Previewing the Elements of a Strategic Plan
Not to oversimplify the planning process, but by dividing a strategic plan into four areas, you can clearly see how the pieces fit together. The four pieces of the puzzle are found in these questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where are we going?
- How will we get there?
- How will we measure our progress?
Each area has certain elements to show you how and where things fit. I introduce the elements in the following sections. For a bird's-eye view of this discussion, see Figure 3-1.
What matters most is having a strategy and, therefore, an effective strategic plan. An effective plan and execution process require the following attributes:
- Purpose-driven: A plan based on a mission and a real, true competitive advantage is key. Without it, what's the point of the plan or the organization?
- Integrated: Each element supports the next. No objectives are disconnected from goals, and no strategies sit all alone.
- Systematic: Don't think of the plan as one big document. Instead, give it life by breaking it into executable parts.
- Dynamic: The plan isn't a static document but a living one.
- Holistic: All areas of the organization are included. Don't plan based on departments first because you risk limiting your thinking. ...