Many companies fail to reach their goals and objectives. One reason for this failure could be the lack of a strategic plan. Through the strategic planning process, you identify your mission statement, vision statement, goals, and objectives.
However, writing a strategic plan encompasses much more. Strategic planning for a project provides transparency for individuals who are critical for completing the project, which allows for better work management. Everyone working on the project is on the same page. Your strategic plan gives you the foundation for the successful execution of each step required to complete the project.
Steps to Creating a Well-Planned Project
There are several ways you can set-up a strategic planning for your project. The key is to ensure that you create strategic goals and strategic objectives with clear action plans for project managers to follow. Having specific, measurable goals and strategic priorities gives your team the best chance for achieving your vision for the project.
When you are prepared to create your strategic plan, these steps can help you create a plan that works for your project.
Review Company Vision and Mission Statements
Your mission and vision statements are the foundation of your company. Any plan for a project should align with the company’s stated purpose. Aligning project plans with your company's overall strategic plan and organizational goals ensure that the project does not stray from your company's mission.
Assess Capabilities and External Drivers
An analysis of your internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats is vital for any type of project. You need to ensure that your company has the resources and capabilities to handle a project and that you’ve carefully considered what could impact your project that you have no control over.
The review and analysis should include finances, assets, equipment, employees, and other requirements for completing the project on time, within budget, and with a high level of competence and quality. Remember that if you need resources outside of your immediate project group that you will likely need to negotiate to ensure they are available when you need them.
Establish Goals and Objectives and Reevaluation Triggers
The goals and objectives change with each project. You must identify the goals and objectives for this specific project to determine if your company has the assets, skills, and resources to handle the project.
Goals and objectives must be realistic and measurable. You must have a way to track progress and hold individuals accountable for their contributions to each goal or objective. There should be clear time frames for completing each goal.
Finally, you need to identify – ahead of time – what circumstances will require you to reassess and possible adjust to circumstances not anticipated. Factoring this in ahead of time will make it easier to identify and respond to emerging risks.
Create an Action Plan
Action plans provide a framework for completing the project. The plan contains specific action items that can be used to measure key performance indicators (KPIs). It outlines the short-term and long-term goals for the project.
The plan covers key aspects necessary to reach each goal, including, but not limited to:
Steps necessary to meet each goal or objective
Effective means of communication
Budgets and financing plans
Deadlines and timeframes
Risk mitigation and trigger points
Duties and responsibilities of project managers and key employees
Measures of accountability
Necessary resources, including equipment, employees, and materials
Action plans and the overall strategic plan can be modified as the project progresses. Regular review of the project plan allows you to make changes to the plan before problems arise that could slow the project's progress.
Strategic planning is a malleable and scalable process appropriate for all types and sizes of organizations. The outputs of strategic planning should emphasize function over format, supporting the discipline of intelligent decision-making to balance risk and gain.
At Black Fox Strategy, we take a practical and pragmatic view on simplifying and integrating strategy, risk and resilience.
Our Essential Strategy approach and supporting toolkit of knowledge empowers our clients to take control of these critical processes so that they support – not slow down – the business of achieving goals and delivering on mission. Explore what we have to offer at essentialstrategy.com.