The mission statement explains what your business is trying to achieve. Strong mission statements can help differentiate your company from your competitors and keep you on track toward your goals. Team troubles can also occur when one or more members does not think the plan is important or does not buy into the process. He adds that focusing on one KPI can hurt other areas of a company’s performance, so reaching a goal can be short-sided. “The vision is the highest-ordered statement of the desired future or state of what you want your business to achieve,” McNerney explains. As you can see, a comprehensive strategic plan covers all aspects of project performance and goals, thus facilitating decision making and enhancing efficiency.. You might involve a person to remind you about your plan, calendar reminders, small rewards when you achieve a goal, or another method that works for you. For example, if your goal is to achieve success as a strategic planner, your objective would be to write all sections of the strategic plan in one month. Creating strategic objectives is a great way to prepare those in your organization for being able to talk about your strategy consistently and coherently. Draft a plan Executive summary. Your plan should include certain elements, like mission, values, and vision statements, and avoid common pitfalls, like neglecting the specific needs of your organization, so it becomes your road map for success. “Most organizations do a three- to five-year plan now because they recognize the technology and the changes in business that are pretty dynamic now,” Stockmal says. A Gantt chart can help you map out and keep track of these initiatives. Think of the acronym SMART when writing objectives: Make them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant, and time-bound. Your... 3. For example, employees might not require detailed appendices. No two businesses are alike so there's no real standard for developing a strategic plan. Because it functions as a review of the entire document, write the executive summary after you complete the rest of your strategic plan. It should encourage and inspire employees while setting your company’s direction. This will only slow the process down. Adjust the new plan accordingly. Vision statements should be short (a few sentences). What some people call an objective, others would call a KPI.” They key, she explains, is to decide what the terms mean in your organization, explain the definitions to key stakeholders, and stick to those definitions. “[Goals] are the higher level that contain several statements about what your priorities are,” McNerney explains. Begin with looking at your life as it is now. Use the goal example from earlier: Increase total revenue by 5 percent in three product areas by the third quarter of 2020. A nonprofit has to make the community care about its cause. “If you have a plan that’s really lengthy, you should have a summary,” says Jim Stockmal, President of the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP). Use your strategic plan to help you develop your marketing tools, but ensure outside agencies sign a waver of confidentiality. Values and/or guiding principles: This clarifies what you stand for and believe in. In this example, your objectives could be: Approach three new possible clients each month. He explains that he often begins planning projects with three questions: What would happen if you did what you want to do? Whether you are a nonprofit, a school, or a for-profit entity, strategic plans will look at where you are and how you will get to where you want to go. Write in the present tense, avoid jargon, and be clear and concise. But be careful to not create too many goals. Download the M&E Plan template (one project) Download the M&E Plan template (multiple projects) This M&E plan template is appropriate when: You need to describe the whole monitoring and evaluation system that will be used to measure the success of a large or complex project. You'll want a good working copy. It should be short enough that it can be read or heard during the average elevator ride. Failure to communicate is one of the top reasons why projects get off track. Are you in control of the performance measure? You want to make sure the plans align. Many people confuse goals and objectives, thinking the terms are interchangeable, but many argue that the two are distinct. For a nonprofit, the strategic plan’s purpose is mainly how to best advance the mission. ‌ Download Strategic Plan Sections Checklist. “It’s like drawing a map for your company. Be sure to include important portions of your plan in orientation material for new employees. You want the reader to quickly grasp the mission of your company, its values, issues and goals and... Signature page. Our world-class consulting team is here to help your organization realize the lasting advantage of Smartsheet. They should also be memorable, specific, and ambitious. How to write a strategic plan. You can use many models and formats to create your strategic plan (read more about them in this article). It can also function as a type of tagline for your organization. We will help with inputs, but formalising the document will be your job. Write two- to three-sentence objective statements for each objective. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can show you how your business is progressing. Make sure the look of your plan and printed or web communications are consistent and reflect your company's image. Free your team from content sprawl with Brandfolder, an intuitive digital asset management platform. Some should go out five to 10 years, others will be shorter — some significantly so. They are set in statement and purpose with no ambiguity about whether you achieve them or not. No matter what, do not dwell on setbacks and remember to celebrate successes. The strategic planning process will differ based on your organization, but the basic concepts will stay the same. Do not take shortcuts in the research phase — that will lead to bad information coming out further in the process. You can choose from many templates to help you write this section. Your team should be able to easily understand and repeat the company’s vision statement. Below are questions to ask your team as you craft your vision statement: What impact do we want to have on our community and industry? This template can help your university or school outline your strategic plan. In order to know if you are reaching the goals you outline in your strategic plan, you need performance indicators. Strategic planning terminology is not standardized throughout the industry, and this can lead to confusion. We are looking for somebody to help develope and write up in a formal document a strategic plan for our college. Are you satisfied? Support for businesses impacted by COVID-19. You should include the following sections: An execution plan that identifies who manages and monitors the plan, An evaluation plan that shows how you plan to measure the successes and setbacks that come with implementation. Make sure you allow for employee feedback on your plan and encourage discussion. Be sure that you clearly identify issues that you want to tackle. Soon to be by Smartsheet. While five years is often the strategic planning sweet spot, some organizations choose to create three-year plans. They set out your priorities and initiatives, and therefore are critical elements and define what your plan will accomplish. Your values should align with your vision statement and highlight your strengths while mitigating weaknesses. Many organizations do not give themselves enough time to plan properly, and once you finish planning, writing the document or presentation also takes time, as does implementation. These outside helpers are sometimes more effective than internal facilitators since they are not emotionally invested in the outcome of the process. Every action your company does contributes to its vision. Once you’ve assembled your team and defined your terms, it’s time to formalize your ideas by writing the strategic plan. It’s important for leaders to get input from the group as a whole, but they don’t necessarily need approval from everyone — that will slow down the process. “Ideally, [the mission statement is] something that describes what you’re about at the highest level,” McNerney says. “Don’t lose what makes you good,” he says. Below the red dotted line are the implementation pieces. “You need implementation elements of the plan to be successful,” McNerney says, adding that some people refer to objectives as tactics, actions, and many other terms. 2. Sadly, strategic plans have a tendency to fail when nobody periodically assesses progress. Performance indicators are not always financial, but they must be quantifiable. Included on this page, you'll find details on what to include in a strategic plan, the importance of an executive summary, how to write a mission statement, how to write a vision statement, and more. Mission and vision statements are both important, but they serve very different purposes. “It’s the reason you exist or what you do.”. This... Company description. “You need to have flexibility both on the plan content and in the process.”. If done correctly, your strategic plan will engage and align stakeholders around your company’s priorities. If you hold a meeting, make sure you and other key planners are prepared to handle the feedback and discussion that will arise. An elevator pitch is a brief description of your business. “It takes some time and money to do [a thorough industry analysis], but the lack of that understanding says a lot about the future of your organization. Build those checkpoints into the plan. Your operating plan describes goals and activities over the coming fiscal year. As with any team activity, there will be challenges. “[If you don’t do a thorough industry analysis], you’re doing your planning with your head in the sand. ASP’s Stockmal has some questions for you to ask yourself about picking performance indicators. You can also create a strategic plan to help guide both your professional and personal life. A strategic plan is essential for a successful business, and creating a strategic plan that you can actually use is key. It’s just what works for your organization. How To Write A Strategic Plan A Simple Outline. The steps in creating a plan for a department are the same as for an overall strategic plan, but the mission statement, vision, SWOT analysis, goals, objectives, and so on are specific to only the people in your department. Using the information you discovered during your SWOT and mission statement process, come up with goals that align with your values. Think of goal writing as a formula: Action + detail of the action + a measurable metric + a deadline = goal. A business plan describes your organisation and its activities, or a specific project. Before you start creating a project plan, make sure you know all of the … First, determine who should be getting the plan and take precautions about where you send it, i.e., you don't want it in the hands of competitors. Keep your focus on what you can act on. He says it is easier to cut than to create something. Plans, strategies, roadmaps – Businesses rely on these things to gain perspective on what’s about to happen. Another way to look at it: Verb (action) + adjective (description) = noun (result). Download Nonprofit Strategic Plan Template. Each section includes directions. Resource identification. This section is the bulk of your strategic plan. It also helps you rule out elements that might not align with your vision. — addresses the foundation of your organization, and it can serve as an outline for the following sections of your strategic plan: Identification of competing organizations, Industry analysis (this can include a SWOT or PEST analysis). It should be relatively easy to write. Mission statements should do the following: Define your company’s purpose. The first step in writing a strategic plan for your department is to pay attention to your company’s overall strategic plan. As mentioned, strategic planning is a process and involves a team. Some goals might even be quarterly, monthly, or weekly. Again, it is very important for you to align the content of the department strategic plan with the information presented in the business strategic plan. Organizations make strategic plans to guide organizational direction, a particular department’s efforts, or any project or initiative. The strategic planning process takes time, but the payoff is huge. Byson says the facilitator can be in-house or external, but they need experience. Share the company description with everyone in your organization. For example, instead of focusing on losing weight, concentrate on being healthier. Include a section in your strategic plan where you talk about the capacity of your organization. Hold an employee meeting or forum to present your strategic plan; face-to-face communications are always more effective. Stockmal explains that many organizations often focus too much on the future and reaching their goals that they forget what made them a strong company in the first place. In addition to guiding your entire company, it also helps your employees make decisions that move them toward the company’s overall mission and goals. The strategic plan will include priorities for the next five years along with an action plan to address priority (wieach th associated, contexts, goals, strategies, actions, indicators, persons or groups responsible and target dates). Do your best to keep it from your competitors. Identify the purpose for your work plan. “Strategic planning is a prompt or a facilitator for fostering strategic thinking, acting, and learning,” says Bryson. The familiar Smartsheet interface that is designed for how people actually work leads to rapid and broad adoption across your organization. For example, if a vision statement is “No child goes to bed hungry,” the accompanying mission would be to provide food banks within the city limits. Focus on the ones that allow you to zero in on what is critical for your company’s success. The steps in creating a plan for a department are the same as for an overall strategic plan, but the mission statement, vision, SWOT analysis, goals, objectives, and so on are specific to only the people in your department. The following framework will guide you through completion of your basic strategic plan document. While many organizations have both mission and vision statements, it’s not imperative. This exercise will help you clarify your values. Creating a realistic strategy that matches current and anticipated resources. Next, gather your planning team. Strategic planning in a school is different from others because there are no markets to explore, products to produce, clients to woo, or adjustable timelines. Every KPI must have some sort of measure. Ensuring board and staff embrace the plan and agree on the articulated goals. The key to writing a strong executive summary is being clear and concise. Your plan should also show that you understand your market, and that the work you do has both a social and financial return. If you want a one-page executive summary, this template can help you decide what information to include. Mission statements should not be vague or generic, and they should set your business apart from others. The areas above the red dotted line are the strategic parts of the plan. You should be able to defend your plan and reinforce its key areas. Mission statements are about the present, and vision statements are about the future. The following sections walk you through how to write common sections of a strategic plan. These aspects of the plan outline a strategy for achieving success and can include the following: Vision statement about what the company will look like in the future, What is happening (both internally and externally) and what needs to change. The Difference Between Mission and Vision Statements, How to Write Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives, How to Write about Capacity, Operations Plans, Marketing Plans, and Financial Plans, Writing Different Types of Strategic Plans, How to Write a Strategic Plan for a Nonprofit, How to Write a Strategic Plan for a School, How to Write a Departmental Strategic Plan, How to Write a Strategic Plan for a Project, Improve Strategic Planning with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet, Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement, Focuses what your organization does today, Focuses on what you want your company to become, Should not change often since it is linked to company’s foundation. This could include management, the board of directors, owners, and more. Report Writing & Business Analysis Projects for $20000 - $50000. Your entire organization and stakeholders should be able to remember and understand your goals. (source: microsoft.com) The above flow chart is what strategic planning looks like on paper. This section provides your reader with an overview of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A Vision Statement is a statement (typically 2-3 sentences) that gives the … Even with the differences, the same planning process and structure should be in place for schools as it is for other types of organizations. Remember, several objectives and action steps will likely come from each goal. “Conflict is part of strategic planning,” Bryson admits. ©2020. Other terms similar to KPIs include performance measures and performance indicators. Your goals should strike a balance between being aspirational and tangible. More than one objective can support one goal. A marketing plan describes how you attract prospects and convert them into customers. Objectives often begin with the words increase or decrease because they are quantifiable and measurable. It sets out your goals, plans, finances, and the risks you face. Assign people who will be responsible for certain tasks and tactics necessary to achieve your goals. The plan author is responsible for writing and putting the final plan together and should work with a smaller group of writers to establish and standardize the tone and style of the final document or presentation. “[Facilitators] need to hold the conversations open long enough to get enough ideas out there to be able to make wise choices.”. “It’s important for facilitators to lead by asking questions,” Bryson says. Some funding sources have finite beginnings and endings. I am looking for an end-of-semester project plan to share with my students. You want to stretch your limits, but not make them too difficult to reach. Below is additional advice for personal strategic plans: There are things you can control and things you cannot.