Consulting and Facilitation

Strategic and business planning

Strategic planning is an important ingredient for the success of any organisation. In business circles, strategic planning generally refers to the defining of the organization’s go-forward plan for the future and accompanying desired outcomes. The spectrum of planning models and processes is broad, and planning has taken many different forms over recent decades. When planning is done well, with a mature and robust process that guides the effort to ensure completeness – the outcomes can be powerful and position the organisation to meet customer and stakeholder needs and satisfy budget constraints. Yet only a small percentage of businesses operate with mature planning models that yield complete and comprehensive business plans. The majority do not fully operationalize their strategies to get maximum benefit from the strategic planning activity. The process outlined below will ensure that your strategic planning document is implemented in a manner that enables it to be a living document that is tracked, monitored and reported against throughout the next 12 months.

Utilising the expertise of an external facilitator allows the executive group and other staff of your organisation to focus on their own thinking and contributions to the discussion as well as fully participating in the interactions and input from other colleagues. A facilitator can provide a known planning process to your process or they can adapt a process to meet your needs and/or previous planning tools and methodologies. It is also particularly helpful to have an external person to achieve a business plan that both accounts for the external marketplace as well as the internal operating frameworks, capabilities, policies and systems of the organisation. It is important that the plan clearly articulates the intended purpose, mission and vision of the organisation as well as outlining the current and future operational plans of the organisation. The desired documentation will ideally identify key organisational objectives and project timelines that are realistic in their scope and aims and are prioritised in an appropriate manner.

Fully operationalized strategic plans are more comprehensive – going further than just discussing strategy by addressing all of the actions, organisational structures and resources required to implement the plan, including:

  • Industry trend analysis
  • Core values definition
  • Timelines for actions
  • Required resources, staffing and structures
  • Metrics tied to goal accomplishment
  • Accountability in goal-related initiatives
  • Governance structures
  • Scenario planning
  • Staff training and competencies analysis
  • Risk mitigation

All of this provides a holistic picture of the existing landscape and the organisation’s proficiencies within it. Such plans allow the executive of the organisation to monitor progress and remove impediments to goal accomplishment.

A Four Stage Approach may be adopted for the overall business planning process that enables all staff and other relevant stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the final document. In doing so, we maximise the level of “buy-in” or commitment from staff for the plan. This approach and the stages herein are offered for discussion and are easily modified to meet your specific context and needs. The Four Stages comprise:

Stage 1: Open Staff Planning Workshop (to produce draft Strategic plan)

Stage 2: Consultation with all Staff (to review and contribute to draft plan)

Stage 3: Executive Finalisation Workshop (to finalise and resource the plan)

Stage 4: Implementation of the Strategic Plan (to ensure successful implementation)

Contact us for more information on our Strategic Planning services :