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What are your Strategy & Plans?
A story from Alice in the Wonderland is paraphrased below, where Alice was
walking through a forest and suddenly came upon a very large tree at a
From nowhere, a Cheshire cat appeared in the tree and asked Alice, "Can I
Alice said, "Yes, please. I 'm lost and need to know which road I should
The Cheshire cat asked, "Where are you going?"
Alice said, "Gee, I don't know!"
"Well," said the Cheshire cat, "then it doesn't matter which
road you take."
Many reasons are typically given for not planning. Reasons such as, "We
are too busy with our work and we have no time for planning." and "Why
plan when things always change." The truth is that most of the time, people
don't plan to fail but they fail to plan. A structured strategic planning
process helps companies to take a broader view of their business and environment
in formulating plans that are workable and reduce the risks. Plans are not
static but dynamic, they provides templates for companies to deal with changes
in the environment.
One important aspect of planning is that it helps you get where you want to
go, and to know when you get there. It is far better than just getting where you
end up and wondering if this is where you want to be, or complaining that you
really wish you were somewhere else.
Strategic Planning is a Journey
When you start creating a strategic plan you begin (or continue) a long
journey. A strategic planning session accomplishes a number of objectives. These
- Improving communication between cross-functional organization management
- Clarifying organizational culture, directions, roles, and responsibilities
- Clarifying terminology used within the organization
- Establishing a common (shared) vision for the organization to pursue - one
that meets both the needs of the institution and its groups and individuals
These sessions can help energize the journey. They also help management
identify: where to go, and who can help achieve the vision.
Types of Plans
There may be several types of planning occurring within an organization:
It is the detailed activities, responsible individuals, and timings required
to complete a specific project, such as a four-month Business Process
Project plans are the most commonly developed plans and, therefore, are the type
of planning most of us have the most experience doing. Project plan have
tangible and measurable outcomes. The duration is generally fixed, with a
specified starting date and a targeted completion date. The project plan has
served us well in completing projects such as the design and development of a
new products, or organizing and implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning
Tactical and strategic plans have the same general objectives as the project
plan, but generally have different planning time frames and as a result,
different levels of specificity.
The overall activities, measurable outcomes, responsible individuals, and
targeted completion dates required to succeed during a relatively shorter period
of time, such as an organization's two-year human resource plan to support the
strategy or fifteen-month manufacturing plan.
The organization tactical plan defines the outcomes required for the
organization to be successful during the year, To achieve the tactical plan's
outcomes it is generally necessary to develop a number of project plans. The
tactical plan must be monitored regularly during the year (monthly or quarterly)
to measure progress toward the targeted outcomes, to reassess priorities, to
progress toward the targeted outcomes, to reassess priorities, to re-deploy
resources, and to make other necessary adjustments.
The overall directions and targeted outcomes required to achieve the
organization's mission. A strategic plan requires the organization to take a
longer-term perspective than normally considered necessary for operational
situation. It might, for instance, define what business the organization will
need to be in to meet competitive pressure in the foreseeable future.
An organization's strategic plan defines the outcomes required to
successfully achieve its targeted outcomes over a time frame, typically three to
five years. To achieve the targeted outcomes it is generally necessary to
develop a number of tactical plans. The strategic plan must be monitored
regularly (quarterly or annually) to measure progress, reassess priorities, and
make other necessary adjustments.
Needless to say, project, tactical, and strategic plans should not be static
documents. Each needs to be a dynamic description of what the organization is
trying to achieve during the specified time frame. Also, all of the
organization's plans should reflect and support what the organization is trying
Strategy is not just something that is nice to talk about. It is formulated
through structured process. Strategy is not just for the management, it should
be communicated to all stakeholders of the company to guide their actions &
The bottom line is that each company should have a clear and well
communicated strategy. The corporate strategy should be supported by various
tactical and project plan. These help the company to focus its resources to
achieve its vision and mission.
Link to Strategy Planning Service
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