How to Create a Better Strategic Planning Process

Every productive venture requires some amount of strategic planning that will enable you to anticipate challenges and formulate solutions before you hit a snag. This means that success is highly dependent on your ability to plan strategically especially when it comes to financial management.
However, there are some basic factors that you need to consider in order to have a better strategic planning process for better outcomes in the things you do. A good strategic planning process starts with the end in mind, but there are a lot of different ways to go about it.

How to create a better strategic planning process

First, look at the current situation in the context of your intentions. If you intend to start a business, look at the market within which you want to operate. Consider the internal and external factors that would affect you, and determine how they will impact your plan both in the long term and the short term. This is like a foundation for the plan and if you do not carry out an effective assessment you may end up with a bad strategic planning process that will mean your plan is sure to fail you in the long term.

The second step is to decide on what you will do. This is the strategy formulation part where you have to use the information about regarding a number of factors that can affect your initiative and come up with a way forward. The idea is to match your strengths and weaknesses to the environment with the intention of getting to your destination. This step is highly dependent on what the ‘end game’ is in your mind. The idea here is often to come up with a way that you will be able to capitalise on the opportunities that you have, for your own benefit.  It’s important to see any obstacles as challenges and potential problems, if planned for can be overcome quickly and efficiently if you’ve taken them into account before you begin your plan.

Implementing your plan

Once you complete the formulation step, you will need to start with the implementation of your plan. The problem with most strategic planning processes is that many people see some sort of barrier between the formulation and implementation of the strategy. However, this is not the case if you have planned well. Putting your plan will require you to set a budget, some policies, programs and procedures including a lot of communication with your stakeholders. The idea here is to have everyone on board with the strategy and its reasoning. Communication here is an enabler for collaboration and you have to ensure that people within your plan are communicating effectively.

Evaluating your plan

The last step here would be to evaluate the process and make changes where possible. Plans are not often perfect and they iwill only be effective if the execution succeeds. In order for the execution to succeed, you have to keep monitoring the processes to avoid side-tracking and losing sight of the  ‘end game’. You cannot trivialize the importance of goals and objectives here.

Better strategic planning processes require a good understanding of the intentions behind the process. Knowing what you want is usually the hardest part of the plan but once you establish this, you will be on your way to a good planning process. Just remember to communicate effectively, engage the people you are working with and make sure that the goals and objectives of the plan are clear to everyone. This will make the entire strategic planning process better, easier and more productive, and allow you to reach your goal with fewer issues along the way.

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