3 Guidlines for Getting Better Results From Your Strategic Plan

If we (Performance Solutions Technology) were consulting with you today, and
looking at your Strategic Plan, we would be emphasizing three important constructs
that dramatically improve the ability of your Strategic Plan to deliver business
results. They take it from being a plan, to something you can put into place and
execute… all year long. Let’s go over what we emphasize:

1. The Strategic Plan is about “must have” growth nothing
else. Bottom
line, all of your strategic goals should be about growth, example: growing
sales, growing people’s effectiveness, growing internal efficiencies. Growth is
what we are after; not mission statements, not organizational philosophy, not
politically correct statements (to insure every group has a line item in the
Strategic Plan) just
growth.
And not just any growth. Not just nice to have
growth, “wouldn’t it be
nice/good/we really should” growth you
want to keep your Strategic Plan
very lean and mean, and limit it to just the areas of growth that will power
the business forward. Be thinking in terms of the opportunities given your
strengths and the market landscape that are mandatory for the growth of the
business.

2. Aside from tracking financial returns as part of your strategic plan,
every goal has to have a plan, represented as initiatives. Every
initiative supporting a growth goal has to stand two tests.
If your strategic goals and initiatives don’t link to goals and projects in your
business operations, they will typically be undersupported
in the day to day work process and shouldn’t be in your Strategic Plan. This is our working
definition for alignment. But what about those tests?

1. The first test we use when looking at initiatives is – “Do they represent a
compelling plan for achieving the strategic goal?” They should represent a
believable,
testable, sequence for achieving the strategic objective while
minimizing risk of lost time, missed opportunities and incorrect use of
resources. Initiatives represent your game plan. How good to you want your
plan to be?

2. The second initiative test is embraced by the following question, “Is that
(initiative) really required to reach the strategic goal?” If the initiative is not
critical to reaching your strategic goal, don’t keep it in your plan. Keep your
plan light and focused, you want to carry and drive this throughout
the
year. Sacrifice or trade comprehensive descriptions for targeted, punchy
sentence stubs.
Note: All noncritical
initiatives should be in your Operations
section, not your Strategic Plan. Don’t fill up your Strategic Plan with
multiple layers of initiatives, many, if not most, of them should be
represented as projects under different business, product and service
initiatives in the Operations area of your business in a strategic
management software tool like ManagePro.

3. If a goal isn’t measured, it doesn’t belong in your strategic plan.
If you haven’t figured out a meaningful way to measure each strategic goal
and supporting initiative it
doesn’t belong in your plan. If you’re not tracking
it via your scorecard, don’t keep it. Said another way, if it’s not worth the
time to measure and track, it doesn’t belong in your Strategic Plan. It’s that
simple. Whether or not a strategic goal is measured and tracked is one of the
best for predicting what you will actually execute through the year.
Conclusion: To construct a strategic plan that can really empower your entire
organization, focus on three areas:

1. Make sure the strategic plan is focused only on Growth

2. Every strategic goal has to have an action plan of initiatives

3. Whatever is worth including, is worth measuring – regularly