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Strategic Planning, Phase 3: Develop Your Strategies and Priorities

Once you have addressed where you are and where you’re going in your strategic plan, then you can focus on how you’ll get there. Use your SWOT analysis to stay grounded and realistic as you build a road map from where you are today to where you want to be.

Ultimately, this SWOT and your competitive advantage will help you develop your organization-wide strategies, goals, and objectives. As you develop your strategy and set your goals, make strategic choices about what to do and what not to do.

Remember that being strategic is about making those hard choices. A mark of a good strategic plan is one that’s clear and focused (not too many goals and objectives) as well as balanced — telling a strategy story about how your entire organization is linked and aligned to drive key performance indicators.

Spend time uncovering your competitive advantages based on an understanding of your strategic position. Your competitive advantages are the essence of your strategic plan because strategy is about being different — deliberately choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than competitors to deliver more value to your customers.

The duration of this phase is estimated at two weeks. During this time, you answer these business questions:

  • What is our base for competing and delivering value?

  • What are we best at? What makes us unique?

  • What are the big rocks — strategic objectives — we need to reach our vision?

  • What must we accomplish over the next one to three years to achieve our strategic objectives?

  • What are we not going to do?

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