9 Steps to Develop a Strategic Plan

  1. Establish rapport and outline the program

Get the group together, welcome participants, engage them in activities to build trust and confident with fellow participants, then introduce the program outline (which follows), detailing areas to be covered with time estimates. Invite participant’s comments, offer explanations, and make additions or deletions as necessary.

 

  1. Articulate a vision

Using information already compiled from the preliminary sessions and the expertise with in the group, work through the following process which focuses on articulating a vision. This process, adapted from James Collins and Jerry Porras requires that you:

  • Isolate the 325 core values held in the organization
  • Identify its core purpose for reason for being
  • Draft a description of that future in the form of a vision statement. The process will also influence the development of a mission statement.

 

  1. Consider existing and new opportunities

If you used the SWOT approach, for example, consider the following:

  • Invite participants to work alone to consider and record any additional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats not recorded. This encourages participation by everyone.
  • Form into pairs to discuss individuals’ lists and compile one list representing combined contributions.
  • Group and categorise the final refined lists under broad heading such as ‘production’, ‘marketing’, ‘communication’, ‘management or administration’, and so on.

        Considering various scenarios either prepared previously or created by the group, can also be used to identify opportunities. Your final list will contain those issues that are considered crucial to the organisation’s growth and profitability over the ensuing period, the next few years, say.

  1. Develop a mission statement

Using information generated and refined thus far, you will now be in a position to develop a mission statement. It is likely the result will be considered as a second draft (the first draft having being prepared already as part of the preparation for the workshop). A sub-committee could be formed to polish the draft for presentation to the group at a later date.

 

  1. Construct action matrices

Now is the time to consider the specific actions that need to be taken. For each issue, develop action matrices detailing

goals, necessary actions, individuals’ responsibilities, timelines, and estimated costs. Not only does this activity outlines the necessary actions, but it also instils ownership of those actions.

 

  1. Form think-tanks to overcome blockages

If you find that discussion on a particular issue becomes bogged down, and goals and step-by-step actions are not forthcoming, you may decide to conduct a brief think-tank on the particular issue. By opening up the meeting for a brief (say, ten minute) discussion on a specific topic, you will find that participants arrive at decisions and begin again feeling refreshed and ready to deal with the next issue.

 

  1. Link the plan to structure and budget

It is generally accepted that strategy should inform structure. Analyzing the structure of your organization may take longer than the time available, so an appropriately briefed sub-committee may be formed for that purpose. The budget provides the funding necessary to convert plans into actions. It must be simple, straightforward, and workable. It, too, may be compiled by a sub-committee formed for that purpose.

 

  1. Document, disseminate, and implement

A final plan should be produced within fourteen days of the workshop—any longer and the exercise will become a fading memory only. If possible, reassemble the group to distribute the document. Arrange meetings of other groups to communicate outcomes to all parties. You may decide that the completion of such an important document is worthy of a celebration involving all participants. Ensure that the plan becomes a living document by insisting that is is used, referred to, and reviewed regularly.


  1. Make sure you have a team to drive the strategy

Break down your strategic plan to specific measurable tasks and assign each task to a specific person within your team. These deliverables will need to form part of their performance indicators(KPIs).Most strategic plans fall flat because of two reasons ,there was not sufficient support from the team to drive the strategy or there was no performance tool put in place to measure and monitor the performance.