The Purpose of Strategic Planning
Where many organizations go wrong with strategic planning is at the very outset. They wander off blindly without spending time to discuss the primary focus of their strategic planning process. After all, the fundamental purpose of strategic planning is to align the mission and the vision. Without mission and vision, the plan exists in a vacuum. And organizations that develop plans without considering mission and vision usually fail in their execution.
The value statements are also important to the strategic planning process as they provide a touchstone to the organization for how business decisions are made, and therefore what are acceptable strategies and tactics.
Even if your organization already has well-defined mission, vision, and value statements, you should review them throughout the strategic planning process.
And if such statements don't exist, take the time to create them.
Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics
Goals, objectives, strategies and tactics are the cornerstone of every strategic plan. They are the roadmap for growth and prosperity. They define what will be accomplished, by whom and by when.
By having focused goals, objectives, strategies and tactics — coupled with a strong accountability system — your organization's likelihood of success is enhanced.
It is important that everyone understands the terminology and can distinguish between the four strategic plan components.
Key Performance Indicators and Balanced Scorecards
Strategic plans acquire added depth when you attach key performance indicators and a balanced scorecard. While many organizations bypass this step, those that take the time to develop KPIs and a balanced scorecard discover the benefit of such an early-warning system.
KPIs and a balanced scorecard provide you with important performance metrics that allow you to gauge the overall health of the organization.
The strategic plan tells you where you are going; KPIs and the balanced scorecard tell you where you are right now.
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