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What is a strategic plan?

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2007-12-26 22:41:49
2007-12-26 22:41:49

A strategic plan should not be confused with a business plan. Essentially a strategic plan provides the foundation from which to build a full long-range plan. It is simply a document that summarizes, in about ten pages of written text, why a business exists, what it is trying to accomplish and how it will go about doing so. Its "audience" is anyone who wants to know the business' most important ideas, issues and priorities: management team members, board members, company employees, clients, partners and the media. It is a document that should offer direction and guidance - so, the more concise and ordered the document, the greater the likelihood that it will be useful, that it will be used and that it will be helpful in guiding the operations of a business. In its simplest form, a strategic plan can help boost performance. It helps an organization to refocus energies and ensure that all team members are working towards the same goal(s). As a process, strategic planning involves a sequence of activities, each a vital element including: (1) Assessing the external environment; (2) Assessing internal capacity and organization; (3) Developing a vision and a mission for the future; (4) Developing goals and objections - the actions - for reaching that future; (5) Implementing the plan; and (6) Measuring progress and revising the plan, as needed. I agree with Crystal on what a strategic plan is but I disagree with her on one aspect. Strategic plans are for internal use only. It is your and only your business where you plan to take your company. No army general will want to show his opponent what his strategy is. Neither should you. So keep the strategic plan close to your vest.

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