What is a Strategic Planning Template and Why is it Important?
A strategic planning template is a simple, easy-to-follow plan which will provide your business with the transparency and accountability to successfully implement your goals and strategies without allowing key elements to fall through the cracks. A strategic plan allows you to track who said they would complete what task and when and allows you to keep your overall project on track.
Strategic Planning Template
What Should My Strategic Planning Template Include?
While not an exhaustive list and effective strategic plan should ideally include the following:
The executive summary should be no more than a single slide and should summaries your company’s strategy as clearly as possible. The main things to include are the summaries of your business goals and the strategies required to attain those goals.
This step's importance cannot be understated, as it allows other key stakeholders such as employees and investors to quickly read and understand your strategic plan.
Check out the Executive summary document that helps keep projects on track and give clients the high-level information they want.
Industry Analysis, Competitor and Customer Trends
This step will form a crucial part of your strategic plan example. Ideally, you will be able to answer questions about the size of the industry you are competing in, the speed at which the market is growing, the key players operating in the space, the pricing trends, and the type of customer you are targeting.
This section does not need to be overly lengthy or comprehensive. If you can identify each of your target customer groups' wants and needs, this will help assist the overall direction of your strategic plan. At the end of the day, the main thing you want to be sure of is that the market you are competing in is growing and, if possible, determine where further growth can be attained.
Strategic Plan Template
A SWOT Analysis helps you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your strategic plan to pinpoint how you can best pursue your overarching goals. Apply the SWOT template to anything and everything, including but not limited to your staff, customer base, market position, resources, products or services, and complaints, to name a few. At this stage, you will more or less be completing a full 360 analysis of your business, as this will enable you to compile as much data as you can.
Feedback and insight are important to gather, so we recommend you uncover as much information as you can. It will be helpful if you talk to all of the relevant stakeholders, including employees, managers, and of course, the customers themselves. If you do this part correctly, you will always find your operation elements that can be improved upon.
Define Your Vision
Being clear in your overall vision is one of the most integral components to drafting a successful strategic planning template. This step naturally follows from the latter step referred to above, as once you have compiled all of the relevant data, you will be better informed and able to establish clarity of vision.
Some companies simplify this process by outlining three to five goals. Another way to incorporate this element into your strategic plan effectively is to identify your five-year or long-term goals. You can then identify some smaller goals that will help you achieve those long-term goals year by year. If you continue working backward from this vantage point, you will eventually list your monthly goals, which will put your project on track toward success.
Alternatively, you could start by asking yourself: “what is our purpose?” Being able to answer this question clearly and concisely will set you on the right path.
Define Your Objectives
Having outlined your goals above, your strategic plan template should then focus on defining clear objectives, which will help you reach your overall goals upon completion. To assist you, it may be worthwhile allocating objectives to individual departments or entities within your team, such as sales, customer service, and management.
For example, if you are currently doing well selling a product or service through physical means, you may want to consider an objective that will allow you to increase sales by considering other methods, such as increasing your online presence.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Including KPIs in your strategic plan is a way of showing the actual concrete action steps that your business will take to ensure your defined objectives are reached. KPIs can be boiled down to their absolute basics or can be broken down even further to track each ingredient of your action step. For example, if a KPI relates to the overall number of new contracts your business will sign per month, that KPI can be broken down further to the individual elements that allow you to achieve the signing of a contract in the first place.
The benefit of including KPIs in your strategic planning template in every detail of the action step. The person responsible for the completion of that step is recorded, making it easy to track. This is particularly so with the help of a Project Management template such as those offered by Techno-PM.
Outline Staffing, Budgeting, and Financing
Your strategic plan will only be useful if you have a full grasp of this step. You will need to ensure you have the human resources to successfully implement and achieve your goals. Your strategic plan template should also include your financial projections, assessing the projected results for each opportunity you are looking to exploit.
If you find you don’t have the financial resources you need to achieve your goals, you may need to consider raising the capital required or being more realistic about your overall aims and the necessary steps to achieve those aims.
Design an Effective Strategic Plan Template with Techno PM:
Techno-PM understands how difficult it can be to work on a project management task without first ascertaining the correct starting point. To that end, we have been providing high-quality templates for all your project management needs for over six years.
To learn more about our strategic plan templates and what we can do to assist you, visit our website and contact us today.