Every organization needs an action plan to determine the objectives and choose the most appropriate steps to achieve them.
A plan should be realistic: this means that we shouldn’t set impossible goals for ourselves. Setting impossible goals could lead to a non-productive assignment of resources and it could be demotivating for the team.
Developing a Strategic Plan starts from the analysis of our situation and our environment, the resources we have and the goals we want to achieve.
We can build our Strategic Plan by answering the following questions:
- How are we? Where are we?
- Where is the organization going?
- What do we have to get where we want?
- How do we do it?
- What do we need to do it?
- How do we concrete it?
- How do we measure our performance?
How are we? Where are we?
With these questions we get an analysis to determine the current situation of our company, whether is already operating or we are still "next to start it”. This diagnosis will allow us to:
- Clarify the direction that we want for our enterprise.
- Know the legal status of the organization.
- Visualize how we are; managing our financial, human or material resources.
This diagnosis will help us know our strengths, our weaknesses and if necessary, make the appropriate changes.
Where is the organization going?
Here we must define the area of action for our company (Mission, Vision, Values and Policies), to clarify how we will develop our project.
Mission is the reason of existence for the company, so we must take adequate time to define it. It will help to provide direction, focus and motivation to our team.
What do we have to get where we want?
Through a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) find the strategic factors of your organization. A SWOT analysis allows us to:
- Create more effective and direct strategies, to the organization's needs
- Know precisely our strengths and weaknesses
- Know the resources that the human capital of our company can offer
- Prevent obstacles or detect possible problems and difficulties.
- Plan strategies to improve our services.
How do we make it happen?
By answering this question we will define the objectives, strategies and actions that must be taken to fulfill the mission we set for our company.
We must break down our mission in strategic objectives that can be achieved in the short and medium term. With this we reduce complexity, focus effort, involve the team and assign goals.
What do we need to do?
This section helps us to determine the needs, both, human or financial and material, as well as tools to achieve those resources and manage them.
How do we concrete it?
The purpose of this question is to help us recognize the kind of projects we can carry out, to prevent problems and to improve the performance of our company.
How do we measure our performance?
The evaluation of our project is essential to improve processes and make them more effective. We should be able to see what was expected and actual results. This assessment should be continued to achieve improvements in both, the medium and long term.
The strategic planning process is like a chain, all the links should be strengthened, allowing you to be useful and functional in the development of the daily activities of our enterprise.
By Andrés Mayo Góngora