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There are quite a few strategic planning frameworks easily found by using Google. But they feel so cumbersome and impossible to use.  That seems to be an unintended after effect of a now competitive consulting space and a multitude of opinions.

So here, are the basics as we see them.

  1. Know what you want for outcomes.  Start with statements that are directional in nature such as “increase…”, or “decrease…” or “maximize..”  These statements define your why.
  2. Next, create a statement of “what you are going to do” to make the outcome a reality.  Define your approach.  In other words, how are you going to go about it.
  3. Next, add ways to measure (and hence test) your proposed approach with milestones.  Use language of when and how much.  This way you will know if your approach is working.
  4. Finally, spend time and/or money to execute your approach and achieve your milestones.

This is the simplest strategic plan you could create.  And, these steps aren’t linear strictly speaking.  Start where you want to, but check that something in one section is linked to something in another before you get too far and are wasting time and money.

The best strategic plans aren’t born from omniscience or being clever.  They are plans that taking thinking, testing and commitment.

Now get started and you’ll be leagues ahead of your competitors.