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Writing a Strategic Plan

How to Write a Strategic Plan

Writing a strategic plan can require anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Use the following guides to get started with your own. If you ever need help, consider consulting with a professional.

How to Write a Values Statement

Your Values Statement should clearly demonstrate the most important things you consider, consciously or not, when making business decisions and choices. When dealing with a customer, do you value fun, satisfaction, or financial benefits? When deciding to start a new line of products or services, should the new offering add joy, profitability, quality or some other value to the company and the customer?

Next, take your list of top three values and turn them into active statements by inserting a helping verb in front of (helping verbs such as, Do, Have, Be, etc.).

For example, rather than just stating,

“We value honesty, fun and compassion,”

you would write,

“When making any business-related decision, we remember that our values are to:”

  • be honest
  • have fun and
  • show compassion

Your values statement can be a simple written sentence or turned into a poster that you might tack to the lunchroom cork board. You would also do well to add it to the header of any meeting agenda you create for your management team.

How to Write a Mission Statement

What is the general purpose of your organization? Why does it exist? What good does it do and for whom? What social or consumer problem does it strive to solve?

Once you answer these questions, combine these answers into a single statement, preferable of 25 words or less, that is as easy to remember and repeat as possible.

Identify Your 3- to 5-year Vision

Picture where you want to be as a business in three to five years. What does your service look like? How is your company viewed by your customers and communities? Where are you going as a business?

After answering such questions, write a vision statement that explains your organizational hopes and dreams in 25 words or less. Do not include details such as dates, years or numbers. Keep it general and aspirational.

Create a Calendar of Goals, Updates, Reports and Reviews

Once you have created your organization’s foundational statements, break down your vision statement into general objectives you hope to achieve, as well as annual, quarterly, and monthly goals necessary for achieving “success” according to your vision statement.

For each goal, note your employee who is responsible for its progress. If this employee is not a member of the management team, include the management team liaison to whom the employee will report.

Create a timeline for measuring, analyzing and reporting progress regarding each goal. Also list any new or updated resources the employee or manager will require, such as equipment, a budget, additional staff members or staff time, followed by an brief explanation of how and when the employee will submit informal updates and formal reports on progress and challenges.

Finally, write out meeting expectations, such as who should meet daily in team huddles, why and for how long (usually 10 minutes or less to briefly celebrating the previous day’s successes and identifying its challenges, the barriers to today’s goals, and resources needed to overcome barriers).

Explain how staff members should submit informal weekly progress updates to their supervisors to include data supporting claims of success or need to additional resources. Then define the process of giving a formal monthly goal status report to the management team member responsible for the goal. Finally, provide the expected schedule for holding quarterly strategic planning review sessions and an annual strategic planning update meeting with key leadership and staff.

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