Introduction:

Run this checklist to plan, define, and document your business strategy. Adopt a flexible and inclusive approach by implementing the Cascade Strategic Planning Model.

Think of your strategic plan as your business roadmap. Gaps are identified between your current state and your desired future state. The strategy is then defined and documented to dictate how you close such gaps, getting you from where you currently operate to where you want to be.

A written strategic plan will play a pivotal role in your small business's growth and success by telling you and your employees how best to respond to opportunities and challenges.

However, despite the obvious benefits, there is a growing number of business owners not focusing on long-term business strategies. For instance, a 2018 Constant Contact Survey of 1,005 small business owners, found that 63% stated they plan only a year (or less) in advance. With 90% of organizations failing to execute on their strategies.

In addition to this, findings from Harvard Business Review indicated that on average, 95% of company employees are unaware of, or do not understand, the business strategy.

But it doesn't have to be like this.

You can use this Strategic Planning Template to achieve performance breakthroughs and effectively implement new corporate strategy at all levels in your organization.

Successful strategic planning involves team effort from an organization's internal team and external vendors and other outside people. Our Strategic Planning Template has been designed with this in mind.

Strategic planning also needs to be flexible. Whilst it is necessary to have both goals and objectives in your business, it is also important to adapt to the changes made. This is why we recommend you use our Strategic Planning Template in conjunction with our Change Management Model templates (all relevant template sources are provided at the end of this checklist).

How to use this checklist

At the beginning of this checklist, you will be presented with a set of specialized questions given as form fields. You are required to populate each form field with your data.

This checklist has been broken down into the three phases of the strategic planning process:

  • Discussion phase
  • Development phase
  • Review and updating phase

Other features included in this template are:

  • Stop tasks - To ensure task order.
  • Dynamic due dates - To make sure your initiative is reviewed on time.
  • Role assignment - To delegate tasks within your team ensuring your supervisors are appropriately assigned to the review tasks.
  • Approvals - So the relevant manager can give the go-head or rejection on specific tasks, adding comments for any changes to be made.
  • Conditional logic - To introduce if-this-then-that logic that will adapt each checklist to differing and specific circumstances.

Check out the Hoshin Kanri strategic planning approach via using Process Street's Hoshin Kanri Policy Deployment Process Checklist.

Record checklist details

In this Strategic Planning Template, you will be presented with the following form fields for which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information for each form field is provided via linkage to our help pages:

Let's start by recording important information for this checklist.

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot progress in this template until the required form fields are populated.

Your details

Manager details

Business details

Checklist details

Setting a checklist due date will utilize our dynamic due date feature, notifying you a day before the checklist is due for completion.

Discussion phase:

Document the executive summary

Document the executive summary for your business.

The executive summary should provide an overview of your business and include the period you're looking at in the strategic plan.

Use the long-text form field provided to detail the executive summary.

Document mission, vision, and values

Document key company details, which includes vision statements, mission statements, and company values and who is/are the leaders of the business.

Use the long-text form fields provided to detail this information.

Vision

Make sure your vision is:

  • 1
    Short
  • 2
    Communicates why you exist
  • 3
    Inspires other people
  • 4
    Can be easily memorized

A great vision statement inspires strategies and daily operations for your organization. It is the anchor point of your organization, describing the ideal world, and what you want to achieve in the mid-to-long term.

Values

It is recommended that you have no more the 4 value statements.

Make sure your value statements

  • 1
    Start with a verb
  • 2
    Are short
  • 3
    Can be translated into actions by your team
  • 4
    Are tangible
  • 5
    Can be easily memorized

Conduct important business-wide research

Conduct company research for your business plan. In this research you should include:

  • A description of your clients/customers
  • A description of your competitors
  • A description of the industry that your business operates in

Use the long-text form fields provided to detail your research.

Provide a documented description of your products and services

Next, provide a documented description of the products and services you have on offer.

In this section take the time to describe your products, services, suppliers, and delivery system.

Use the long-text form fields provided to detail this information.

Schedule regulary meetings

Schedule regular meetings with your employees and other staff who will be involved in strategic planning.

During the discussion phase, you want to gather as much information, opinions, and input as possible.

Use the date form field to set a time date for your first scheduled meeting. Use the members form field provided to select the employees to attend this meeting.

It is possible to send an email to the meeting attendees as a reminder of the upcoming meeting. Select yes or no from the dropdown form field provided if you wish to do this.

You must have an agenda and clear expectations of what needs to be discussed and achieved in each meeting. This will keep discussions on track and prevent distractions.

To help, use Process Street's Meeting Minutes Template to effectively record your meeting minutes.

Before you start planning your meeting, you must define your current business status - which is to be communicated during the business meeting.

Use the long-text forms fields provided to answer the following questions:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where are your competitors?

Communicate this information during your first meeting.

Send a reminder for your scheduled meeting

Use the form field provided to send a reminder for your first meeting covering your strategic plan.

Reach out to vendors, investors, analysts and other people outside of your company

Reach out to vendors, investors, analysts, and other people outside of your company. Ask the following questions:

  1. Where do you think the industry is going?
  2. What do you think will change in the future regarding this industry?

You can record your findings using the long-text form fields provided.

External people give a unique perspective on your business and also for the industry that you operate in. Getting their opinions on where they think the industry is going and what they think will change in the future provides excellent insight. This insight will help you plan and determine where you want your business to be down the road.

Conduct industry analysis

 Conduct industry analysis via SWOT.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Use Process Street's  SWOT Analysis Template.

Development phase:

Detail your focus area

Define and document your focus area.

Once you have collected all the information, the next stage is the development phase. It is during the development phase that you start putting together your business's strategic plan. 

The development phase begins by identifying the company's focus area. A focus area is a high-level aim or intention that will help you realize your vision/s.

{{form.Vision}}

You should create a focus area that everyone in your team can identify with. Focus areas are calls to action and point your employees in the right direction.

Make sure you focus areas are:

  • 1
    No more than 5 words
  • 2
    Start with an adjective
  • 3
    Are kept short
  • 4
    Supportive of your vision to make it happen
  • 5
    Are different from each other
  • 6
    Are critical for your success
  • 7
    Together can capture 100% of your business activities

Use the short-text form fields provided to define your focus areas.

Detail your objectives

Begin by putting together achievable and realistic objectives. You may want to speak with your employees to find the best objectives that work for you.

  • 1
    Speak to team members and employees to develop key goals and objectives
  • 2
    Discuss how these goals and objectives will be measured and tracked

An objective is something that will help you actualize one or more of your focus areas. Unlike focus areas, objectives should be specific and contain a deadline where possible (objectives usually have a deadline of 1 year or more).

Below group each objective as per the focus area. Start with a verb. Then indicate the details for each objective. For objective details include:

  • Projects to be undertaken to meet the objective,
  • KPI's (with metric and units of measurement) to track progress towards an objective.

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Review and updating phase:

Determine who is responsible for reviewing, updating and sharing your strategic plan

Use the members form field provided to designate a member of your team responsible for reviewing, updating, and sharing any changes with the rest of the company

A critical part of devising a strategic plan is determining how often the plan will be reviewed and updated. A strategic plan is a fluid document so don't fall into the trap of creating the document and letting it sit on the shelf for years.

Set up alerts for strategic plan review

Set up an alert to check the strategic plan regulary. This could be every few months, every year, or via a recurring alert.

Once an alert system has been set up, check off the subtask below and move forward in this template.

  • 1
    Set up an alert system for strategic plan review

Develop a system to share your strategic plan

Develop a system to share and communicate your strategic plan.

You want to make sure everyone in the business is aware of the changes and how they affect the overall strategic plan.

Introducing a new strategic plan will initiate change in your organization. On top of communicating and sharing your strategic plan, you need to make sure you have systems in place to adapt to change effectively and appropriately.

For this, I have listed Process Street's 9 top change management model templates below, to be used in conjunction with this Strategic Planning Template.

Develop a system to respond appropriately to missed objectives

You may not always meet your goals and objectives set up. Ensure you have a system in place to re-assess your position when this happens.

If you find you are not on track to meet an objective or goal, simply re-assess the situation and if needed, discuss the issues with your employees.

Figure out what went wrong and why your business isn't on pace. For instance, maybe the goal was too ambitious.

A good system to adopt for when this happens is the plan-do-act-check model. Use Process Street's PDCA Cycle Change Management Model Process Checklist to help you here.

Strategic plan document:

View your strategic plan summary

Below you will find a summary of your strategic plan document.

This final report has been developed using the key information detailed in this checklist. This report needs approval by the relevant manager for the completion of this checklist.

Strategic plan document

Executive summary

{{form.Executive_summary}}

The company

Company vision: {{form.Vision}}

Company mission:{{form.Mission}}

Company values:

- {{form.Value_1}}

- {{form.Value_2}}

- {{form.Value_3}}

- {{form.Value_4}}

Business management and leadership: {{form.Business_management/leadership}}

The research

Client/customers: {{form.Clients/customers}}

Competitors: {{form.Competitors}}

Industry: {{form.Industry}}

Products and services

Products: {{form.Products}}

Services: {{form.Services}}

Suppliers: {{form.Suppliers}}

Delivery system: {{form.Delivery_system}}

Action plan

Focus area 1: {{form.Focus_area_1}}

{{form.1)_Objectives}}

{{form.1)_Objective_details}}

Focus area 2: {{form.Focus_area_2}}

{{form.2)_Objectives}}

{{form.2)_Objective_details}}

Focus area 3: {{form.Focus_area_3}}

{{form.3)_Objectives}}

{{form.3)_Objective_details}}

Focus area 4: {{form.Focus_area_4}}

{{form.4)_Objectives}}

{{form.4)_Objective_details}}

Focus area 5: {{form.Focus_area_5}}

{{form.5)_Objectives}}

{{form.5)_Objective_details}}

Review and updating

Strategic plan to be reviewed by {{form.Strategic_plan_reviewer.name}}

Approval: Strategic plan summary approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • View your strategic plan summary
    Will be submitted

Transcribe strategic plan summary into the format of your choice

Transcribe the strategic plan summary into the format of your choice.

The format that you want your strategic plan to be in is a personal thing. Take a look at the strategic plan templates given below as an example.

Simply download this template and edit using the information specific to you.

Resources:

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