Why The Need for Strategic Planning?
If your intention is to grow your business in a certain direction or achieve your Vision, Objectives, and Goals you will need to have and put an effective Strategic Plan in place. All too often business owners have no clear Plan for, or Direction in which they wish to take their Business. In other instances, the owners of Business’s have a clear Vision and Plan, but this has not been clearly communicated down to the rest of their Team, hence the full potential of the Business is never realized.
As defined by Wikipedia, Strategic Planning is:
- A process of defining an organization’s Strategy or Direction.
- This in turn determines the all-important allocation of resources (i.e. Capital, People etc) to pursue the organizations’ strategy.
- Various techniques or Management Models are used in the strategic planning process.
- The Strategic Plan should be used to determine an organizations direction in the next year or 3-5 years (long term).
- It must be looked at regularly, evaluated & updated.
To determine the organizations direction, you need to know:
1) Where it currently stands.
2) Where it wants to go.
3) How it will get there.
A very critical part of the Strategic Planning process is to also determine and agree upon an Organization’s Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Shared Values.”
Mission Statement: Defines the purpose of the organization – What we do & desired level of performance? – What are our objectives? Provides direction! The ground Rules for the Business! Who you are and Who you serve!
Vision Statement: A long term view of how an organization will look.
Shared Values: Shared beliefs. Used to drive the culture & priorities.
Strategy is the road map or path to achieve the Vision, Mission & Objectives. It must address the issues facing the company. Strategy is all about doing a full organisational analysis, making informed choices, and then implementing, as necessary.
Scenario Planning as Part of the Strategic Planning Process
You must at some point in the past, heard People or Organizations say:
• “I didn’t ever think that would happen” or
• “Who would have thought that” or
• “I didn’t see that one coming” or another favourite
• ” How can they do that, it just is not fair, because it’s against the Rules!”
Unfortunately for a lot of Organizations who do not Plan and Prepare their Business’s for different Scenarios that may occur, too little is too late. Approximately 80% of the success of world class companies is due to Excellence in implementation and delivery under a variety of conditions. You need to “Think the unthinkable” and then put an effective Scenario plan into place.
Benchmarking as Part of the Strategic Planning Process
Benchmarking is the process of comparing one’s performance to industry best practices or best practices from other industries. Typically, one would measure costs, profitability, quality, and time. Management would typically identify the best performers within their own organization, industry, or other industries to compare their results and process’s against. You measure the performance using a specific indicator i.e. the cost per unit (Rand Value), productivity per unit or defect per unit.
The Benchmarking process would typically happen within a peer group for the purposes of comparison and input (in a facilitation workshop environment). This then will allow the organization to develop plans for improvement and adapting to specific best practices.
Benchmarking is a continuous process in which an organization continually seeks to improve their performance or practices as guided by the below steps:
1) Select the subjects to be Benchmarked i.e. areas of profitability or expenses.
2) Identify potential partners for the workshop.
3) Collect the applicable data (internal data and external data).
4) Identify the gaps or problem areas via comparison’s (workshop environment).
5) Establish the process differences or areas of opportunity.
6) Set new Targets and revise the Action Plan.
7) Ensure the new Objectives are communicated clearly.
8) Constantly review.
Guiding an Organization through the Benchmarking process and assisting with a workable plan that can be effectively implemented., is the duty of independent professionals.
A Reputable and Professional Management Consultancy should be able to assist with all of the above processes. By making use of their experience, independent and impartial services, through a medium of facilitation they will be able to guide an organization through the strategic planning exercise.
Contact us Today If You In Need Of Specialized Management Consulting Services.