Friday, November 16, 2007

10 Rules for Writing Your Strategic Plan

Over the years, while perfecting my personal method of strategic planning, the method that became QuickPlanner Plus, I observed several rules that, when followed, achieved a better sense of success for me and those who followed them.
This information is excerpted from Bonus Report #1, which is available only to registered users QuickPlanner Plus.
But, in a truncated nutshell, I am sharing the first 5 of these rules here with you, today...
1. Define your Vision first. Yes, even for QuickPlanner Plus users, you must define your Vision
first. Not your objective or your mission or your strategy... no. What is your vision? When you close your eyes, or gaze up at the night starts, what do you see one year, two years, five years from now? When everything comes together for you, when your program is completed, what ideal world do you see?
This is your vision. Only when you have defined what you are wishing for, can you then define your objectives.
2. Objectives must be quantitative. Objectives must have quantitative values. It is great to say that you want to be the #1 Hot Dog Cart on 116th street, but that is not a true numerical
objective. So how do you define your objectives? Simple... just decide how MANY hot dogs you would have to sell to become the #1 Cart on 116th Street. That is your objective and it is much easier to measure and understand.
3. Share your objectives. Of any part of the plan, objectives are the easiest for others to relate to. Most companies see the mission statement or the vision as the catalyst for unity among the employees or the magic words that will create the "warm and fuzzy" among the VCs. But a mission statement cannot translate into dollars. Telling your employees that our goal is $50000 in sales in 3Q07 is much more motivational then just sharing the mission statement.
So share your objectives, early and often.
4. Keep the mission statement simple. Defining your mission statement is easy, if you followed rule number 1. What is a mission statement? It is a short term view of your vision. If you are a brand new company and your vision is "to be a global company with 20,000 employees serving 3,000,000 customers world-wide", your short term mission may be to "establish company
product and name as a reliable alternative to the competition with the best customer service".
See the difference? What is your purpose in the next 1, 3, 6, 12 month(s)? If your objectives are to sell 3000 widgets in 3 months. Then your mission may be "to guide customers through known and as yet unknown barriers to purchase widgets."
5. Keep it Simple Stupid! Yes, this rule works for strategic programs to. There is no need to pay
consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend months and months to developing a short or long term plan. In reality, in this day and age of Fast Company
economics, plans must be living, breathing and flexible documents. Long term strategic planning is dead. Short term, simple visions, are what the future of planning is about.
By following these simple rules, your strategic plan will be well on its way to being a well defined plan for success.

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