Successful businesses just like in personal life , starts with a plan. Understanding that there are basic steps to creating a winning strategy can increase your chances of success in any endeavor. Strategic planning is the process of defining a company’s objectives and translating them into tactical plans and actionable items. One of the most important tasks for an executive team, managers, and employees is to create a strategic plan that will guide growth for their company in coming years. Although defining a strategic plan can be time-consuming and difficult, it is important that the plan’s direction and target priorities be clearly communicated. If you do not understand exactly what you want to achieve, how can you even begin?
Strategic Growth Planning is a process that can help you:
-Delegate and improve your productivity
-Streamline and maximize the efficiency of your Business Processes
-Identify opportunities for improvement and enhancement to increase performance levels.
Strategic Growth Planning and The Six Sigma Model
Probably the most popular process used for strategic planning is the Five-Step Strategic Planning Process. Today, many companies are making this process part of their everyday operations. Indeed, strategic planning is a process that differentiates successful companies from those who aren’t so successful. A lot of new companies don’t bother to put together a formal strategy, but it’s easy to do if you know what’s involved. It’s important to understand where you want your business to be in five years and what elements have to be in place in order for you to get there. Of course, the very best way to understand where you want to be is to take either a look at how others are doing or engage Freelance Strategic Growth Planning Consultants from Fintalent.
The Five-Step Strategic Planning Process is also known as the Six Sigma Model, Six Sigma Optimization Model or Six Sigma Modeling Method. These are all variations of the name “Sigma” which signifies “σ” or standard deviation in mathematics. The process was developed by the multinational manufacturing company Motorola. It was introduced in 1988 during their project called “Motorola Way”. It became one of Motorola’s most successful business practices due to its effectiveness, simplicity and cost efficiency. It has since been adopted by many other organizations.
Basic Steps in Strategic Planning
Step One: Define the Goal
This is a pivotal step in developing a winning strategy, because by knowing what you want to achieve, you’re able to set yourself up for success. Each goal should be measurable and time-bound so it’s possible for people around you to understand when the desired result will be achieved.
Step Two: Define the Approach
The approach is the how part of the equation. It includes what type of support you need from friends and family, as well as your business relationships, financial resources and any obstacles that might be encountered along the way. A good rule of thumb is to define your approach by asking yourself, “What do I want to accomplish? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses?”
Step Three: Define the Environment
Finally, set about setting up your environment for success. You want to surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive, as well as those with the skills needed to do what it takes to achieve your goal.
Having a plan in place is one of the most important things you can do before you launch your business. “Successful entrepreneurs know that success is built on your ability to focus on what is most important. Your strategy drives your actions, not the other way around,” Freedman says.
This process creates the framework for success by helping you determine which opportunities are worth pursuing and how best to exploit them.
Tips for Completing a Strategic Planning Process
Budget Allocation: The budget will most likely reflect the most pressing issues and resource needs of the company or organization. Therefore, it is vital that each stakeholder has input on how to allocate their resources. From this information, the team will develop a timeline for implementation of necessary activities throughout the year. It is imperative that everyone understands their part in meeting these goals and objectives.
Planning Ahead: When creating a plan, it is important to consider all relevant functions of the business. A wide range of functions are involved in strategic planning—directorate management, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, finance, law, human resources and operations. Having all stakeholders draft their roles in the plan facilitates decision making on many issues at one time. It will also allow for more creative problem solving and innovative technologies.
Generate Ideas: Creative thinking is important when envisioning the future of your company. A strategic plan will be meaningless if it does not produce actionable items that are customized to each part of the business. The plan must be based on realistic goals at each level of the organization.
Planning Time: It is vital to include a timeline for the implementation of important initiatives and commitments that were established in the strategic plan. Also, it is important to set dates for decision making and implementation activities. This will allow for a sense of urgency in creating a workable plan, which is vital in business growth.
A key component of strategic planning is developing organizational competencies to ensure success in the marketplace. Poor strategic planning often results in gaps between what employees are capable of doing and what customers want or expect them to do. Often times, managers get consumed with developing plans for the future and forget to give enough attention to the present. Fintalent’s Strategy Experts can help businesses and managers navigate this delicate task by bringing their wealth of experience to bear on a firm’s strategic growth plans.