Let’s all get on the same page… Demystifying strategic planning

Sam Pitruzello & Sarina Sorrenti
October 18, 2019

Do you ever feel people are misaligned between teams and divisions? Do you feel your view of what to focus on differs from others in your business? Do you believe there is waste and rework because there’s a lack of alignment in thinking and actions? It doesn’t matter what size your team is – it’s imperative everyone is on the same page, all in the same boat and all sailing in the same direction.

In our last strategic planning article, we shared with you the importance of keeping a strategic window open to the world around you. Analysing and reviewing internal and external forces that can impact your business’s viability is critical to future success. Our engagePlanning approach is designed to get the best out of business planning models and practices and then adapt it for your world. We want to make strategic and business planning easy for you and your organisation. 

In this Blog we will explore the development of the one-Page Plan and team and personal plans as shown in our engagePlanning process.

engagePlanning enables businesses to stop, reflect, analyse and plan their future.

Here’s a refresher on our engagePlanning process.

What’s a one-Page Plan?

The one-Page Plan is a very clear road map and helps you to communicate your annual goals,strategies and targets. One-Page Plans is literally getting everyone to focus on the key priorities of the business. The one-Page Plan is derived from the Japanese Hoshin Planning methodology. Hoshin planning supports alignment from the most strategic part of an organisation all the way to the most operational level down to individual performance plans.

Here are some important issues and activities to be completed when preparing the one-Page Plan:

  • Come up with your Vision, Values, Mission
  • Conduct a business forces analysis (aka PESTEL analysis)
  • Carry out a competitor/substitute analysis
  • Determine possible future scenarios
  • Create your customer success strategies
  • Develop your people engagement initiatives
  • Conduct a product portfolio analysis
  • Segment your market and customers
  • Create customer value propositions

First, the organisation One-Page plan

The diagram below shows how a typical one-Page plan can be constructed.

[Insert diagram]

The first column lists the objectives to focus on. You’ll notice that they cover the main areas of business – customers, employees, organisational and finance. Organisational excellence includes not only internal processes, but also products and services. You don’t need to stick to these – you can add more at the end and rename them to suit your organisational language.

The second column is where you list your strategies. In essence, you need to ask the follow questions:

  1. How will you achieve customer success? What strategy or strategies do you need to put in place to achieve customer success?
  2. How do you engage with your people?
  3. How do you achieve organisational excellence?
  4. How do you achieve financial success? How does financial success look like in your company?

It’s important to think ahead when listing your strategies – you need to come up with measures and outcomes for each strategy you list in the proceeding sections. For example, there’s no point stating that you will implement an employee development program if you don’t have the corresponding measures or outcomes to track progress towards achieving this goal.

This brings us to the third column, measures or key performance indicators. As mentioned above, this section is where you clearly state the measures relating to each strategy you listed. Here’s an example:

Under customer success, you have two strategies – get customers on-boarded, i.e. get them up and running using your product or service in the shortest possible time and with ease. So you decide to have two measures – a) customer on-boarding and b) time that customers spend on the on-boarding process.

As you can see, these measures are clear and easy to track. Furthermore, they are meaningful to both your business and the customer. Don’t worry about internal operational measures at this point particularly if they don’t impact on your customers – these should be included in the ‘organisational excellence’ section.

Keep measures/KPIs clear, easy and meaningful.

The fourth column is where you write down the actual outcome or targets. Building on from the previous example, here are two targets:

a) 95% of customers are on-boarded within 2 weeks
b) customers spend up to 4 hours over the 2-week period on-boarding process.

Finally, it’s important to state who will the sponsor the strategy. This is an important role as the sponsor is the person who will support and be responsible for ensuring that the strategy is adequately resourced and implemented, measures are taken and targets achieved.

How do you write up a one-Page plan?

Here are some suggestions for completing your one-Page plan:

  1. List the strategies for each objective – customer success, people engagement, organisational excellent and financial success.
  2. Move onto the measures. Write down what you will measure for each strategy – you need at least one measure for each strategy listed. From the example above, the measure was customer on-boarding.
  3. Determine the outcomes/targets – these are the tangible numbers that you will track. From the example above, ‘95%’ within ‘2 weeks’ are the two on-boarding outcomes/targets.
  4. Then decide who will be the sponsor for each outcome. Typically in larger organisations, sponsors for each outcome could be as follows:
  • Customer success - CEO or CMO
  • Organisational excellent - COO
  • Financial success - CFO

Then, seek alignment with team and personal plans

Once the organisation has completed its high-level one-Page plan, each person in the company needs to complete their own personal plan in alignment with it. After all, people are employed in organisations to contribute to its overall success.

So how does an individual complete the plan?

The process is similar to what has been described above.

To begin with, each person’s one-Page plan will have the same Vision, Mission and Values as stated at the organisational level. Customisation is required for strategies, measures and outcomes. Job/position descriptions are a good place to start in determining measures and outcomes. After all, position descriptions should include KPI’s. However, the strategies to achieve KPI’s and outcomes at the individual level are normally formulated after the person is hired. In terms of determining the sponsor for an individual, this could be their direct manager or an internal mentor.

That concludes our article series on planning. We hope that you have picked up some helpful tips and methods.

Contact us if you would like any feedback or support with articulating your Competitive Analysis.

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