why is a flexible and execution-ready strategic plan so important? It's simple: without a clear and actionable plan, you'll never be able to achieve your business objectives. By using the Cascade Strategic Planning Model, you'll be able to create a plan that's both tangible and measurable, with KPIs that help you track progress towards your goals.
However, the real value of the Cascade framework lies in its flexibility . By creating links between main business objectives and your teams’ objectives, you can easily scale your plan without losing focus. Plus, the model's structure of linked layers means that you can always adjust your strategy in response to new challenges or opportunities and keep everyone on the same page.
So if you want to achieve results with your strategic plan, start using Cascade today. With its unique combination of flexibility and focus, it's the perfect tool for any organization looking to master strategy execution and succeed in today's fast-paced business world.
Want to see Cascade in action? Get started for free or book a 1:1 demo with Cascade’s in-house strategy expert.
This article is part one of our mini-series "How to Write a Strategic Plan". This first article will give you a solid strategy model for your plan and get the strategic thinking going.
Think of it as the foundation for your new strategy. Subsequent parts of the series will show you how to create the content for your strategic plan.
Articles in our How to Write a Strategic Plan series
- How To Write A Strategic Plan: The Cascade Model (This article)
- How to Write a Good Vision Statement
- How To Create Company Values
- Creating Strategic Focus Areas
- How To Write Strategic Objective
- How To Create Effective Projects
- How To Write KPIs + Ultimate Guide To Strategic Planning
More resources on strategic planning and strategy execution:
- 6 Steps to Successful Strategy Execution
- 4-Step Strategy Reporting Process (With Template)
- Annual Planning: Plan Like a Pro In 5 Steps (+ Template)
- 18 Free Strategic Plan Templates (Excel & Cascade) 2023
- The Right Way To Set Team Goals
- 23 Best Strategy Tools For Your Organization in 2023
Strategic Planning Vs Operational Planning: What’s The Difference?
Strategy Review: How To Run It & What To Include
The 4 Levels Of Strategy: The Difference & How To Apply Them
Risk Mitigation Strategies: Types & Examples (+ Free Template)
Your toolkit for strategy success.
- Business strategy |
- What is strategic planning? 5 steps and ...
What is strategic planning? 5 steps and processes
A strategic plan helps you define and share the direction your company will take in the next three to five years. It includes your company’s vision and mission statements, goals, and the actions you’ll take to achieve those goals. In this article we describe how a strategic plan compares to other project and business tools, plus four steps to create a successful strategic plan for your company.
Strategic planning is when business leaders map out their vision for the organization’s growth and how they’re going to get there. Strategic plans inform your organization’s decisions, growth, and goals. So if you work for a small company or startup, you could likely benefit from creating a strategic plan. When you have a clear sense of where your organization is going, you’re able to ensure your teams are working on projects that make the most impact.
The strategic planning process doesn’t just help you identify where you need to go—during the process, you’ll also create a document you can share with employees and stakeholders so they stay informed. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to get started developing a strategic plan.
What is a strategic plan?
A strategic plan is a tool to define your organization’s goals and what actions you will take to achieve them. Typically, a strategic plan will include your company’s vision and mission statements, your long-term goals (as well as short-term, yearly objectives), and an action plan of the steps you’re going to take to move in the right direction.
Your strategic plan document should include:
Your company’s mission statement
Your company’s goals
A plan of action to achieve those goals
Your approach to achieving your goals
The tactics you’ll use to meet your goals
An effective strategic plan can give your organization clarity and focus. This level of clarity isn’t always a given—according to our research, only 16% of knowledge workers say their company is effective at setting and communicating company goals. By investing time into strategy formulation, you can build out a three- to five-year vision for the future of your company. This strategy will then inform your yearly and quarterly company goals.
Do I need a strategic plan?
A strategic plan is one of many tools you can use to plan and hit your goals. It helps map out strategic objectives and growth metrics. Here’s how a strategic plan compares to other project management and business tools.
Strategic plan vs. business plan
A business plan can help you document your strategy as you’re getting started so every team member is on the same page about your core business priorities and goals. This tool can help you document and share your strategy with key investors or stakeholders as you get your business up and running.
You should create a business plan when you’re:
Just starting your business
Significantly restructuring your business
If your business is already established, consider creating a strategic plan instead of a business plan. Even if you’re working at a relatively young company, your strategic plan can build on your business plan to help you move in the right direction. During the strategic planning process, you’ll draw from a lot of the fundamental business elements you built early on to establish your strategy for the next three to five years.
Key takeaway: A business plan works for new businesses or large organizational overhauls. Strategic plans are better for established businesses.
Strategic plan vs. mission and vision statements
Your strategic plan, mission statement, and vision statements are all closely connected. In fact, during the strategic planning process, you will take inspiration from your mission and vision statements in order to build out your strategic plan.
As a result, you should already have your mission and vision statements drafted before you create a strategic plan. Ideally, this is something you created during the business planning phase or shortly after your company started. If you don’t have a mission or vision statement, take some time to create those now. A mission statement states your company’s purpose and it addresses what problem your organization is trying to solve. A vision statement states, in very broad strokes, how you’re going to get there.
A mission statement summarizes your company’s purpose
A vision statement broadly explains how you’ll reach your company’s purpose
A strategic plan should include your mission and vision statements, but it should also be more specific than that. Your mission and vision statements could, theoretically, remain the same throughout your company’s entire lifespan. A strategic plan pulls in inspiration from your mission and vision statements and outlines what actions you’re going to take to move in the right direction.
For example, if your company produces pet safety equipment, here’s how your mission statement, vision statement, and strategic plan might shake out:
Mission statement: “To ensure the safety of the world’s animals.”
Vision statement: “To create pet safety and tracking products that are effortless to use.”
Your strategic plan would outline the steps you’re going to take in the next few years to bring your company closer to your mission and vision. For example, you develop a new pet tracking smart collar or improve the microchipping experience for pet owners.
Key takeaway: A strategic plan draws inspiration from your mission and vision statements.
Strategic plan vs. company objectives
Company objectives are broad goals. You should set these on a yearly or quarterly basis (if your organization moves quickly). These objectives give your team a clear sense of what you intend to accomplish for a set period of time.
Your strategic plan is more forward-thinking than your company goals, and it should cover more than one year of work. Think of it this way: your company objectives will move the needle towards your overall strategy—but your strategic plan should be bigger than company objectives because it spans multiple years.
Key takeaway: Company objectives are broad, evergreen goals, while a strategic plan is a specific plan of action.
Strategic plan vs. business case
A business case is a document to help you pitch a significant investment or initiative for your company. When you create a business case, you’re outlining why this investment is a good idea, and how this large-scale project will positively impact the business.
You might end up building business cases for things on your strategic plan’s roadmap—but your strategic plan should be bigger than that. This tool should encompass multiple years of your roadmap, across your entire company—not just one initiative.
Key takeaway: A business case tackles one initiative or investment, while a strategic plan maps out years of overall growth for your company.
Strategic plan vs. project plan
A strategic plan is a company-wide, multi-year plan of what you want to accomplish in the next three to five years and how you plan to accomplish that. A project plan, on the other hand, outlines how you’re going to accomplish a specific project. This project could be one of many initiatives that contribute to a specific company objective which, in turn, is one of many objectives that contribute to your strategic plan.
A project plan has seven parts:
Stakeholders and roles
Scope and budget
Milestones and deliverables
Timeline and schedule
Key takeaway: You may build project plans to map out parts of your strategic plan.
When should I create a strategic plan?
You should aim to create a strategic plan every three to five years, depending on your organization’s growth speed. That being said, if your organization moves quickly, consider creating one every two to three years instead. Small businesses may need to create strategic plans more often, as their needs change.
Since the point of a strategic plan is to map out your long-term goals and how you’ll get there, you should create a strategic plan when you’ve met most or all of them. You should also create a strategic plan any time you’re going to make a large pivot in your organization’s mission or enter new markets.
What are the 5 steps in strategic planning?
The strategic planning process should be run by a small team of key stakeholders who will be in charge of building your strategic plan.
Your group of strategic planners, sometimes called the management committee, should be a small team of five to 10 key stakeholders and decision-makers for the company. They won’t be the only people involved—but they will be the people driving the work.
Once you’ve established your management committee, you can get to work on the strategic planning process.
Step 1: Determine where you are
Before you can get started with strategy development and define where you’re going, you first need to define where you are. To do this, your management committee should collect a variety of information from additional stakeholders—like employees and customers. In particular, plan to gather:
Relevant industry and market data to inform any market opportunities, as well as any potential upcoming threats in the near future
Customer insights to understand what your customers want from your company—like product improvements or additional services
Employee feedback that needs to be addressed—whether in the product, business practices, or company culture
A SWOT analysis to help you assess both current and future potential for the business (you’ll return to this analysis periodically during the strategic planning process).
To fill out each letter in the SWOT acronym, your management committee will answer a series of questions:
What does your organization currently do well?
What separates you from your competitors?
What are your most valuable internal resources?
What tangible assets do you have?
What is your biggest strength?
What does your organization do poorly?
What do you currently lack (whether that’s a product, resource, or process)?
What do your competitors do better than you?
What, if any, limitations are holding your organization back?
What processes or products need improvement?
What opportunities does your organization have?
How can you leverage your unique company strengths?
Are there any trends that you can take advantage of?
How can you capitalize on marketing or press opportunities?
Is there an emerging need for your product or service?
What emerging competitors should you keep an eye on?
Are there any weaknesses that expose your organization to risk?
Have you or could you experience negative press that could reduce market share?
Is there a chance of changing customer attitudes towards your company?
Step 2: Identify your goals and objectives
This is where the magic happens. To develop your strategy, take into account your current position, which is where you are now. Then, draw inspiration from your original business documents—these are your final destination.
To develop your strategy, you’re essentially pulling out your compass and asking, “Where are we going next?” This can help you figure out exactly which path you need to take.
During this phase of the planning process, take inspiration from important company documents to ensure your strategic plan is moving your company in the right direction like:
Your mission statement, to understand how you can continue moving towards your organization’s core purpose
Your vision statement, to clarify how your strategic plan fits into your long-term vision
Your company values, to guide you towards what matters most towards your company
Your competitive advantages, to understand what unique benefit you offer to the market
Your long-term goals, to track where you want to be in five or 10 years
Your financial forecast and projection, to understand where you expect your financials to be in the next three years, what your expected cash flow is, and what new opportunities you will likely be able to invest in
Step 3: Develop your plan
Now that you understand where you are and where you want to go, it’s time to put pen to paper. Your plan will take your position and strategy into account to define your organization-wide plan for the next three to five years. Keep in mind that even though you’re creating a long-term plan, parts of your strategic plan should be created as the quarters and years go on.
As you build your strategic plan, you should define:
Your company priorities for the next three to five years, based on your SWOT analysis and strategy.
Yearly objectives for the first year. You don’t need to define your objectives for every year of the strategic plan. As the years go on, create new yearly objectives that connect back to your overall strategic goals .
Related key results and KPIs for that first year. Some of these should be set by the management committee, and some should be set by specific teams that are closer to the work. Make sure your key results and KPIs are measurable and actionable.
Budget for the next year or few years. This should be based on your financial forecast as well as your direction. Do you need to spend aggressively to develop your product? Build your team? Make a dent with marketing? Clarify your most important initiatives and how you’ll budget for those.
A high-level project roadmap . A project roadmap is a tool in project management that helps you visualize the timeline of a complex initiative, but you can also create a very high-level project roadmap for your strategic plan. Outline what you expect to be working on in certain quarters or years to make the plan more actionable and understandable.
Step 4: Execute your plan
After all that buildup, it’s time to put your plan into action. New strategy execution involves clear communication across your entire organization to make sure everyone knows their responsibilities and how to measure the plan’s success.
Map your processes with key performance indicators, which will gauge the success of your plan. KPIs will establish which parts of your plan you want achieved in what time frame.
A few tips to make sure your plan will be executed without a hitch:
Align tasks with job descriptions to make sure people are equipped to get their jobs done
Communicate clearly to your entire organization throughout the implementation process
Fully commit to your plan
Step 5: Revise and restructure as needed
At this point, you should have created and implemented your new strategic framework. The final step of the planning process is to monitor and manage your plan.
Share your strategic plan —this isn’t a document to hide away. Make sure your team (especially senior leadership) has access to it so they can understand how their work contributes to company priorities and your overall strategic plan. We recommend sharing your plan in the same tool you use to manage and track work, so you can more easily connect high-level objectives to daily work. If you don’t already, consider using a work management tool .
Update your plan regularly (quarterly and annually). Make sure you’re using your strategic plan to inform your shorter-term goals. Your strategic plan also isn’t set in stone. You’ll likely need to update the plan if your company decides to change directions or make new investments. As new market opportunities and threats come up, you’ll likely want to tweak your strategic plan to ensure you’re building your organization in the best direction possible for the next few years.
Keep in mind that your plan won’t last forever—even if you do update it frequently. A successful strategic plan evolves with your company’s long-term goals. When you’ve achieved most of your strategic goals, or if your strategy has evolved significantly since you first made your plan, it might be time to create a new one.
The benefits of strategic planning
Strategic planning can help with goal-setting by allowing you to explain how your company will move towards your mission and vision statements in the next three to five years. If you think of your company trajectory as a line on a map, a strategic plan can help you better quantify how you’ll get from point A (where you are now) to point B (where you want to be in a few years).
When you create and share a clear strategic plan with your team, you can:
Align everyone around a shared purpose
Proactively set objectives to help you get where you want to go
Define long-term goals, and then set shorter-term goals to support them
Assess your current situation and any opportunities—or threats
Help your business be more durable because you’re thinking long-term
Increase motivation and engagement
Sticking to the strategic plan
To turn your company strategy into a plan—and ultimately, impact—make sure you’re proactively connecting company objectives to daily work. When you can clarify this connection, you’re giving your team members the context they need to get their best work done.
With clear priorities, team members can focus on the initiatives that are making the biggest impact for the company—and they’ll likely be more engaged while doing so.
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How to write a surprisingly easy and effective strategic plan.
While it is true that writing a strategic plan is often a tiresome process, with the right knowledge and a clear strategy model, it can be surprisingly easy.
Strategic planning always takes time, but the reward is completely worth it. If written and executed properly, it will realign stakeholders with your company's objectives. New circumstances arise constantly, and strategic plans change as the business climates change. A strategic plan isn't definite – both internal and external changes affect it.
Often called strategy development, strategic planning requires strong attention to detail and an experienced planning team.
Core Elements To Include In Your Strategic Plan
Before learning how to write a strategic plan, you should first learn about the core elements to include in it:
Vision Statement: You shouldn't start working on a strategic plan without a defined Vision Statement. It will help in setting strategy towards achieving the most important objectives of your business.
Company values: Your values represent the way you behave as a company as you work on your goals. Some good values include being compassionate, accountable, innovative, and passionate.
Focus areas: Focus areas are the crucial operations and processes you'll focus on as you work toward achieving your vision.
Strategic objectives: Strategic objectives represent your high-level goals. It's important to define them and align them with your focus areas.
KPIs: KPIs define the ways you will measure your company's progress in achieving business objectives.
Projects: Projects represent the things you do to achieve your business goals. They are very specific and time-sensitive.
Where Are We Now?
The first step of writing a strategic plan is looking at your current position. You need to think about where your company is now and check if your fundamental values are still in place if you want to learn how to write a strategic plan.
The three important elements to observe:
Mission statement: Every business needs a mission statement to describe and define the company's purpose. You may include various things in your mission statement, but it should clearly say what your organization does and why it exists.
Guiding principles: Your guiding principles define what your business stands for and what you believe in as a company. Revise what values and beliefs guide the daily activities and interactions among management and employees.
SWOT: Another essential element for creation is your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). You need to be aware of each element so you can create a strategy that improves your overall success.
Want additional insight? Read 4 Step Guide to Strategic Planning now to learn more
Where Are We Going?
When wondering how to write a strategy plan, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is, "Where are we going?"
It will help you get a clear vision of where your company is headed in the future and what you want to achieve. The future may be hard to predict, but several elements can help you get an insight into possible outcomes based on various indicators, such as:
Sustainable Competitive Advantage: Every business should work hard on creating a sustainable competitive advantage that will set their company apart from competitors. Think about the best aspects of your business. How is it unique? What can your company do better than any other company?
Vision Statement: A clear vision of what your organization will look like in the future is necessary for creating a good strategy. It will give everyone a path to follow.
How Will We Get There?
Determining how you'll reach your vision is the most important part of a strategic plan, and it's also the one that's most time-consuming. Since there are many ways for you to travel from the point where you are now to your future vision, it takes time to find the right one. Picking a certain route will define how slowly or quickly you reach your final destination, so it's very important to choose wisely.
When brainstorming ways to achieve your vision, you need to consider various elements, such as strategic objectives, strategy, short-term objectives, action plans, scorecards, and plan execution. Each of these elements is vital for the future success of your strategic plan, and each requires attention.
You need to define both long-term and short-term goals clearly and cover every aspect of planning when looking for ways to optimize your operations.
How To Set Priorities In Your Strategic Plan
If you're wondering how you write a strategic plan without knowing the priorities, the answer is – you don't. You must set your strategic priorities first, and that often takes time. There are three areas to look at when setting priorities in your plan:
Current situation: Think about which aspects of your business are doing great, and which aspects need improvement. Recognize what's holding you back from reaching your objectives.
Future perspective: Knowing your current situation isn't enough for creating an optimal strategic plan. Since no one can predict the future precisely, it's best to gather a team and talk about team member's visions of the future of your business.
Value proposition: Your value proposition is a group of the most distinctive reasons why your customers should be interested in your product or service.
We've covered the basics of how to write a strategic plan, but if you want to learn more, contact us today to set up a strategic business plan consultation. Our business advisory services have helped numerous organizations reach their objectives faster and more efficiently.
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6 Steps to Make Your Strategic Plan Really Strategic
- Graham Kenny
You don’t need dozens of strategic goals.
Many strategic plans aren’t strategic, or even plans. To fix that, try a six step process: first, identify key stakeholders. Second, identify a specific, very important key stakeholder: your target customer. Third, figure out what these stakeholders want from you. Fourth, figure out what you want from them. Fifth, design your strategy around these requirements. Sixth, focus on continuously improving this plan.
Why is it that when a group of managers gets together for a strategic planning session they often emerge with a document that’s devoid of “strategy”, and often not even a plan ?
- Graham Kenny is CEO of Strategic Factors and author of the best-selling book Strategy Discovery. He is a recognized expert in strategy and performance measurement who helps managers, executives, and boards create successful organizations in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. He has been a professor of management in universities in the U.S., and Canada. You can connect to or follow him on LinkedIn .
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Essential Guide to Strategic Planning
Strategic planning maps the initiatives and investments required to achieve long‑term strategic objectives. Here’s how to do it well.
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Strategic planning that works — even in volatile times
Just 29% of strategists say their organizations change plans fast enough to respond to disruption. What’s the problem? Most often, unclear objectives, poor strategic planning processes and disengaged business leaders.
Use this guide to:
Turn your strategy into action faster
Combat 7 mistakes common to strategic planning
Capture and communicate your plans with an exclusive one-page template
4 critical things to know about strategic planning
Especially in times of disruption, it’s key to understand what strategic planning is and does, what assumptions you need and how to leverage the value of adaptive strategy and scenario planning.
- What Is Strategic Planning?
- Strategic Assumptions
- Scenario Planning
- Adaptive Strategy
Strategy and strategic plans: How they are different and why it matters
Strategy creates a common understanding of what an organization wants to achieve and what it needs to do to meet its goals. Strategic plans bridge the gap from overall direction to specific projects and day-to-day actions that ultimately execute the strategy. Job No. 1 is to know the difference between strategy and strategic plans — and why it matters.
Strategy defines the long-term direction of the enterprise. It articulates what the enterprise will do to compete and succeed in its chosen markets or, for the public sector, what the agency will do to achieve its mission.
Strategic planning defines how the enterprise will realize its strategic ambitions in the midterm. Too often, strategic plans are created and then forgotten until the next planning cycle begins. A well-done strategic plan turns an enterprise strategy into a clear roadmap of initiatives, actions and investments required to execute the strategy and meet business goals.
Functional strategic plans document the choices and actions needed for the function to move from the current state to the desired end state, and contribute effectively to the enterprise business model and goals.
Business unit strategic plans define and finalize business unit goals, objectives and initiatives, while cognizant of enterprise priorities and external trends.
Operational plans deal with the short-term execution of specific projects and changes, as well as any operational tasks not contained in the strategic plan.
If you’re responsible for functional strategy, such as IT , create strategic frameworks focused only on what’s material — critical assumptions, relevant metrics and the key initiatives your function needs to contribute effectively to organizational goals, even as those goals shift.
Look out for key trends and disruptions, and test strategic assumptions
It’s critical to scan and respond to trends and disruptions that could impact your strategy and strategic plans — and change your strategic assumptions. Strategic planning cycles should incorporate some mechanism to vet assumptions for relevance (also see “Scenario Planning”).
Ignoring or devaluing trends and disruptions can leave critical gaps in both your strategic assumptions and your strategic planning process, because you may be overlooking both threats and opportunities for your value proposition and competitive positioning.
One Gartner survey found that only 38% of organizations have a formal process for this type of trendspotting. Gartner scopes the seven key areas of disruptive change as a “TPESTRE” of interconnected trend areas (see figure).
Executives across functions and teams can use the TPESTRE construct to identify key trends at any time — from augmented human experience to purpose-driven organizations and digitally enabled sustainability — and analyze their impact. From there, they can build strategic assumptions around the trends as they begin to map what actions might be needed in terms of business models, people/capabilities, IT systems and resources.
After sudden humanitarian or geopolitical disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a framework like TPESTRE can help you identify and monitor a range of risks that may affect your enterprise or function and that you may need to include in scenario planning.
Scenario planning as a strategic planning tool for functions
Scenario planning enables executives and their teams to explore and evaluate plausible alternative futures to make strategic plans more robust and resilient. Pandemic-related disruption and volatility showed the importance of leveraging a range of scenarios to reset business strategy and strategic plans.
Commonly used by strategists at the organizational level, scenario planning at the functional level is just as valuable. Many functional leaders have little experience with strategic scenario planning, even though they may regularly work with their CFO to build budget and forecast scenarios. Those who can learn and apply scenario planning in strategic planning can help their organization navigate volatile and dynamic conditions more effectively, especially in areas like supply chain , where disruption remains high.
Exploring scenarios enables you to determine suitable action plans or strategies for different possible futures. It reveals how to react to a specific future and which set of actions would make sense no matter what conditions ultimately unfold.
For leaders of functional teams, developing scenarios and their underlying assumptions is in itself a useful exercise to corroborate or challenge strategies and keep them current.
The objective of scenario planning is to secure the best immediate outcome while preparing suitable alternative action plans, depending on how a situation unfolds. Proactively agreeing on both near-term operational decisions and long-term strategic plans will reduce the time it takes you to respond to emerging risks and opportunities. This can help your function preempt, rather than reactively control for, the negative effects of a major event or disruption.
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Scenario Planning for Supply Chain Leaders
Scenario Planning Ignition Guide for Marketing
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Use adaptive strategic planning to enable a dynamic response
In an increasingly volatile and uncertain world, strategy can rapidly become out-of-date. To address this challenge, strategic planning must be adaptive. The faster the rate of change in operating conditions and the more disruptions you need to integrate into long-term strategy, the more adaptive your strategy models must be.
An adaptive strategy approach is what ensures your organization can spot new opportunities earlier and respond more quickly than your competitors, making you most likely to succeed in a dynamic digital world.
A truly adaptive strategy approach is consistent with four core practices (see figure) designed to move the enterprise from a rigid, top-down, calendar-based process to a more event-driven strategy approach. Functional strategy can incorporate the same principles. While a truly adaptive approach will be based on all four core practices, functional leaders can initially focus on the practices that address their immediate strategy challenges.
Rather than requiring perfect or complete information to execute, adaptive strategy uses available information to identify immediate actions required for an enterprise or function to be successful. These actions may range from focusing on high-priority areas to making foundational investments or conducting experiments to test ideas. You can use insights from these actions, along with any new information and analysis, to identify your next set of actions.
Adaptive strategy requires you to review strategy whenever new (and relevant) information becomes available, so it’s important to continually scan the business context to identify changes and review — and, where necessary, adjust — strategy in response to changes. (Also see “Strategic Assumptions.”)
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Frequently asked questions
What is strategic planning.
Strategic planning is the process through which enterprises, functions and business units identify the roadmap of initiatives and portfolio of investments that will be required in the medium term to achieve long-term strategic objectives.
What are the four types of strategic planning and the three levels of strategic planning?
Strategic planning starts with setting strategy at the enterprise level, but that strategy must then be turned into action. The three levels of strategic planning typically refer to corporate versus business unit and functional. The four types of plans are typically strategic, operational, tactical and contingency.
What steps are involved in the strategic planning process?
To build a successful strategic plan with a consistent and sequential process, functional leaders should:
Ensure consistent usage of terms to minimize confusion in strategic planning and set a baseline for collaboration
Build a strong foundation for more detailed planning by setting or pressure-testing mission, vision and goal statements first
Streamline stakeholder input by limiting mission, vision and goal setting to senior leadership, and leaving objective, action plan, and measure and metric development to managers with execution expertise
What are the key elements of strategic planning?
The key elements of a successful strategic plan include:
Mission and vision. The organization’s mission articulates its reasons for being, and the vision lays out where the organization hopes to be. The strategic plan, which links the two, must be adaptive enough to respond if the context changes during execution.
Strategic assumptions. To build a successful strategic plan, leadership should scope for trends and disruptions, and assess their potential impact on enterprise goals.
Strategic plan design. A rigorous strategic planning design effectively translates the strategy into plans that can and will be executed. Poor plans lead to poor execution.
What are the key terms in strategic planning?
Mission: Organization’s purpose
Vision: Desired future state
Objective: How to reach goals
Action plan: What’s needed to achieve objectives
Measures and metrics: To track progress toward goals
How do we design a strategic planning system?
Strategic planning “systems” refer to the tools used to document strategic plans. Gartner urges organizations not to focus on strategy in terms of the document they’re creating, but instead focus on turning strategy into an easily communicated action plan.
What is a strategic action plan?
The strategic action plan is a formal document that serves as the primary source of information for how objectives will be executed, monitored, controlled and closed. Many organizations also deploy an associated but separate “action plan” for achieving the operating model.
What are strategic measures and metrics?
Measures are observable outcomes that allow organizations to evaluate the efficacy of their action plans. Metrics quantify those observed changes to enable an organization to concretely quantify its progress and stay aligned to its chosen measures.
What are the 7 key success factors involved in strategic planning?
These seven success factors are key to producing high-quality strategic plans that will be successfully executed yet responsive to change:
Focus on designing a minimally viable strategy.
Customize planning efforts to meet participants where they are.
Sketch out initiative design before prioritizing strategic actions.
Be clear about who owns what.
Cascade plans side to side, not just top-down.
Focus performance measures on key assumptions.
Pressure-test plans against a narrow set of future scenarios.
Drive stronger performance on your mission-critical priorities.
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Who’s responsible for what structuring your strategic plan..
Creating a structured strategic plan is essential to the success of a planning process. But, creating responsibility at each level of the plan is absolutely pivotal to the success of a plan.
One of the most frequent questions we coach our clients through is, “how do I structure my plan and who should be responsible for what?” While the answer is usually unique to each organization, we’ve broken down the planning elements and organization structure to give you a handy visual to help guide you to structure your plan and create accountability for plan creation and execution throughout your organization.
Now that you have the overall view, let’s take a deeper dive into the elements.
CEO and Executive Team
The CEO and executive team play a big role in setting the foundation of a strategic plan by creating guiding organizational principles, articulating the strategic areas of focus, and creating the long-term goals that guide the organization to create aligned goals and actions to achieve its vision of success. The executive team is responsible for:
Mission, Vision, & Guiding Principles – These are the core foundational elements to your plan that tell your organization who you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to operate. These principles encompass your organization’s ethos and help serve as the foundation to your long-term strategy to achieve your vision of success. These are updated every 5 years and reviewed by the executive team annually.
Strategic Priorities – These are the long-term areas of strategic focus that are designed to achieve your vision of long-term success. These create the different pillars of your plan and articulate the focus for each area. These are updated every 5 years and reviewed by the executive team annually.
Organization-Wide Goals and Performance Indicators – These are the long-term goals and performance indicators that begin to put action to paper to help achieve strategic priorities. These goals and actions have a lifespan of 3-5 years, but are reviewed and adapted annually.
Managers and department leaders don’t have as much responsibility during the plan creation process, but drive your organization to create the annual department goals that support the organization’s goals and performance indicators. Managers and department leaders are responsible for:
Annual Goals – Department leaders and managers create and execute the annual department goals that align and support the organization-wide goals and performance indicators. These goals are established annually.
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Individual contributors are your soldiers on the ground tasked with helping drive your strategy from the ground up. They play an essential role in your day-to-day operations, but also in the creation and execution of your strategy. Individual contributors are responsible for:
Supporting Action Items with Milestones – Individual contributors create the supporting action plans with milestones that drive the day-to-day focus on strategy. Each of these action plan milestones tally up to achieve your annual goals. These action plans are completed annually.
As you work through building your strategic plan at every level of your organization, it’s important to remember that every player at the table is a key puzzle piece to your plan. Individual contributors play just as big a role as someone on the executive team – and the cascaded responsibility and execution of a plan is what makes strategy execution possible.
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Free Strategic Planning Templates
By Joe Weller | May 16, 2018
The success of your organization — no matter what size or industry — depends on the thoroughness of your planning and vision. A strategic plan can provide a roadmap for accomplishing specific goals, and will increase your chances of reaching objectives on time and budget. In this article, we’ve rounded up the top strategic planning templates in Microsoft Word and Excel, all of which are free to download and fully customizable.
Additionally, we've provided customizable strategic planning templates in Smartsheet, a collaborative, real-time work execution platform that empowers you to better plan, manage, and report on strategic initiatives.
Strategic Business Plan Template
Download Strategic Business Plan Template
Excel | Smartsheet
A comprehensive, strategic business plan may include company information, SWOT analysis, research, goals, resources, risks and more. A template provides structure for your business planning process as well as a communication tool that’s simple to update or modify. Use the template as a guide for evaluating your business, identifying opportunities for growth and development, and creating a strategic plan.
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Nonprofit Strategic Plan Template
Download Nonprofit Strategic Plan Template
A nonprofit strategic plan often emphasizes vision, values, and mission as the foundation for future objectives. A template can be used to clearly define who is being served and what issues need to be addressed. As with a business plan, nonprofit planning may include sections for evaluating risks and opportunities, measuring financial resources, developing a marketing plan, and creating objectives for organizational change.
HR Strategic Plan Template
Download HR Strategic Plan Template
Create a detailed human resources strategic plan for your organization, or modify the template to focus on one specific area, such as recruitment or employee relations. Use the template to translate strategies into measurable action plans. This simple layout makes it easy for readers to quickly view key information.
IT Strategic Planning Template
Download IT Strategic Planning Template
IT is an essential part of any business, nonprofit, school, or government agency. While information technology is just one part of an overall business strategy, creating a separate strategic plan for IT will help ensure that you have a comprehensive roadmap to follow for managing and purchasing new assets, understanding your current and potential technology usage, and aligning your IT goals with business objectives.
Strategic Marketing Plan Template
Download Strategic Marketing Plan Template
Use this free template to help shape your marketing strategy. It combines information on your target market and business with marketing tactics to help you think strategically and create a plan of action. The template can guide your research process or be used as a simple brainstorming tool.
Social Media Strategy Plan Template
Download Social Media Strategy Plan Template
Social media is an integral part of online marketing, and creating a strategic plan can help ensure that you are using your time and resources effectively. Consider your branding, mission, target audience, competition and other factors to determine which social networks and types of content will perform best for your company. Keep track of KPIs and adjust your social media plan accordingly.
SWOT Analysis Strategy Template
Download SWOT Analysis Strategy Template
This matrix template combines SWOT analysis with strategic planning. Examine the relationships between your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and then list related strategies to tackle your goals. The layout of this template allows you to view the SWOT categories and strategies side-by-side, which may be useful for a presentation or summary.
One-Page Strategic Planning Template
Download One-Page Strategic Planning Template
Excel | Word | Smartsheet
A one-page strategic plan is perfect for small businesses or for summarizing a longer planning process. Use this template as is, or edit the layout or included information to better suit your needs. This template includes all the essentials on one page, including values, strengths and weaknesses, goals, and actions.
Strategic Vision Template
Download Strategic Vision Template
Excel | Word
Summarize your strategic vision and plan, highlighting key information for stakeholders, management, investors, or for your own reference. Combining a vision statement with a brief summary of goals, actions and KPIs makes it easy to see how your business values and purpose relate to your objectives. It also provides a succinct summary for use in a presentation or meeting.
University Strategic Plan Outline
Download University Strategic Plan Outline
This template provides an outline for university strategy planning. The actual strategic plan may cover multiple pages and provide an in-depth analysis and detailed mission and vision statements. Strategic planning is an opportunity for universities to look closely at campus needs, institutional values, infrastructure, long-term goals, important obstacles, and more. The strategic plan will be a guiding document that is reviewed and updated regularly.
What Is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is an organization’s process for defining their strategy so that they can accomplish specific goals and objectives. Strategic planning may be utilized on a large scale, such as planning for business growth over several years or to help a nonprofit or governmental organization reach its stated mission. A strategic plan can also be used on a smaller scale, such as crafting a marketing plan or developing strategy for the goals of one department within a business or organization. It is important to note that strategy is distinct from planning: While strategy looks at why certain steps should be taken, a plan outlines how to enact those steps. strategic planning marries these two concepts in order to determine the best possible course of action. The purpose of strategic planning is to provide a thoughtful, deliberate approach to reaching objectives based on an in-depth analysis of both internal and external factors affecting an organization.
A strategic plan often covers multiple years, addressing both short- and long-term goals. It also provides a way of tracking progress and measuring success. However, it’s not a document that is fixed in stone — instead, it’s wise to revisit and adjust a strategic plan periodically based on the evolving vision, objectives, needs, and resources of a business or institution.
Depending on the scope of your plan, you may be working with a team of multiple stakeholders during the strategic planning process. To keep the process running smoothly, make roles and responsibilities clear. Different parties may be responsible for providing data, reviewing the plan, or authorizing strategic decisions. As you prepare for planning, make sure all participants understand what’s involved in the process and have received any relevant information prior to meeting.
Benefits of Strategic Planning
There are benefits of strategic planning, including the following:
- Align the goals of a department or project with larger business goals
- Provide clear communication to team members, stakeholders, or clients
- Clearly define the vision and mission of an organization
- Provide clarity on how to deal with internal or environmental changes
Parts of a Strategic Plan
One way to think about strategic planning is that it identifies any gaps between a current state and desired future state, and then dictates how to close those gaps — how you get from where you are to where you want to be. To that end, various factors are taken into consideration in order to formulate an effective plan. Here are some of the elements often included in a strategic plan.
- Introductory Statement: The introductory statement should briefly describe why the strategic plan was developed and for what time period, and list the authors of the plan.
- Background Statement: This section may provide information about the organization, such as history, management structure, and supporting partners or agencies. Alternatively, you could use this section as a brief business statement — more of an elevator pitch — to concisely describe your business.
- Organizational Structure: Include this information if it’s relevant to evaluate how your business or organization operates and is structured, from governing board to staffing.
- Vision: A vision statement should briefly describe what a company wants to achieve or become. This is one of the primary organizational tenets to consider, along with values and mission.
- Values: These are the principles that an organization stands for and abides by. Many businesses create core value statements to guide company culture.
- Mission Statement: A mission statement describes the purpose of a business or organization. This is distinct from a vision statement because it is not a projected goal for the future.
- Problem Statement: Some plans include a problem statement, which can outline key or discrete issues that need to be addressed.
- SWOT Analysis: A SWOT analysis provides a foundation and context for developing strategy by examining the strengths and weaknesses within and organization as well as external opportunities and threats.
- Goals: As stated earlier, a strategic plan may include long-term as well as short-term (i.e, monthly or quarterly) goals. Objectives should be measurable and broken down into actionable steps, and the action plan for each goal should specify who is responsible for implementing the strategy, a timeline for starting and ending the action, and how the outcome will be evaluated.
- Evaluation: Methods for evaluation should be spelled out in the strategic plan. This could include tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and documenting the progress of action steps on an ongoing basis.
- Executive Summary : This final summary helps employees, investors, or other readers quickly understand your plan.
No matter what type of strategic plan you are working on, using a template provides a simple and quick outline to organize your process. In the following sections, you’ll find free, downloadable planning templates for business, nonprofit, human resources, marketing, IT strategic planning, and more.
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Developing a Strategic Plan and Organizational Structure
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7 Important Elements of a Strategic Plan
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Dan McCarthy is a management and leadership expert who's spoken, written, and taught on management topics for more than 20 years.
A strategic plan is a document that establishes the direction of an organization. It can be a single page or fill up a binder, depending on the size and complexity of the business and work.
Most managers can benefit from having a strategic plan. The process of developing a plan helps the manager (and the team) step back and examine where they are, where they want to go, and how they are most likely to get there. In the absence of a plan, work still gets done on a day-to-day basis but often lacks a sense of purpose and priority.
There are seven basic elements of a strategic plan. While much more is often included in the plan, these seven elements will help you get started.
A vision statement describes the way you envision your business. As such, it should communicate that dream to your employees and customers in an inspirational manner.
A vision statement should be reviewed continuously to ensure it is still aligned with the way you see your company.
Harley-Davidson's vision statement focuses on keeping its brand internationally known and valued, using the combined power of its stakeholders and employees to drive value and innovation:
Harley-Davidson, Inc. is an action-oriented, international company, a leader in its commitment to continuously improve our mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, government, and society). Harley-Davidson believes the key to success is to balance stakeholders’ interests through the empowerment of all employees to focus on value-added activities.
While a vision describes how you view your business to your customers and stakeholders, a mission statement describes what you do currently. It often describes what you do, for who, and how. Focusing on your mission each day should enable you to reach your vision. A mission statement could broaden your choices, and/or narrow them.
RedHat has been a provider of Linux operating systems for over 25 years. It has a simple mission statement:
To be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way.
A vision and mission can also be combined in the same statement. The Walt Disney Company does this:
The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.
Note that the statement is both aspirational (“is to…”) and descriptive of what they do and how they do it ("through the...").
Core values describe your beliefs and behaviors. They are the beliefs you have that will enable you to achieve your vision and mission.
The Coca-Cola Company lists it's core values as:
Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
Integrity: Be real
Accountability: If it is to be, it's up to me
Passion: Committed in heart and mind
Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
Quality: What we do, we do well
SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis provides businesses a situational investigation into their position in the market. It allows you to spot and name the important aspects, happenings, and adversaries of your business.
A business's strength could be its ability to attract local customers, while its weakness might be an inability to break into a non-local consumer base. A local competitor with ties to non-local customers could be facing a financial situation, giving this business an opportunity.
However, the other business remains a threat if it pulls out of the crises. If another competitor is trying to expand its customer base, it is a threat as well.
Long-term goals are statements that drill down a level below the vision and describe how you plan to achieve it. This set of goals usually starts three years out and extends to around five years into the future, directly aligning with the mission and vision statements.
Long-term goals are the milestones a company sets to guide operations toward their far-reaching objectives. Some examples of long-term goals could be for a business to strengthen its hold on the local market, increasing profits, or expanding its operations and sales.
Each long-term goal should have a few one-year objectives that advance your goals. Each objective should be as SMART as possible: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.
After you make your yearly objectives, you might break each one down further into short-term goals, which define the actions and objectives for the next three months to get you to your yearly goals. The plans for achieving your short-term goals are your action plans.
Each objective should have a plan that details how it will be achieved. The amount of detail depends on the amount of flexibility you want your managers and team to have. The more detail provided the less flexibility exists for those that follow the plan.
It’s been said that “A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.” Creating a plan to achieve your business objectives may not change the world—but it is possible. Some of the most successful corporations started in garages, and through planning became industry giants.
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Opinion Joe Biden: The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas
Joe Biden is president of the United States.
Today, the world faces an inflection point, where the choices we make — including in the crises in Europe and the Middle East — will determine the direction of our future for generations to come.
What will our world look like on the other side of these conflicts?
Will we deny Hamas the ability to carry out pure, unadulterated evil? Will Israelis and Palestinians one day live side by side in peace, with two states for two peoples?
Will we hold Vladimir Putin accountable for his aggression, so the people of Ukraine can live free and Europe remains an anchor for global peace and security?
And the overarching question: Will we relentlessly pursue our positive vision for the future, or will we allow those who do not share our values to drag the world to a more dangerous and divided place?
Read this op-ed in Arabic.
Both Putin and Hamas are fighting to wipe a neighboring democracy off the map. And both Putin and Hamas hope to collapse broader regional stability and integration and take advantage of the ensuing disorder. America cannot, and will not, let that happen. For our own national security interests — and for the good of the entire world.
The United States is the essential nation. We rally allies and partners to stand up to aggressors and make progress toward a brighter, more peaceful future. The world looks to us to solve the problems of our time. That is the duty of leadership, and America will lead. For if we walk away from the challenges of today, the risk of conflict could spread, and the costs to address them will only rise. We will not let that happen.
That conviction is at the root of my approach to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue to defend their freedom against Putin’s brutal war.
We know from two world wars in the past century that when aggression in Europe goes unanswered, the crisis does not burn itself out. It draws America in directly. That’s why our commitment to Ukraine today is an investment in our own security. It prevents a broader conflict tomorrow.
We are keeping American troops out of this war by supporting the brave Ukrainians defending their freedom and homeland. We are providing them with weapons and economic assistance to stop Putin’s drive for conquest, before the conflict spreads farther.
The United States is not doing this alone. More than 50 nations have joined us to ensure that Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself. Our partners are shouldering much of the economic responsibility for supporting Ukraine. We have also built a stronger and more united NATO , which enhances our security through the strength of our allies, while making clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory to deter further Russian aggression. Our allies in Asia are standing with us as well to support Ukraine and hold Putin accountable, because they understand that stability in Europe and in the Indo-Pacific are inherently connected.
We have also seen throughout history how conflicts in the Middle East can unleash consequences around the globe.
We stand firmly with the Israeli people as they defend themselves against the murderous nihilism of Hamas. On Oct. 7, Hamas slaughtered 1,200 people, including 35 American citizens, in the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust. Infants and toddlers, mothers and fathers, grandparents, people with disabilities, even Holocaust survivors were maimed and murdered. Entire families were massacred in their homes . Young people were gunned down at a music festival. Bodies riddled with bullets and burned beyond recognition . And for over a month, the families of more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas, including babies and Americans, have been living in hell , anxiously waiting to discover whether their loved ones are alive or dead. At the time of this writing, my team and I are working hour by hour, doing everything we can to get the hostages released.
And while Israelis are still in shock and suffering the trauma of this attack , Hamas has promised that it will relentlessly try to repeat Oct. 7 . It has said very clearly that it will not stop.
The Palestinian people deserve a state of their own and a future free from Hamas. I, too, am heartbroken by the images out of Gaza and the deaths of many thousands of civilians, including children. Palestinian children are crying for lost parents. Parents are writing their child’s name on their hand or leg so they can be identified if the worst happens. Palestinian nurses and doctors are trying desperately to save every precious life they possibly can, with little to no resources. Every innocent Palestinian life lost is a tragedy that rips apart families and communities.
Our goal should not be simply to stop the war for today — it should be to end the war forever, break the cycle of unceasing violence , and build something stronger in Gaza and across the Middle East so that history does not keep repeating itself.
Just weeks before Oct. 7, I met in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . The main subject of that conversation was a set of substantial commitments that would help both Israel and the Palestinian territories better integrate into the broader Middle East. That is also the idea behind the innovative economic corridor that will connect India to Europe through the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, which I announced together with partners at the Group of 20 summit in India in early September. Stronger integration between countries creates predictable markets and draws greater investment. Better regional connection — including physical and economic infrastructure — supports higher employment and more opportunities for young people. That’s what we have been working to realize in the Middle East. It is a future that has no place for Hamas’s violence and hate, and I believe that attempting to destroy the hope for that future is one reason that Hamas instigated this crisis.
This much is clear: A two-state solution is the only way to ensure the long-term security of both the Israeli and Palestinian people. Though right now it may seem like that future has never been further away, this crisis has made it more imperative than ever.
A two-state solution — two peoples living side by side with equal measures of freedom, opportunity and dignity — is where the road to peace must lead. Reaching it will take commitments from Israelis and Palestinians, as well as from the United States and our allies and partners. That work must start now.
To that end, the United States has proposed basic principles for how to move forward from this crisis, to give the world a foundation on which to build.
To start, Gaza must never again be used as a platform for terrorism . There must be no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory. And after this war is over, the voices of Palestinian people and their aspirations must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza.
As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution. I have been emphatic with Israel’s leaders that extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop and that those committing the violence must be held accountable. The United States is prepared to take our own steps, including issuing visa bans against extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank.
The international community must commit resources to support the people of Gaza in the immediate aftermath of this crisis, including interim security measures, and establish a reconstruction mechanism to sustainably meet Gaza’s long-term needs. And it is imperative that no terrorist threats ever again emanate from Gaza or the West Bank.
If we can agree on these first steps, and take them together, we can begin to imagine a different future. In the months ahead, the United States will redouble our efforts to establish a more peaceful, integrated and prosperous Middle East — a region where a day like Oct. 7 is unthinkable.
In the meantime, we will continue working to prevent this conflict from spreading and escalating further. I ordered two U.S. carrier groups to the region to enhance deterrence. We are going after Hamas and those who finance and facilitate its terrorism, levying multiple rounds of sanctions to degrade Hamas’s financial structure, cutting it off from outside funding and blocking access to new funding channels, including via social media. I have also been clear that the United States will do what is necessary to defend U.S. troops and personnel stationed across the Middle East — and we have responded multiple times to the strikes against us.
I also immediately traveled to Israel — the first American president to do so during wartime — to show solidarity with the Israeli people and reaffirm to the world that the United States has Israel’s back. Israel must defend itself. That is its right. And while in Tel Aviv, I also counseled Israelis against letting their hurt and rage mislead them into making mistakes we ourselves have made in the past.
From the very beginning, my administration has called for respecting international humanitarian law, minimizing the loss of innocent lives and prioritizing the protection of civilians. Following Hamas’s attack on Israel, aid to Gaza was cut off, and food, water and medicine reserves dwindled rapidly. As part of my travel to Israel, I worked closely with the leaders of Israel and Egypt to reach an agreement to restart the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance to Gazans. Within days, trucks with supplies again began to cross the border. Today, nearly 100 aid trucks enter Gaza from Egypt each day, and we continue working to increase the flow of assistance manyfold. I’ve also advocated for humanitarian pauses in the conflict to permit civilians to depart areas of active fighting and to help ensure that aid reaches those in need. Israel took the additional step to create two humanitarian corridors and implement daily four-hour pauses in the fighting in northern Gaza to allow Palestinian civilians to flee to safer areas in the south.
This stands in stark opposition to Hamas’s terrorist strategy: hide among Palestinian civilians. Use children and innocents as human shields. Position terrorist tunnels beneath hospitals, schools, mosques and residential buildings. Maximize the death and suffering of innocent people — Israeli and Palestinian. If Hamas cared at all for Palestinian lives, it would release all the hostages, give up arms, and surrender the leaders and those responsible for Oct. 7.
As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace. To Hamas’s members, every cease-fire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again. An outcome that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza would once more perpetuate its hate and deny Palestinian civilians the chance to build something better for themselves.
And here at home, in moments when fear and suspicion, anger and rage run hard, we have to work even harder to hold on to the values that make us who we are. We’re a nation of religious freedom and freedom of expression. We all have a right to debate and disagree and peacefully protest, but without fear of being targeted at schools or workplaces or elsewhere in our communities.
In recent years, too much hate has been given too much oxygen, fueling racism and an alarming rise in antisemitism in America. That has intensified in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks. Jewish families worry about being targeted in school, while wearing symbols of their faith on the street or otherwise going about their daily lives. At the same time, too many Muslim Americans, Arab Americans and Palestinian Americans, and so many other communities, are outraged and hurting, fearing the resurgence of the Islamophobia and distrust we saw after 9/11.
We can’t stand by when hate rears its head. We must, without equivocation, denounce antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate and bias. We must renounce violence and vitriol and see each other not as enemies but as fellow Americans.
In a moment of so much violence and suffering — in Ukraine, Israel, Gaza and so many other places — it can be difficult to imagine that something different is possible. But we must never forget the lesson learned time and again throughout our history: Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come. More hope. More freedom. Less rage. Less grievance. Less war. We must not lose our resolve to pursue those goals, because now is when clear vision, big ideas and political courage are needed most. That is the strategy that my administration will continue to lead — in the Middle East, Europe and around the globe. Every step we take toward that future is progress that makes the world safer and the United States of America more secure.
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Strategic plan writing fundamentals.
© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC . Adapted from the Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation .
This activity is usually conducted near the overall process of strategic planning . Therefore, the reader might best be served to first read the information on the topic of Strategic Planning .
Sections of This Topic Include
Writing the strategic plan.
- Formatting the Strategic Plan
Communicating the Strategic Plan
Also, consider Related Library Topics
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1. Have a small number of people write the first draft of the plan. An outside facilitator (someone hired from outside of the organization to facilitate the planning process) should not be the one who writes the plan.
2. Don’t worry about having every last detail in the first draft.
3. The draft should be presented to the board of directors (if applicable) and upper management for review and approval. It’s not unusual for the board and/or top management of large organizations to provide major input primarily to the contents in the body of the document, that is, the mission and vision and values statements, and the goals and strategies. Employees and other staff often provide the major input to the action planning portion, including the objectives, responsibilities, and timelines for the completion of objectives.
Formatting of the Strategic Plan
Note that it’s wise to distribute copies of the plan to major stakeholders (investors/funders, trade associations, etc.). Therefore, you should organize the format of the plan such that the body of the plan can be sent outside of the organization and the appendices can include the more confidential and detail-oriented documents — documents which also tend to change a lot. The format of the plan should fit the culture and preferences of the organization.
Consider the Following Sections
(The following sections might be viewed as the “body” of the plan document.) 1) Executive Summary — This is written to the scope and level of content so that an “outsider” can read the summary and grasp the mission of the organization, its overall major issues and goals, and key strategies to reach the goals 2) Authorization — This page includes all of the necessary signatures from the board of directors (if applicable) and other top management designating that they approve the contents of, and support the implementation of, the plan 3) Organizational Description — This section describes, for example, the beginnings and history of the organization, its major products and services, highlights and accomplishments during the history of the organization, etc. 4) Mission, Vision, and Values Statements — These statements describe the strategic “philosophy” of the organization 5) Goals and Strategies — Lists all of the major strategic goals and associated strategies identified during the strategic planning process.
(The appendices often include information that is somewhat confidential, detail-oriented, and/or tends to change a lot.) A) Action Planning — Specifies objectives, responsibilities, and timelines for the completion of objectives B) Description of Strategic Planning Process Used — Describes the process used to develop the plan, who was involved, the number of meetings, any major lessons learned to improve planning the next time around, etc. C) Strategic Analysis Data — Includes information generated during the external analysis (for example, environmental scan) and internal analysis (for example, SWOT analysis), and includes a listing of strategic issues identified during these analyses. D) Goals for Board and Chief Executive Officer — Goals of the board and CEO should be directly aligned with goals identified during strategic planning. This appendix will list goals for the board and can include recommendations for redesigning board committees to be associated with strategic goals. The appendix also lists goals for the CEO goals — these can be used (along with the CEO job description) to form the basis for performance evaluations of the CEO. E) Budget Planning — Depicts the resources and funding needed to obtain and use the resources needed to achieve the strategic goals. Budgets are often depicted for each year of the term of the strategic plan F) Operating Plan — Describes the major goals and activities to be accomplished over the coming fiscal year. G) Financial Reports — Includes last year’s budget (with estimated expenses and the actual amounts spent), this year’s current budget (again with estimated amounts and actual amounts spent), a balance sheet (or in the case of nonprofits, a statement of financial position), income statement (or in the case of nonprofit, a statement of financial activities), etc. H) Monitoring and Evaluation of Plan — Include criteria for monitoring and evaluation, and the responsibilities and frequencies of monitoring the implementation of the plan I) Communication of Plan — Describe the actions that will be taken to communicate the plan and/or portions of it, and to whom
Note that certain groups of stakeholders might get complete copies of the plan, including appendices, while other groups (usually outside of the organization) might receive only the body of the plan without its appendices. 1. Every board member and member of management should get a copy of the plan.
2. Consider distributing all (or highlights from) the plan to everyone in the organization. It’s amazing how even the newest staff member gains quick context, appreciation, and meaning from a review of the strategic plan.
3. Post your mission vision and values statements on the walls of your main offices. Consider giving each employee a card with the statements (or highlights from them) on the card.
4. Publish portions of your plan in your regular newsletter, and advertising and marketing materials (brochures, ads, etc.).
5. Train board members and employees on portions of the plan during orientations.
6. Include portions of the plan in policies and procedures, including the employee manual.
7. Consider copies of the plan for major stakeholders, for example, funders/investors, trade associations, potential collaborators, vendors/suppliers, etc.
Also, consider General Recommendations for Improving Communications
Return to the topic of Strategic Planning .
For the Category of Strategic Planning:
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Recruiting the right talent is crucial for your growth and success as a small business owner. Fortunately, numerous free job posting sites can help you connect with potential employees. These platforms cater to various industries and job types, allowing you to reach a diverse pool of candidates. This article will explore the best free job …
Everything You Need to Know About Using Zelle for Small Businesses
In the ever-evolving digital commerce landscape, Zelle emerges as a robust bank-to-bank payment service, presenting a compelling avenue for small businesses. This guide comprehensively explores the integration of Zelle, delving into its advantages, challenges, costs, and alternative considerations. Zelle’s Network Integration Revolutionizing Transactions: At its core, Zelle functions as a transformative digital payment network, fostering …
Stores That Accept PayPal: A Comprehensive Guide
In today’s digital age, online payment methods have become integral to our everyday lives. A leading digital payment platform, PayPal allows users to make secure online transactions. But did you know that PayPal can also be used for in-store purchases? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to use PayPal for your in-store shopping …
Understanding Etsy Fees: Comprehensive Breakdown and Analysis
Etsy is a popular platform for creators, artisans, and small business owners. It’s an online marketplace that allows individuals to set up shop and sell their products to a global audience. But while setting up an Etsy store is relatively straightforward, understanding the various fees involved can be a bit more complex. In this article, …
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Credit Card Processing Companies for Small Businesses
Cash is no longer the king in the modern era of digital transactions. According to a recent survey, 60% of payments in 2021 were made via credit, debit, and mobile app payments. Therefore, if you’re a small business owner, it’s crucial to keep up with this trend and select a credit card processing company that …
10 Best Card Payment Readers for Small Businesses
In the era of digital transactions, having a card payment reader for a small business is not an option but a necessity. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store or run a mobile business, accepting card payments can significantly enhance the customer experience and elevate your business’s efficiency and credibility. This article aims to shed light …
9 Best Brokerage Sites: Best Sites to Sell and Buy Online Businesses
Introduction Online trading’s popularity is spreading in today’s digital landscape, and finding the best brokerage site is crucial for investors and traders. With numerous options on the market, it is challenging to determine which platform is the most reliable, trustworthy, and suitable for your specific needs. This comprehensive guide compares and reviews the top brokerage …