Previously we have talked about:
Now we will move on to benefits of Strategic Planning and then taking it further with Deployment Planning.
An increasing number of small business owners are coming to realize the huge importance of strategic planning and deployment planning. Simply put, strategic planning is a basic tool that helps an organization focus its energy to achieving a common goal and ensures all its members are working toward the same goal. Strategic planning is all about creating disciplined decisions and actions that guide an organization, stating what it is, what it does and why the organization does it. While the focus of a strategic plan is on the entire organization, a business plan focuses solely on one product or service.
The way that a strategic plan is designed and used depends mainly on the unique nature of each organization – its complexity, leadership, culture and size. This process is strategic because it involves strategies and plans to respond to both positive and negative circumstances of an organization.
Strategic & deployment planning involves a strategic vision, which is the place the organization sees itself in the near and distant future. Moreover, its strategic vision is a statement of what an organization stands for and believes in. This vision is aimed to articulate a credible, attractive and realistic future for the organization.
Strategic Planning Models
There are a plethora of perspectives, approaches and models used in strategic planning. Some of the most widely used strategic planning models are:
1. Goal-based planning: the most common type of strategic planning, focusing mainly on the organization’s mission, the goals adjacent to this mission and the strategies to achieve these goals.
2. Issues-based planning: starts by examining the issues that the organization faces and then selecting the right strategies to deal with these issues.
3. Organic strategic planning: this model starts by articulating the company’s values and vision and by creating action plans designed to adhere to this vision.
Top Benefits of Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is definitely extremely beneficial for both small and large corporations that want to achieve their goals and increase the effectiveness of their mission. Strategic planning serves a wide variety of purposes in an organization, including to:
1. Define the main purpose of the organization and help establish realistic objectives and goals that go hand in hand with the purpose of the company.
2. Communicate these objectives and goals to the constituents and third-party members.
3. Ensure that the company uses the best and most effective resources in order to reach its goals.
4. Establish a unique mechanism for informed change and provide a means to measure progress.
5. Build consensus within the organization by listening to everyone’s opinions.
6. Provide a clearer focus for the organization, which in turn leads to more overall effectiveness.
7. Build stronger teams inside the organizations.
8. Build a bridge between employees/staff and the manager/board of directors.
9. Provide the “managerial glue” that keeps the board members together.
10. Lead to increased productivity.
11. Lead to an increased satisfaction among planners from both the management and marketing departments.
12. Try to solve any other major problems in the organization.
Deployment Process – One Step Further
In order to implement the strategic planning process, an organization needs to use a deployment plan. Deployment planning involves a sequence of operations and steps that must be followed in order to materialize strategic planning.
The objectives of deployment planning are to ensure that the changes issued by the managers are executed perfectly in order to reduce the risk of failure. The main purposes of deployment planning are:
1. Define the deployment plans inside the corporation, with stakeholders/board of directors.
2. Ensure that all deployment packages are installed, tracked, verified, tested or backed-up in a timely manner.
3. Record and deal with any deviations, potential risks or issues.
If followed systematically, deployment planning can be the key that enables your organization to deal with any uncertainties and potential threats in a dynamic and changing environment, while still remaining focused on your overall vision.
Unfortunately, today many companies lack a structured process of strategic planning and deployment planning. Most of them develop strategic plans in isolation, being rarely aligned with other departments of the same organization. As a direct result, the company’s objectives are not clearly defined, and the impact among customers cannot rise up to the expectations of the managers.
According to a recent study performed by the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, less than 5% of the employees understand the overall strategy of their employer, while only 25% of managers are offering incentives to those employees who strive to follow the organizational strategy. The importance of strategic planning and deployment planning cannot be overstated.
Strategic Planning and KPI
One of the most important aspects of strategic planning and deployment planning is the setting of KPI (key performance indicators). Using the right KPI plays a major role in the measurement of the company’s progress. Obviously, plans are one thing, but putting them into practice is quite another. This is why every organization needs to leverage the power of KPIs.
As an example of a key performance indicator, let’s say an organization in sport wants to improve its internal processes and attract more customers. Its main goal is to reach a certain number of members. For instance, a football club from Denver has a goal to attract 2,000 members within a period of 10 years. In order to make sure they are on the right track, the club needs to use a key performance indicator. The best in this case is the number of new members. For each of those 10 years, a target should be set. Then the managers should develop strategies and plans in order to reach that target.
The Bottom Line
As an organization, you need to ensure that your strategic planning and deployment planning goes hand in hand with choosing the right KPIs for your goals. If the deployment process goes well and the KPIs are accurate, you are definitely on the right track.