The current fast moving global economy has caused implications in several key business areas such as customer value perceptions, buying behaviour, value chain changes or competition. Having said that the fundamentals of strategic planning are still valid today:
- Statement of Purpose – Is the strategy enduring and memorable? Is it ambitious and motivating? Does it give clear direction? Does it consider all stakeholders?
- Core Objectives – Is the end goal clear and are the milestones defined?
- Customers, Channels and Partners – What do we do? How good are we at it? Who are our customers, channels and partners? What do they need? What are the opportunities and threats? What are our strengths and weaknesses? Which verticals look most attractive?
- Competition – Who will be our competition in our target markets? What will they do? What are the likely forces in the wider business environment? What are the opportunities? How do they link to our strengths and weaknesses?
- Products and Services – What are the general customer requirements in the target verticals? What are the gaps in our current portfolio? Which shall we fill?
- Development Plan – What are the strategies for achieving product and service goals? What resources will be needed?
- Financial Plan -What will it cost? What are the returns?
- Potential Problems – What could go wrong? What are the assumptions? How could we reduce the risk? How could we reduce the impact?
- Dependencies – What conditions must there be for the plan to be successful? Is our plan in line with other business unit plans, customers’ plans and channel partner plans? Where are the critical gaps? How are these being addressed?
- Tactical Plan – Who will own key actions? Do they have clear milestones and measures of success? Is everyone aware and bought in? Are there processes in place to monitor progression?
Our premise is that tactical decisions should always be aligned with the strategic plan and based on clear objectives. Reactive strategies might work in the short-term, though it is the long-term strategies that will generate sustainable growth and customer value generation.