7 steps of the effective strategic planning process
Posted On March 29, 2021
This TQM article provides insight into a typical strategic planning process that was used in various organizations and proved to be very practical in implementation. The key processes of this typical Strategic Planning Process are organized in 7 steps. The detail of each step is illustrated below: –
Step 1: review or develop the vision and mission
Able to obtain first-hand information from various stakeholders (shareholders, customers, employees, supplier communities, etc.).
You can use templates to assess how stakeholders think about your organization. Know if your action is aligned with the objectives of the organization.
Review or develop the Vision and Mission of the company with the participation of other stakeholders to ensure that it is still up to date with business changes and new challenges. Also use this session as a means of communication.
Step 2: business and operational analysis (SWOT analysis, etc.)
One of the key considerations in strategic planning is understanding internal (organization’s own) strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats and opportunities. These are commonly known as the four factors of a SWOT analysis.
Engaging multiple stakeholders to provide their views on your organization is key. In the process, you will gain greater buy-in from these policy and strategy implementers.
Step 3: develop and select strategic options
You can use templates to develop several possible key strategies to address your organization’s goals. More importantly, these possible strategies are developed based on stakeholder input (step 1) and business and operations analysis (step 2).
Often several possible strategies are developed and all seem important. Since it is quite normal for an organization to have several key issues to address, you will be able to use the appropriate tools to select some of the possible strategies. You will be able to apply various prioritization tools as presented in this step.
Step 4: set strategic goals
During this step, you will be able to see the big picture of the organization and you will be able to select some strategic options objectively. The template can be used to understand various strategic options, establish key measures, and a broad timeline to ensure that selected strategic options are achieved.
While it is quite common for top management to give the measurements and the timeline, the intent of Step 4 is to make these measurements and the timeline SMART. What it meant was Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Realistic (R), and Time-bound (T). When the strategic choices are SMART, it will help facilitate communication down the organizational hierarchy for implementation.
Step 5: strategy execution plan
Many organizations failed to realize the full potential of their strategies due to poor implementation. In this Step 5, a suitable implementation plan is developed to implement these strategies.
Step 6: set resource allocation
Very often, the management team assigned selected strategies to key personnel and left the individual to carry out the task. While most organizations operate with minimal resources, work overloaded by individuals often ends up.
Step 7: execution review
One of the key success factors for the deployment of an effective strategy is the constant review of your progress and making decisions about the deviations to plan. It is vital to decide what to review and with whom to conduct the review. A new decision may be required as the state of the strategies progresses.
In summary: Follow these 7 steps in strategic planning to ensure multiple options are considered, including your execution, resource allocation, and execution review. These 7 steps form a complete cycle for new or existing strategic planning initiatives.