Written by Steve Barnhart, IMEC Technical Specialist
There really is no secret sauce to conducting an effective strategic planning process. You need to develop a strategy and you have to execute on that strategy. The hard work is the creative exercise of building the vision and bringing it to life with processes and measurable results. Here are a set of questions to help you think through developing your strategy and implementing your strategy. How many of these questions can you answer clearly? And, how many of them can you answer with evidence (proof and results)?
- How do you conduct your strategic planning? What are the key process steps? Who are the key participants?
- How does your strategy development process stimulate and incorporate innovation?
- How do you identify strategic opportunities?
- How do you collect and analyze relevant data and develop information for your strategic planning process?
- What are your organization’s key strategic objectives and timetable for achieving them?
- What are your key short- and longer-term action plans?
- How do you deploy your action plans?
- What are your key workforce plans to support your short- or longer-term strategic objectives and action plans?
- What key performance measures or indicators do you use to track the achievement and effectiveness of your action plans?
As you can see from this set of questions, strategic planning is not about following one rigid set of planning steps. On the contrary, they are a common sense set of thought-provoking questions that all organizations need to understand and practice to be successful. Essentially, these questions require an organization to:
- Think beyond day-to-day operations and set strategic objectives
- Develop action plans with a process to deploy their action plans
- Measure their progress
It’s really that simple. Now all we need is the discipline to develop and follow the plan. These questions are from the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence – a framework to help your organization be in a class of distinction.
Learn more about Steve Barnhart, IMEC Technical Specialist in the field of leadership, strategy, and continuous improvement.