Strategic Plan: How To Write It and Mistakes To Avoid

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Strategic Plan

Definition of Strategic Plan 

A strategic plan is a formal document resulting from your strategic planning efforts. It includes your company’s current situation, your long-term goals, and the short-term objectives to achieve them.

What Is a Strategic Plan?

Businesses are constantly engaging in planning. Today, strategic planning is of utmost importance. 

When you strategically look at your product or business and design objectives that you want to achieve, you’re likely to do better. 

Strategic planning is assessing your company’s current ground, identifying your immediate and long-term goals, and defining the path to get there.

The product of this strategic planning initiative is what one would call a strategic plan. 

A strategic plan is a roadmap to success. It helps you identify your goals and outlines the steps you need to achieve them. 

Without a strategic plan, you’re flying blind, and your chances of achieving your goals are slim to none. 

A strategic plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines an organization’s goals, strategies, and how you intend to achieve them. 

It is essential to have a strategic plan to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives. 

Through a strategic plan, you want to answer the following questions: 

  • Where are we? 
  • Where do we want to go? 
  • How will we get there? 
  • How will we check our progress?

If you are looking to create a strategic plan for your organization, keep a few things in mind. First, you need to make sure that you have a clear goal. 

Second, you need to develop strategies to help you achieve that goal. 

Finally, you need to create an action plan that outlines who is responsible for each task and when you need to complete it. 

This post will cover what a strategic plan is in detail and how you can make one!

What Are the Main Elements of a Strategic Plan?

Before writing a strategic plan, let’s understand its main elements. 

A strategic plan includes the following elements: 

  1. Your mission
  2. Your goals
  3. Your objectives 
  4. Your projects
  5. Your KPIs

Let’s understand these.

Your mission

A mission statement provides a sense of direction and purpose to a company’s strategic plan.

An organization’s mission statement outlines who it is, what it does, and where it intends to go. The majority of mission statements are broad but detailed.

For example, a business in the education industry can want to be the market leader in virtual instructional tools and services.

Your mission statement, in a way, must reflect your company’s overall vision and values.

Your Goals

Here, you will outline what you want to achieve in the long-term, mid-term and short-term.

Remember your goals are more specific than your mission statement. However, they can be broader than your objectives. 

Based on what your strategic plan is about, you can identify your goals. For example, if this is a product strategy, your goals will be different based on product feedback

But if this is a business strategy, then several other factors may come into play.

For example, your goal might be a focus area such as aggressive growth or quality service.

Your Objectives

The objectives in your strategic plan outline specific and measurable milestones that an organization plans to achieve to reach its goals. 

Your focus areas should align with your strategic objectives. For each goal, you’ll usually have three to six objectives.

In this element, we begin to get more specific and time-bound. Thus, using the SMART goal-setting process is a wise approach to your strategic objectives. 

An example of an objective that aligns with your goal of aggressive growth can be a 75% profit margin by the end of Q3. 

Your Projects

Now here’s an element of the strategic plan that companies often neglect. 

When you’ve set your goals and objectives, you don’t have to go about business as usual. You must assess and pick out which projects to emphasize. 

Your projects will be even more specific than your objectives. Projects are the action roadmap towards your objectives.

For example, if the objective were to deliver five feature improvements by the end of Q2, your projects would underline which exact feature you will be working on and who. 

You may include more product owners and project managers in deciding the projects part of your strategic plan. 

Your KPIs 

And finally, you’re going to need to measure the success of your plan, right? 

KPIs will measure your progress toward your strategic goals. They’re quantifiable indicators of your company’s progress toward reaching critical business goals.

You should create KPIs with a particular goal or objective in mind. Each objective should have a key performance indicator for every business level. 

Check out our guide on KPIs for product management.

You may also use other performance management systems such as OKRs or business metrics to measure your strategy. 

And you’re almost there. Now you know what goes into the strategic plan. Let’s now understand why it is so important.

Why Is a Strategic Plan Important?

A strategic plan is essential because it helps organizations set clear goals and achieve them. 

Without a plan, organizations can quickly get off track and fail to achieve their objectives. 

A good strategic plan will help an organization stay focused and on track while also providing a roadmap for success.

How To Write a Strategic Plan?

Here are some tips for you on how to write a strategic plan. Make sure to keep these in mind. 

Keep It Simple 

Ensure that you use simple yet effective language. Your terminologies must be easy to understand. A tool that could come handy to help you write clear and effective plan is Essay Writer Pro . Stick to your objectives and don’t deviate from the KPIs. 

Scale Easily

Plan out your objectives and projects so that it is easier to scale them. For example, you should be able to make nested objectives or KPIs for teams under a bigger team. 

Be Flexible

While a strategic roadmap is detailed, it is also adaptable. Focus on responding to change over sticking to a plan. 

You can always take the help of product roadmap softwares like kanban boards to keep track of your tasks and modify them. 

Be SMART 

When we mean SMART, we mean specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 

Read more about SMART goal-setting for your teams here

Let’s look at an example of a strategic plan for some perspective.

What Are The Examples of a Strategic Plan?

When it comes to developing a strategic plan, there are a variety of approaches that businesses can take. 

Popular examples of a strategic plan include a SWOT analysis, a business model canvas, and Porter’s Five Forces model.

Each of these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your business is essential. 

A SWOT analysis, for example, is a great way to assess your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

However, it can be time-consuming and may not provide the level of detail that some businesses need.

The business model canvas is another popular option for strategic planning. This approach is much faster and easier to use than a SWOT analysis, and it can be a great way to get started on developing your strategic plan. 

However, it’s important to note that the business model canvas is not a comprehensive strategy tool.

Porter’s Five Forces model is a more comprehensive approach to strategic planning, and it can be beneficial for businesses that want to develop a detailed strategic plan. 

However, it can be more challenging to use than the other two options.

Ultimately, there is no “right” way to develop a strategic plan. 

The best approach for your business will depend on your specific needs and goals. 

What Does a Strategic Plan Look Like?

Here’s a question we often get. Product managers know everything about making a strategic plan. But they still wonder what it should end up looking like. 

There’s no correct answer to this. The only important thing to remember is that your strategic plan should look like a transparent roadmap for your organization

You can achieve that in the form of a table, a mind map, a chart, a presentation, or even other forms of multimedia. 

Many successful businesses use product management tools to track their objectives and task delivery. This results in better success. 

However, many times, despite all the advice, many strategic plans fail. 

Why Do Strategic Plans Fail?

There are several reasons why strategic plans fail, but some of the most common include: 

Unrealistic Goals

Unrealistic goals are often the result of leaders who are too optimistic about what their organization can achieve. They set targets that are impossible to reach, leading to frustration and discouragement among employees.

Lack of Buy-in From Employees or Stakeholders

Lack of buy-in from employees or stakeholders is another common reason strategic plans fail. If people don’t believe in the plan or don’t feel invested in it, they’re not going to work hard to make it succeed.

Inadequate Implementation

Inadequate implementation is another primary reason why strategic plans fail. Even the best-laid plans will die if you don’t adequately execute them. Poor communication, inefficient resource capacity planning, and unrealistic timelines can lead to implementation problems.

The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to carefully consider all factors that can contribute to a strategic plan’s success or failure. 

By being aware of the risks, you can increase your strategic plan’s chances of success.

Start your strategic planning journey with Chisel for free, and never look back!

FAQs

How Often Should a Company Revise Its Strategic Plan?

A good strategic plan requires annual revision. However, to take full advantage of your strategic plan, you can also revise its quarterly goals.

What Percentage of Strategic Plans Fail?

According to Inc Magazine, around 67% of strategic plans fail. Thus, you can implement strategic planning the Chisel way to avoid the same pitfalls!

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