There is a notable difference between a plan and a business creating a comprehensive strategy through the strategic planning process. The major difference between these two plans is organization and execution; an idea is just an idea if it cannot be carried out. Twenty Twenty Partners, a California-based business specializing in helping other organizations realize their business goals, knows how important the strategic planning process is to companies trying to reach their annual goals. Below, Twenty Twenty Partners will discuss, in detail, each step of the strategic planning process.
Before building your strategy, it is important to recognize what your organization wants to complete. To understand where your business is today, you must first assess a variety of external perspectives (opportunities and threats), and internal perspective (strengths and weaknesses). Finally, when these perspectives are defined, the assessment phase’s final step is to analyze this data through a SWOT analysis.
Strategic plans are all about moving your organization from point A to point B, or from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. The assessment phase was defining where you are today. This “design” phase should be thought of as marking where your company wants to be in the future. When these future goals are defined, they should be reassessed through four different perspectives. These include the financial perspective, the customer perspective, operational perspective, and our people’s perspective. If you are satisfied with your design after this step, you can move on to the build phase of your strategic planning.
At this phase, we will be building a plan around your corporate goals. Where do you want to be in the next quarter, next year, etc.? All of these goals should be quantifiable or “s.m.a.r.t.” This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Once these goals are defined, you can begin creating your annual operating plans. Annual operating plans outline how goals will be met at every level of your organization or what each department, and individual, will have completed by the end of the year.
Now that a comprehensive plan has been made, how do you execute this plan? There are three items that must be organized in order to manage your strategic plan. The first is people; you must make sure that every person in your organization has an individual action plan that allows them to see their responsibilities and be accountable for their tasks. Next, your organization must have a system in place to track and manage operations. You must be able to track what tasks have been completed in order to understand what steps need to be taken next. Finally, monthly or quarterly reviews are essential for an organization’s communication regarding strategic planning.