Making Your Plan a Living Document

The bane of any and all strategic plans is that they sit on a shelf and collect dust. Don't entomb your outstanding business strategy in a three-ring binder. Make your plan a living document by using parts of the plan for different audiences. Your audiences may include, but aren't limited to, your board, management team, employees, and banks. You also have different functions in your organization that need different pieces to the plan. For example, a department only needs the goals and action plans assigned to it. The same is true for individuals.

In the following sections, I guide you through creating different versions of your strategic plan for different audiences, and then I show you how to monitor your progress and communicate company direction by using performance management software.

Piecing out your plan by audience

To make your plan a living document, break it up into several versions, such as the following:

  • The complete version: This document has everything and anything you developed in your strategic planning process (yes, even the kitchen sink!). This version includes all the parts listed for assembling your strategic plan in Chapter 12 plus all the support material you collected, such as market research, employee assessments, customer surveys, and so on. Keep all information in one centralized location so you can pull from it in your next planning sessions.
  • The board version: The board version is best suited for boards and includes ...

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