Strategic Planning: Dreams, Nightmares or Reality? Day 2

Tip #3: Create strategic alignment.

Consider these two important points when it comes to strategic alignment: 1) Make sure your plans are in sync with the mission, vision and values of the broader organization, as the strategy you develop should contribute to the organization being able to perpetuate these important points. 2) Develop a set of guiding principles to build and validate your strategic plans. Examples of some of the common guiding principles include building a strategy that:

·       Reduces cost

·       Promotes process efficiency

·       Demonstrates ongoing growth

·       Eliminates non-value added work

Developing guiding principles provides an anchor for you in the development and validation process when creating your strategy. As you develop your plans, it keeps you honest in identifying the right objectives and provides a check point for confirming your planned objectives are on the right track.

Tip #4: Complete a SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis is a very common and simple activity used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your organization or department. It provides useful information to consider as you build your strategic plan. For example, your plan can include specific objectives that address known weaknesses or it can leverage objectives that will further enhance known strengths. Using information from a SWOT analysis further provides the focus needed to create a strategic plan with intent and purpose.

Tip #5: Use timelines for a reality check.

A realistic plan is a good plan that is more likely to be accomplished. One easy way to conduct a reality check on your plan is to align the strategic objectives (by year if you are creating a multi-year plan) to the four quarters of a year.

Tip #6: Identify and stop non-value added activities.

Consider the following questions: Which activities being done today are not adding value or are creating inefficiencies?  What activities will unnecessarily monopolize my time and prevent me from being able to focus on executing a strategic plan? In answering these questions, you have the opportunity to identify and weed out, or even delegate, time consuming activities so that you are freed up to support the execution of your strategy.

Written by:

Corinne Sinnegen