Strategic Planning

On May 29, 2013, I held a seminar on strategic planning at one of our coworking partner sites, The Yard. It was a great event, and many smart questions were asked from the audience. So, I thought it would be good to recap some of the main points of why strategic planning is important and how to develop a solid plan.


  • Aim to improve the results of your company over a specified time period
  • Starts with a macro view of your company
  • Concerned with vision, mission, and direction of the company (long-term focus; minimum 5 years out)
  • Understanding where you are currently
  • Defining the steps necessary to achieve your strategy
  • How to efficiently allocate your resources
  • Monitoring & measuring progress through quantifiable measures
  • Communicating progress and results to stakeholders


  • Step 1- Develop a mission statement
    • Define mission, vision, and beliefs
    • Answer question of why you exist as an organization
    • What is the purpose of your company?
    • What is it that you want your company to accomplish?
    • How will the company accomplish it?
    • What are the core values of the company?
  • Step 2 – Determine where your company is right now
    • Understand differentiation factors
    • Examine market data – industry information, competitor performance and profile, customer surveys
    • Examine internal data – know your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
    • Understand customer concerns
    • Understand stakeholder concerns
  • Step 3 – Synthesize the information through strategic analysis tools
    • SWOT Analysis
    • Balance Scorecard
  • Step 4 – Develop strategic objectives
    • Determine where you want the company to be in the future
    • What is the clearest path to achieving the goal?
  • Step 5 – Identify short-term goals
    • Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable / Attainable, Realistic / Relevant, and Time bound)
  • Step 6 – Cascade goals from top down (company –> department –> individual)
    • Communicate goals to all teams members, so everyone know what their piece is
  • Step 7 – Develop strategies & tactics
    • Day to day operational activities that need to be accomplished
  • Step 8 – Resource requirements and allocation
    • How much will it cost to implement plan?
    • How many people need to be assigned to the job?
    • How much time is needed from the team?
  • Step 9 – Monitoring and decision making
    • Identify review process (factors to examine, how often to examine, and other benchmarks)
    • Does the plan need to be adjusted?
    • What is the reason for not meeting the plan?
    • What additional actions need to be done?








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