Try Smartsheet to discover why millions of professionals around the world use it to move from idea to impact, fast. Your goals should strike a balance between being aspirational and tangible. The parts of your plan that layout your roadmap are listed below: Strategic objectives: Strategic objectives are long-term, continuous strategic areas that help you connect your mission to your vision. One of the best tools we use to help communicate an organization’s strategic direction and long-term focus is a One-Page Plan. You’ve likely heard of famous strategic models such as OKRs. The application of strategic planning in business is a result of difficult managerial decisions that comprise good and less desirable courses of action. Don’t feel pressured to put anything and everything into this section — executive summaries should only be about one to two pages long and include the main points of the strategic plan. The company description should include the history of your company, the major products and services you provide, and any highlights and accomplishments, and it should accomplish the following: Highlight what makes your company unique. Strategy Development 101: Strategic Plan Example. The answers to this question help you identify your goals for the future of the business and assess whether your current trajectory is the future you want. For example, if a vision statement is “No child goes to bed hungry,” the accompanying mission would be to provide food banks within the city limits. If you don’t know what is going on around you, how can you stay competitive?” explains McNerney. This template can help your university or school outline your strategic plan. A strategic plan is for the big picture, not for a particular project for an organization. Each theme is captured within a strategic goal, and collectively, they provide an overview of what NCATS plans to accomplish to achieve its mission. Team troubles can also occur when one or more members does not think the plan is important or does not buy into the process. Your goals are where you want to go. Include the plan in new employee onboarding. The Difference Between Mission and Vision Statements, How to Write Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives, How to Write about Capacity, Operations Plans, Marketing Plans, and Financial Plans, Writing Different Types of Strategic Plans, How to Write a Strategic Plan for a Nonprofit, How to Write a Strategic Plan for a School, How to Write a Departmental Strategic Plan, How to Write a Strategic Plan for a Project, Improve Strategic Planning with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet, Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement, Focuses what your organization does today, Focuses on what you want your company to become, Should not change often since it is linked to company’s foundation. Before creating your strategic plan, you need to decide on the structure you will use. Many organizations do not give themselves enough time to plan properly, and once you finish planning, writing the document or presentation also takes time, as does implementation. The authors concluded that the structure influenced the strategic planning process, since most of the decisions are made by individuals comprising the senior management, just as it was influenced, in view of creating a department that is solely responsible for the strategic issues of the organization. Sometimes you think you know where you want to go, but you’re not really sure,” McNerney says. The industry analysis carries a price, but also provides many benefits. If you have a failing project and need to turn it around, this article might help. Only the CEO has the force to drastically change the company’s alignment. Strategic planning is often continuous for nonprofits. You can take many approaches to the process and consider differing ideas about what needs to go into it, but some general concepts stand. For example, tracking visitors to a website, customers completing a contact form, or the number of proposals that close with deals are all performance indicators that keep you on track toward achieving your goals. “It’s important for facilitators to lead by asking questions,” Bryson says. Be wary of cutting and pasting either from plans from past years or from other similar organizations. While many organizations have both mission and vision statements, it’s not imperative. What do you want to do more or less? For example, a substance abuse prevention coalition is trying to keep teens from starting to drink or use drugs, and proving the coalition’s methods work is often difficult to quantify. You hear the terms goals and objectives a lot, but they mean different things to different people. Also called an elevator pitch, the company description is a brief outline of your organization and what it does. You can think of them this way: Goals: Goals are broad statements about what you want to achieve as a company, and they’re usually qualitative. In a for-profit organization, the marketing department works to promote the company’s product or services to bring in new revenue. Using the information you discovered during your SWOT and mission statement process, come up with goals that align with your values. “Your strategies have to align with your values and vice versa,” she explains. Stockmal explains that many organizations often focus too much on the future and reaching their goals that they forget what made them a strong company in the first place. Because it functions as a review of the entire document, write the executive summary after you complete the rest of your strategic plan. Your research might show you should not go in a direction you might want to. One tip: Try to avoid jargon and generic terms; for example, words like maximize and succeed lose their punch. The plan author is responsible for writing and putting the final plan together and should work with a smaller group of writers to establish and standardize the tone and style of the final document or presentation. “Not everyone has a vision statement,” McNerney says. She recommends coming up with a kind of glossary that defines the terms for your team. Structure of the Strategic Plan. These indicators will show you what success looks like and ensure accountability. Mission statements should not be vague or generic, and they should set your business apart from others. You want to make sure the plans align. after disasters and improving the Agency’s execution of its fundamental mission of helping people. In this section, also include your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. It requires multiple steps (specifically a process) before it is presented to executives and other stakeholders of the company. Without it, the process cannot succeed. Writing about your industry helps you identify new opportunities for growth and shows you how you need to change in order to take advantage of those opportunities. Note that this figure does not attempt to portray the definitive marketing plan. For a nonprofit, the strategic plan’s purpose is mainly how to best advance the mission. The familiar Smartsheet interface that is designed for how people actually work leads to rapid and broad adoption across your organization. It’s important for leaders to get input from the group as a whole, but they don’t necessarily need approval from everyone — that will slow down the process. 15. © 1994-2020 The University of Kansas. Performing this analysis will help you figure out what you do best and how you compare to your competition. This section is the bulk of your strategic plan. “It’s the reason you exist or what you do.”. Over 78,000 brands and millions of information workers trust Smartsheet to help them accelerate business execution and address the volume and velocity of today's collaborative work. Strategic planning is a fundamental component of organizational management and decision making in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Below are questions to ask your team as you craft your vision statement: What impact do we want to have on our community and industry? Objectives are the turn-by-turn directions of how to achieve your goals. It also involves laying out—step-by-step—how you’re going to get there. For instance, the market situation changes over time, such that the dynamism of the market condition can significantly impact the demand for the products and services of the organization of interest. These outside helpers are sometimes more effective than internal facilitators since they are not emotionally invested in the outcome of the process. Your team should be able to easily understand and repeat the company’s vision statement. What do you value most in your life? While five years is often the strategic planning sweet spot, some organizations choose to create three-year plans. Strategic plans are not static documents — they change as new circumstances arise, both internally and externally. You don’t need to include the entire marketing plan in your strategic plan, but you might want to include a summary. Northwestern's Strategic Plan, NorthWEstern WILL, has since 2011 provided a framework in which to define our shared goals.It builds on our many strengths and focuses our energies and resources on the most pressing issues that we are distinctively positioned to address. ASP’s Stockmal has some questions for you to ask yourself about picking performance indicators. The context of strategic planning involves the needs of the business organization, including the need for the organization to ensure that its operations properly match the conditions of the market. Think of goal writing as a formula: Action + detail of the action + a measurable metric + a deadline = goal. In fact, it is also possible to include what your company does for its employees in your mission statement. But there is a fine line between being ambitious and creating a fantasy. Vision statements should be short (a few sentences). A strategic plan is a dynamic document or presentation that details your company’s present situation, outlines your future plans, and shows you how the company can get there. As such, this plan is an integral part of an organization's functioning, and it is important that the task of developing the plan is approached with serious consideration and attention to detail. The facilitators also need to be able to handle conflict and diffuse situations by separating idea generation from judgement. You can choose from many templates to help you write this section. “The vision is the highest-ordered statement of the desired future or state of what you want your business to achieve,” McNerney explains. Related Toolkits . Peer pressure can be a strong force, especially if a boss or other manager is the one making suggestions and people feel pressured to conform. As with any team activity, there will be challenges. A strategic plan needs a clear statement of your company’s purpose, its reason for existing in the first place. Soon to be by Smartsheet. Goals, Priorities and Strategies. Pinpointing values will help you figure out the traits of the people you want to hire and promote, as well as the qualities you’re looking for in your customers. Think about goals with varying lengths. Strategic planning, also called strategy development or analysis and assessment, requires attention to detail and should be performed by someone who can follow through on next steps and regular updates. Check out these templates to help you get started with a financial plan. Write in the present tense, avoid jargon, and be clear and concise. Development of the Strategic Plan and Stakeholder Involvement. Size: 47 KB. If you need assistance writing a comprehensive implementation plan for your organization, this article can guide you through the process. In this strategic plan example, we review the structure of a strategic plan for a hotel chain and include elements of the plan itself.New England Hospitality Company, a fictitious company that owns and operates 37 hotels, is embarking on its first strategic plan and will be used for this strategic plan example. Every organization is slightly different.”. If you’re not looking at the world around you, you’re missing a whole dimension about what should inform your decision making,” McNerney advises. The following sections walk you through how to write common sections of a strategic plan. Byson says the facilitator can be in-house or external, but they need experience. Sadly, strategic plans have a tendency to fail when nobody periodically assesses progress. The following checklist will help you keep track of what you have done and what you still need to do. Improving Organizational Management and Development, Chapter 9. In addition to the basic sections that go into any strategic plan, when forecasting five years into the future, put one- and three-year checkpoints into the plan so you can track progress intermittently. Strategic planning is the process of documenting and establishing a direction of your small business—by assessing both where you are and where you’re going. Bottom-Up Approach: Initiatives in formulating strategy are taken by the various units or divisions of an organization … It can also function as a type of tagline for your organization. Build those checkpoints into the plan. VMOSA is a practical planning process that can be used by any community organization or initiative. Assign people who will be responsible for certain tasks and tactics necessary to achieve your goals. An example goal: Increase website fundraising. Do you have the team members to accomplish the objectives you have outlined in order to reach your goals? After you’ve finalized your plan, you’ll need a tool to help track and manage all the different aspects of your business or project, as well as keep you accountable and measure progress. “These are the people you want to keep because they are invested,” he says. For example, instead of focusing on losing weight, concentrate on being healthier. Some should go out five to 10 years, others will be shorter — some significantly so. From 2018 to 2022, FEMA will focus on three main Strategic Goals and invite the whole community to adopt these shared The first stage prepares you for the rest of the strategic planning … Priorities, activities, objectives, strategies are in more depth, have more specificity –each goal could have a few different objectives / strategies associated with it. You should include the following sections: An execution plan that identifies who manages and monitors the plan, An evaluation plan that shows how you plan to measure the successes and setbacks that come with implementation. He says it is easier to cut than to create something. Does the performance measure support the strategic outcomes? While the specific terminology varies, basic sections of a strategic plan include the following in roughly this order: Some plans will contain all the above sections, but others will not — what you include depends on your organization’s structure and culture. In order to know if you are reaching the goals you outline in your strategic plan, you need performance indicators. Elevator Pitch. Goals should be precise and concise statements, not long narratives. In a three-year plan, the goals and objectives have a shorter timeframe and you need to monitor them more frequently. One symptom of this is not aligning the plan to fit the capacity or finances of the company. This template can help you visually outline your strategic plan for your nonprofit. No matter what terms you use, the general idea of a strategic plan is the same. For example, phrases like “delivering a wonderful experience” could apply to many industries. Strategic planning in a school is different from others because there are no markets to explore, products to produce, clients to woo, or adjustable timelines. It also helps you rule out elements that might not align with your vision. Communicating your strategic plan. Using these terms, strategies describe an approach or method you will use to achieve an objective. Some planning specialists use the term strategic objectives or strategic priorities when referring to goals, but for clarity, this article will use the term goals. The process of marketing planning within an organization will differ, depending on whether a strategic marketing plan or an operational marketing plan is utilized. After you come up with your goals and objectives, you need to figure out who will do what, how you will market what they do, and how you will pay for what you need to do. You want to stretch your limits, but not make them too difficult to reach. They are action items, often with start and end dates. In planning, sometimes there is power in … Strategic Planning – Approaches . KPIs can be both financial and nonfinancial measures that help you chart your progress and take corrective measures if actions are not unfolding as they should. All Rights Reserved. “I want to keep it simple, so organizations can be successful in achieving [the strategic plan],” McNerney explains. What some people call a goal, others call an objective. If employees cannot accurately articulate what you do to others, you might miss out on opportunities. This exercise will help you clarify your values. Remember, the statements can change as the environment in and around your company changes. The following are illustrative examples of a strategy plan. Then let your strategic planning committee review it. You can communicate your plan to stakeholders in the following ways: Hold a meeting to present the plan in person. 5. As it does within a business, this statement will help guide you in making future decisions. Your elevator pitch is … The Community Tool Box is a service of the. Next, identify your target customers. Many people confuse goals and objectives, thinking the terms are interchangeable, but many argue that the two are distinct. She uses a basic diagram that she calls the strategic plan architecture. PDF. The FEMA 2018-2022 Strategic Plan provides a framework for supporting the United States before, during, and . Highlight the plan in a company newsletter. A SWOT analysis on yourself will give you some honest feedback if you let it. When writing your performance indicators, pay attention to the following: Define how often you need to report results. ls the goal quantifiable, and can you measure it over time? Expect to make changes. Download Nonprofit Strategic Plan Template. But a local government may use public safety, public works, transportation, and quality of life. It’s really the concept of what the intention of the terms are [that is important],” says Denise McNerney, President and CEO of iBossWell, Inc., and incoming president of the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP). All Rights Reserved Smartsheet Inc. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to hire an external party to help facilitate the strategic planning process. Mission statements don’t have to be only outward-facing for customers or partners. “Conflict is part of strategic planning,” Bryson admits. Think of it as the 30,000-foot view of your plan, one you can fold up, put in your notebook, or stick on the wall to help your team remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. A business strategic plan is not just a one-off business document created in a single setting. You should be able to defend your plan and reinforce its key areas. A mission statement is your overall, lasting formulation of why your company exists and what it hopes to be. Whether you are a nonprofit, a school, or a for-profit entity, strategic plans will look at where you are and how you will get to where you want to go. “Early on in the process, you need to talk about what you are doing and why and how you are doing it. You can use posters or other visual methods to post around the office. The vision statement explains what your company wants to achieve in the long term and can help inspire and align your team. You need to find the balance between the process and the final product. Looking too far ahead can be daunting, especially for a new or changing company. Listed below is the strategic planning process: A business plan is usually done for different reasons, such as investment research, and covers general concepts about the company such as business model, sales model, financing required and others, however, a strategic plan reflects the Strategy and operations to achieve specific objectives. One way to make that journey is through strategic planning, the process by which a group defines its own "VMOSA;" that is, its V ision, M ission, O bjectives, S trategies, and A ction Plans. The mission provides items to act upon, and the vision offers goals to aspire to. There are simple strategic plans that include goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics, as well as complex plan structures that include multiple levels and layers. Another way to look at it: Verb (action) + adjective (description) = noun (result). Once you write your vision statement, communicate it to everyone in your company. Go deeper than saying family, happiness, and health. “It’s like drawing a map for your company. Breaking down the process further, some strategic planners use the terms strategies and tactics to label ways to achieve objectives. The areas above the red dotted line are the strategic parts of the plan. A marketing plan describes how you attract prospects and convert them into customers. “Ideally, [the mission statement is] something that describes what you’re about at the highest level,” McNerney says. A summary of it should go into your strategic plan. Improving Organizational Management and Development. Get up and running fast with streamlined implementation and solution building to address your immediate business needs. The key is to include what is important to you. Your entire organization and stakeholders should be able to remember and understand your goals. “You need to have flexibility both on the plan content and in the process.”. There are both internal and external values looking at your employees and coworkers, as well as customers and outside stakeholders. “Most organizations do a three- to five-year plan now because they recognize the technology and the changes in business that are pretty dynamic now,” Stockmal says. Performance indicators are not always financial, but they must be quantifiable. Because you will be looking at your strengths and weaknesses, you might see things you do not like. Holistic objectives encompass four areas: financial, customer, operational, and people. Focus on the ones that allow you to zero in on what is critical for your company’s success. “After the meetings are over, you have to turn your strategy into action,” says Stefan Hofmeyer, an experienced strategist and co-founder of Global PMI Partners. Instead, strategic planning experts use many names for the different sections of a strategic plan. Business architecture is important, which Stockmal says is “building the capabilities the organization needs to fulfill its strategy.” He adds that nothing happens if there is no budget workers to do the work necessary to drive change. Stay in line with the goals and values of your organization. Arthur A. Thompson and A. J. Strickland have described four basic approaches to formal strategic planning: 1. Additionally, remember that there are many terms for the same object in strategic planning. “The values are the core of how you operate [and] how you treat your people, both internally and externally. A strategy plan, more commonly known as a strategic plan, is a list of strategic goals together with an action plan to achieve each goal. Some goals might even be quarterly, monthly, or weekly. How will we interact with others as a company? “I wouldn’t attempt to put a definition to the terms. Because you need to know your company’s goals and objectives to create an accurate vision statement, you might need to wait until you have more information about the company’s direction to write your vision statement. Getting your plan to the right stakeholders at the right time is crucial to success. And while this may sound obvious, do not ignore what your planning process tells you. Some people might feel reluctant to give any input because they do not think it matters to the person who ultimately decides what goes into the plan. You can use many models and formats to create your strategic plan (read more about them in this article). This Above Figure presents an annotated example of a strategic marketing plan. Are your targets realistic and time-bound? Strong mission statements can help differentiate your company from your competitors and keep you on track toward your goals. A strategic plan is a dynamic document or presentation that details your company’s present situation, outlines your future plans, and shows you how the company can get there. The operations plan maps out your initiatives and shows you who is going to do what, when, and how. But strategic plans can come in many forms, shapes, and sizes; they are not a “one size fits all” document. Providing Training and Technical Assistance, Center for Community Health and Development. If done correctly, your strategic plan will engage and align stakeholders around your company’s priorities. “Get in front of employees and present the plan [to get everyone involved].” Hofmeyer explains his research has shown that people stay with companies not always because of money, but often because they buy into the organization’s vision and want to play a part in helping it get where it wants to go. Do not take shortcuts in the research phase — that will lead to bad information coming out further in the process. This process takes time and reflection. Developing a Strategic Plan and Organizational Structure, 15. “It takes some time and money to do [a thorough industry analysis], but the lack of that understanding says a lot about the future of your organization. Be careful with the information you gather. Sometimes the consensus can take priority over what is clear. For a nonprofit, however, conveying that message needs to be part of the strategic plan. Use self-service reports and dashboards in Smartsheet to provide real-time visibility into resources, status, and performance, so you can rapidly align operations with strategy. Be inspirational while remaining realistic. Discover why over 78,000 brands trust Smartsheet to get work done. Learn about our premium resource and portfolio management platform, 10,000ft by Smartsheet. More than one objective can support one goal. Team leaders need to take care of these troubles before they get out of hand. McNerney says many organizations do not really consider or are not honest about their company’s values when working on strategic plans, which can lead to failure. He always writes summaries last, after he has all the data and information he needs for the plan. A nonprofit has to make the community care about its cause. Included on this page, you'll find details on what to include in a strategic plan, the importance of an executive summary, how to write a mission statement, how to write a vision statement, and more. If you want a one-page executive summary, this template can help you decide what information to include. Strategic planning starts with defining a company mission. If your mission statement could define many companies in your line of work, it is not a good mission statement. Who is collecting that data, and how will they do it? Keep your focus on what you can act on. “[If you don’t do a thorough industry analysis], you’re doing your planning with your head in the sand. The Strategic Plan is organized into four overarching themes of translational science, collaboration and partnerships, education and training, and stewardship.