Learn What Makes a Good Example of a Strategic Plan

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Learn What Makes a Good Example of a Strategic Plan

 

What Makes a Good Example of a Strategic Plan?

Many companies are looking for help, searching for an example of a strategic plan as a yardstick they can use to compare their own plans. But strategic plans can come in many forms, shapes, and sizes; they are not a “one size fits all” document.  There are simple strategic plans that include goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics, as well as complex plan structures that include multiple levels and layers. How developed your plan needs to be depends on several factors, including the level of accountability you are trying to create, the time frame for implementing the plan, and the culture of your organization. In this post, you’ll see an example of a strategic plan that is most common among businesses today.

Strategic Plan Example: Basic Structure

At a minimum, strategic and operational plans contain three levels that serve specific functions. These are listed in inverse order as they appear in a plan, to demonstrate the linkage from bottom-up:

  • Tactics: These are task assignments that must be carried out on an individual basis. These action items comprise the strategies. For instance, if you have a client satisfaction strategy that focuses on an annual client event, there are a number of things that must be completed in order for the event to happen. These are the tactics, which include due dates, deliverables, and are assigned to specific people for execution.
  • Strategies: The collection of the tactics need a name, and this name is the strategy. The name of the strategy provides the focus for something specific, and the strategy itself contains the individual tactics. As such, strategies are the broad action-oriented items that we implement to achieve the objectives. In this example, the client event strategy is designed to improve overall client satisfaction. We may have additional strategies aimed at improving client satisfaction, and each of these other strategies will have a collection of tactics, too.
  • Objectives: These are quantifiable and measurable targets, that answer the questions of how much, by when. There is an old adage that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. As such, plans without measurable objectives are no plans at all; they are merely task lists. Objectives include baseline performance, targeted performance, and an established date for achieving the objective. Any example of a strategic plan must include objectives, as they are the foundation for planning. In this example, our objective is to increase client satisfaction from 82% to 90% by December 31st. How we accomplish that is the business of strategies and tactics.

Strategic Plan Example: Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics

Objective 1: Increase client satisfaction from 82.0% to 90.0% by December 31st.

  • Strategy 1.1: Implement an annual client conference
    • Tactic 1.1.1: Identify date and venue
    • Tactic 1.1.2: Develop agenda
    • Tactic 1.1.3: Identify and invite speakers
    • Tactic 1.1.4: Develop social events
    • Tactic 1.1.5: Develop menus
    • Tactic 1.1.6: Develop invitations

Strategic Plan Example: Strategic Themes and Goals

Although objectives, strategies, and tactics are core elements in any example of a strategic plan, they are not the only elements. Many plans are more robust and include additional levels in the hierarchy. These levels are usually referred to as strategic themes and goals, and they come before objectives. As such, a fully developed plan would look like the example of a strategic plan below:

  • Strategic Themes: These are one- to three-word affinity group headings used to compartmentalize strategic and operational plans, such as Quality, Safety, People, Customers, Service, Finance, and Growth. For companies that use strategic themes, four to six such categories appear to be the most common.
  • Goals: These are broad statements that translate the organization’s vision statement into something more meaningful and time-bound. If strategic themes are also used, goal statements are used to translate the vision to specific strategic themes.
  • Objectives: Similar to above, Objectives are the quantifiable items that measure the success of your Goals, and ultimately your strategic plan. They should measure how you plan to increase, decrease, or maintain some key performance indicators critical to the success of the goal.
  • Strategies: With an understanding of success measures, Strategies determine how your strategic plan will be executed and ultimately move the needle on Objectives. In some organizations, strategies are called initiatives or projects or programs. Regardless of the term used, Strategies set the foundation for the actual work that will make up the plan itself.
  • Tactics: To best execute a strategic plan, a strategy needs to be broken down properly. In many cases, these are your tactics. Tactics are the core components of your strategies that will help measure success towards completion. Tactics are NOT quick tasks that can be completed by checking a box and instead are milestones or key deliverables of the strategies.

FREE RESOURCE

Strategic Plan Template

This five level strategic plan template will help you create a plan that’s built around best practices for optimized execution.

Free Strategic Plan Template

Strategic Plan Example: A Complete Plan

Strategic Theme: Satisfaction

Goal: To be considered a trusted partner by our clients

Objective 1: Increase client satisfaction from 82.0% to 90.0% by December 31st.

  • Strategy 1.1: Implement an annual client conference
    • Tactic 1.1.1: Identify date and venue
    • Tactic 1.1.2: Develop agenda
    • Tactic 1.1.3: Identify and invite speakers
    • Tactic 1.1.4: Develop social events
    • Tactic 1.1.5: Develop menus
    • Tactic 1.1.6: Develop invitations

Keep in mind that there are many acceptable formats for strategic plans and you should use the approach that is right for you. Some companies prefer the one-page approach and others don’t adhere to specific approaches other than perhaps implementing a basic structure like the ones above. Either way, remember that creating a strategic plan is only the beginning; the hard part is executing it.

The best way to ensure your plan gets executed is to get everything in view, get everyone engaged, and work with a team that will give you every possible advantage. When you’ve got your plan crafted and ready to execute, take these next steps.

About AchieveIt

AchieveIt is the platform that large organizations use to get their biggest, most important initiatives out of the boardroom and into reality. Too many great ideas never quite make it across the finish line, because there’s no real way to keep everyone on course and keep everything on track. What does it take to actually guide these initiatives all the way through to completion? You’ve got to:

  1. Get everything in view – so you can see what’s happening with every initiative, at every level, from the enterprise to the individual, in real time.
  2. Get everyone engaged – with an easy-to-use platform that connects your organization from the executive leadership to the project teams, keeping everyone accountable and on the same page.
  3. Get every possible advantage – not only because you have the premier platform in this space, but because you can draw on the experience and best practices of our execution experts.

That’s why everyone from global corporations, to regional healthcare systems, to federal agencies have turned to AchieveIt for their Integrated Plan Management. Let’s actually do this.

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Organizations of all types leverage AchieveIt to connect, manage, and execute their most important initiatives. Replace manual processes & siloed systems with interconnected plans in a single, automated platform.

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