For the new planners in the crowd, I want to cover a topic that has popped up several times recently…

This is quite clearly a significant undertaking, and the question many people have is “Where do I start?” Strategy management frameworks involve the creation and development of direction, cascading that direction and operational planning, the ongoing strategy review and discussion (course correction) processes at all levels of the company, and reporting and communication. As most companies have some level of planning processes in place, which ones do you fix first?

Always start with ensuring your overall planning process (calendar) enables everything below it. It sounds elementary, but it’s a very common issue with many mid sized companies. Depending on your industry, competitive environment, corporate norms and planning horizon, your company should determine how long it takes to complete board & executive planning, initiative development, resource scoping, operational planning and business plan development and then push your first planning event back to this complete time-line. For some companies, they can afford to follow the fiscal year, some who have a more stable competitive environment and long-term initiatives could do this every two years with a good strategy review process. For other companies, their planning calendar currently takes a year, but their competitive environment moves twice as quickly. In this case, you have a risk to your ability to respond to the business environment.

Understand the linkages between the various stages of your planning process, only do the ones that have a purpose and make sense, then build your calendar backward from there.

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Categories: Strategic Planning