Is your strategic planning process complete with the necessary components? What are those pieces?
An automobile requires a wide variety of components in order to function. For example, every automobile needs an engine, seats, and wheels. Though the various models of vehicles and parts may differ, the essential components are always included.
Likewise with strategic planning. There are key components necessary to create a sound strategic planning model. If a component is not included, the quality and value of the resulting strategic plan diminishes dramatically.
Arranging the building blocks to create a strategic planning model
Just as in the automobile the components fit together to create the vehicle, the building blocks of strategic planning fit together to create a comprehensive strategic planning model.
To explain how the pieces fit together to create a valuable planning process, we are using Professional Growth Systems’ Vision Navigation® planning process.
The seven-phase planning model can be tailored to fit an organization’s specific needs, but in each case, the component parts are always included.
The phases explained:
To better understand where and how the building blocks of planning are rolled into the Vision Navigation® strategic planning model, each of the 7 phases is described below.
The strategic assessment phase results in a list of potential strategic initiatives or projects to grow your organization. Whether you are a for-profit company looking to increase revenues, or a non-profit wanting to grow or better serve your constituent base, a sound strategic analysis gives you the wherewithal you need to fulfill those goals. A strategic assessment defines potential initiatives that take advantage of opportunities, or mitigate threats. This strategic assessment phase includes a look at:
In the internal assessment phase, management team turns its focus internally. The result is a list of internal challenges to be addressed. For example:
Prioritization techniques are used to sift through problems to determine which to solve first for the biggest impact. (See our library article: Strategic Planning ‘Tools for information on the prioritization tools)
Results are built into the final strategic plan so that the organization’s focus is not just on growing, but on fixing the impediments to real, sustained growth.
Establishing the vision
Establishing the Vision focuses the organization on its core ideology. What are the purpose, vision and values that form the backbone of the organization? There are many strategic projects that an organization can choose from to expand its operations, so it is important to have in place the key core values and purpose or mission statement to guide which of these projects is selected. In many cases, the board of directors is involved in this phase.
Determine strategic agenda
At this point in Vision Navigation®, leadership has uncovered a variety of potential strategic initiatives and it has prioritized key internal projects to help move the organization forward.
Plotting the coursel: During the plotting the course phase, leadership focuses on the strategic initiatives and internal improvement projects selected and plans the work to be done. Each project plan includes a year-end target or goal with the quarterly outcomes to be completed throughout the year to achieve that goal.
At Professional Growth Systems, the information is compiled into a Vision Navigation® chart, a visual template of your strategic plan that is updated quarterly.
Creating an instrument panel
How do you know if the work of your plan is actually moving you closer to your vision? And throughout the year are you remaining financially sound and satisfying your customers? An instrument panel gives leadership a collection of measures to track monthly and assess the answers to these questions.
Navigate the course/plan revision
This final phase of Vision Navigation® isn’t a single session phase at all, but rather the on-going work of the plan. Included are a monthly meetings of the leadership team to assess progress and make changes. Accountability for results plays a key role in these meetings as does problem-solving when projects are behind. A strategic plan cannot be successful if it is simply created and then set on the shelf. It must become a tool for regular management of the
organization, and that happens through regular monitoring and meeting.
Flexibility of the model
A good strategic planning model is made of building blocks that can be organized to fit each unique organization. The strategic planning process is flexible and malleable so it can fit the organization’s unique needs. That is vital. But, equally vital is a process comprised of dependable, stable components. Use the information above to help get your strategic planning model into better shape.