Strategic Planning: Are We There Yet?
One of the biggest challenges facing organizations across the board is securing and maintaining appropriate levels of resources to accomplish mission critical STRATEGIC initiatives. Or is it?
You know, those same initiatives that gets everyone fired up knowing it’s going to be what gets the business to the “next level” this year and your team’s contribution will surely land them the title of organizational hero. You’ve got it all mapped out in your mind – funding, the “A” team, and exactly how you are going to shuffle workload to provide the uninterrupted production time.
True Story: This is the Year!
This, this will be the year your team finally gets to hire more people or replace that clunky CRS, LMS, ATS (insert your pain point here) that requires you to perform 27 more clicks in a precise order while holding your mouse at a slight angle. One wrong click or you move the mouse just an itty bit and BOOM – you’re back at the beginning with 26 more clicks to go. At this rate, you’re never going to get lunch, but that’s okay because you were told by your leader that you are replacing defunct equipment/systems, hiring key talent or solving all your (insert pain points here) problems this year.
True Story: The Reality
Business leaders oftentimes find themselves spending their time putting together a solid business case only to find their initiatives tabled because of competing financial demands, availability of team members with the necessary skill sets, and the time to accomplish mission critical projects to drive organizational success. Leaders begin to wonder why bother to take the time to build a case and if their input is really valued?
What do you suppose happens to a business leaders’ level of enthusiasm for their work after they spend hours putting together a solid business case they truly believe in, only to watch their efforts be tabled or passed over for another initiative they had no idea was on the table or had no input into? Not just once, but year after year?
Can your business financially afford the price of a continual decrease in levels of enthusiasm (a.k.a. engagement) year over year?
Not so exciting, right?
Myth Busting - Starts with a Strategic Plan
Is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations really a shortfall in resources? Or can some of those challenges really be attributed to a lack of planning and clear communication of where you are going as an organization – a map of sorts? How you will strategically use the resources you have to accomplish your goals and the roles each leader and team member will play in the initiative? If you can see merit in this discussion, then please travel on my friends.
Think of your strategic plan as your Google Maps; plug in your end goal and then sit back and enjoy the journey to your destination…just that easy, right? No more, “Are we there yet?”, “How much longer?”, “Why did Tom’s team get (fill in the blank here) and we didn’t?”, etc. Maybe not quite that easy; unfortunately, unscheduled stops, detours, roadblocks and the occasional pothole the size of Nebraska can derail your journey.
Not to worry, if you have a solid strategic plan in place along with a good communication plan, you can all be back on the journey to success in no time. The Key Elements Consulting team considers the seven items below to be a few of the “must haves” when it comes to developing and executing a topnotch strategic plan:
Mission, Vision, Values – Together the MVV statements provides the direction for everything that takes place in an organization – it provides the foundation of your culture.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – Be honest in your assessment and have risk mitigation strategies in place to address concerns and plans in place to capitalize on opportunities.
Goals – What you want to accomplish as an organization. This is the fun part, dream big (don’t hold back) but it’s important to understand you will then prioritize initiatives on your criteria such as ROI, opportunity costs, what’s critical to the organizations’ success, resource availability, budgets, etc.
Strategic Priorities – Making the most of the organizational resources by determining what initiatives bring the most value to the organization is a key piece of the strategic planning process.
Tactical Project Management Plans (Action Plans) – These plans will provide all the details on how, what, when, where and who will execute the actual tactical plans to accomplish the goals. We strongly recommend using project management methodology (Waterfall, Iterative, Agile or hybrid) to create and execute your tactical plans.
Sustainability Plans – These action plans detail the success criteria for each goal (or tactical plan) and how will it be executed, monitored, controlled going forward. They are critical to ensuring you stay on track.
Communication Plans – What information, who will communicate, how will it be communicated and when. Effective communication is critical!
Are We There Yet?
As with the start of any new journey, the strategic planning process can seem exciting and daunting all at the same time. If the process is done correctly it can build strong, cohesive leadership teams and provide a level of clarity to an organization that ensures the optimal use of all resources. Sure, it doesn’t guarantee that each leader’s initiative can be accomplished immediately, but it will provide a roadmap (transparency) of where each initiative fits into the overall plan and what resources will be utilized in arriving at the final destination!
See you there!
Let Key Elements Consulting help you shorten the distance between where your organization is currently and your desired state. Contact Us at www.keyelementsconsulting.com and follow us on LinkedIn at Key Elements Consulting, LLC.