Assemble Your Strategic Plan - dummies

By Erica Olsen

It’s time to take all the research and strategic planning work you’ve done up to this point and put it together in one comprehensive document. This task may seem tedious, but you can no doubt find someone on your staff who loves this type of detail work. So seek out that person to collate everything you’ve done to date. If you don’t have such a person, brew a big pot of coffee and get to work!

Here’s why this part of the job is so important:

  • The strategic direction becomes clear. Without compiling everything into one document, your plan is just a bunch of different parts. When the parts become whole, you clearly see how you can reach your vision.

  • Ideas become action. Up until now, you’ve developed and collected a bunch of great ideas. By formalizing them into a plan, you can develop action plans and assess the financial viability of your choices.

  • Gaps are identified. With everything in one place, stand back and evaluate your plan. Does it make sense? Are your goals supporting one another? Have you missed anything?

If you’ve kept your notes in your strategy notebook, bringing everything together should go quickly. Don’t forget to bring together the ideas and input from your team that you’ve been soliciting throughout the planning process. See the following sample outline for your strategic plan:

I. Strategic Foundation and Direction

    Competitive advantage

    Mission, vision, values

II. Current Strategic Position

    SWOT analysis

    Customer profiles

III. Organization-Wide Strategies

    Corporate strategies

    Business level strategies

    Strategy map

IV. Strategic Objectives and Goals

    Long-term strategic objectives

    Annual corporate goals

    Road map

    Corporate scorecard

V. Financial Projections and Organizational Structure

    Financial projections

    Organization chart

VI. Departmental and Individual Action Plans

    Department scorecards

    Action plans

Note that a strategic plan isn’t like a business plan, because the strategic plan document is primarily for your internal use. It’s not a sales piece for outside critique (except in the case of seeking financing), so you don’t need any extra verbiage or fluff. Just make sure the content is easy to read and flow. The preceding outline is merely a recommendation. Feel free to revise and modify to fit your needs.

More than likely you have some ideas, goals, and considerations that aren’t part of this plan, but you don’t want to lose them. Create a someday list or file. Put all your extra information in this file for your next strategic planning session.

To see a sample strategic plan, visit OnStrategy.