Strategic planning is crucial to your business’ long-term success. It not only provides a sense of direction and outlines objectives, but is also useful when making day-to-day decisions. Strategic planning models function as designs, similar to blueprints used during construction. There is no one best model. It is up to businesses to select and alter models based on issues that need to be addressed and goals that want to be reached. Learn all about strategic planning models to determine which are best suited for your business.
1. Basic Strategic Planning Model
Basic or simple strategic planning models are often chosen by new organizations that have minimal experience with strategic planning. They are also effective for businesses that have little time to spend on the strategic planning process. As the name states, this is the most basic type of strategic planning that is usually used by small businesses until they become more established.
Basic strategic planning typically consists of creating a mission statement that describes why a business or organization exists. Next, choose your business’ intermediate goals pertaining to what needs to be accomplished first to meet your mission. You will then want to identify strategies that can be used to reach your goals. Create action plans that list the necessary steps that your business must take to properly implement a strategy. As you take action, monitor your progress.
2. Issue- or Goal-Based Strategic Planning Model
Many businesses that begin with basic strategic planning models evolve to using issue-based or goal-based planning. This enhancement of the basic model is designed for more established businesses or organizations who want to dive deeper into the strategic planning process. This is the most commonly used type of strategic planning models and does not require all steps to be completed each year.
This type of model typically starts with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, or an assessment of the external and internal forces within a business. Next, the stakeholders identify goals and issues in which the business can use to better prioritize their objectives. The next steps include designing a mission statement, establishing action plans, creating a strategic plan, developing an annual operating plan, and authorizing the budget for the first year. Finally, the plan involves conducting the first year’s operations and monitoring the strategic plan.
3. Scenario Strategic Planning Model
The scenario strategic planning model is considered more of a technique then a model. It is often used in conjunction with other strategic planning models and can be highly useful in identifying goals and issues. This model is used by businesses who want to prepare for various scenarios that could possibly occur due to external forces or a change in environment, such as demographic changes or changes in regulations.
This type of planning model begins by identifying vulnerabilities that could affect a business. For each identified change, discuss several scenarios that could result, including best and worst-case scenarios. You will then want to design responses which suggest what a business may do in each scenario. You can then select common strategies that can be used to respond to changes. Finally, make a list of the most common problems that could affect a business over the next three to five years.
4. Alignment Strategic Planning Model
An alignment strategic planning model helps create a strong alignment between a business’ resources and mission. This model can be a useful tool when businesses want to fine tune their objectives or determine why their goals are not being achieved as planned. Alignment planning is often recommended to businesses that are experiencing a large number of inefficiencies or other types of internal issues.
This model begins by outlining the business’ resources, mission, programs, and required support. Next, it is important to identify what aspects of the business are working well and which ones need further adjustment to reach a desired effect. You will also need to identify ways that these adjustments can be made. Finally, you will need to include these adjustments as strategies in your plan. This last step is one of the most important and should be the main focus of the model.
5. Organic Strategic Planning Model
Organic or ‘self-organizing’ strategic planning models are in contrast to other planning models that follow more linear, methodical approaches. This type of planning requires continual reference to common values and shared reflection around current processes. Organic planning often uses a technique known as story boarding to allow participants to develop their own ideas before sharing them with a larger group. It also allows stakeholders to play a more active role in meetings.
The organic strategic planning model begins by clarifying the businesses’ cultural values using storyboarding and dialogue techniques. Next, the plan consists of articulating the group’s vision for the business using the same techniques. It is important to dialogue regularly to discuss what the group will do next. Organic planning requires a great deal of patience and a solid focus on learning over method. The results should be spontaneous and unexpected. Accomplishments can then be translated into goals.
Contact BBG for More Information
The use of strategic planning models is just the first step. It is how you put your strategic planning models into action that count. As there is no one single strategic planning model that works best for all businesses, it is essential that you take the time to find ones that work for your business and fine tune them to your needs. Using a combination of two or more models can help you reach your business goals faster. It is also important to include all components. If a component is not included in your plan, you may find that the quality of your plan quickly diminishes.
A good strategic planning model is made up of different components that can be organized to fit each unique business. This also means that your model needs to be flexible. To learn more about the different types of strategic planning models, contact The Business Benefits Group online or by calling us today.