As a manager or an entrepreneur, it is essential that you figure out how to improve your organization’s performance in order to stay ahead of competition. These employee erformance improvement plans form part of your strategic planning models, which are key to sustaining your organization.
Therefore, it is very crucial that you understand what strategic planning is and how you can apply it in your organization. I’ll show you have strategy can be applied to the basic planning of your business, marketing and workforce (strategic HR management of capacity, capabilities and productivity needs).
So, what is strategic planning and why are its models important?
Strategic planning is a simple management tool that you can adopt to help your organization focus its energy while ensuring that its workforce is working toward a common goal in order to evaluate and adjust the organization’s goals in response to changes in the prevailing environment.
Strategic planning models focus on producing fundamental decisions and actions that orient and guide what the organization is, what it does, and why it does it, while focusing on the future.
Key models for strategic business planning
Strategic planning can be crucial to the success or failure of your business or non-profit organization. Therefore, when selecting a strategic business planning model, you need to take into account the model that best fits what you are trying to accomplish, then make necessary adjustments to suit your organization’s specific needs.
Here are some of the key strategic planning models that you can use in your organization:
i. Basic strategic planning model
This model is applied in small businesses and organizations that are too busy to engage in other models of strategic planning.
It involves identifying the organization’s purpose, also referred to as “mission statement,” then identifying the goals that must be realized in order to arrive at this mission. Strategies and action plans are then put in place in order to realize these goals.
ii. Goal based planning model
This is usually the first model adopted by organizations after working on the basic strategic planning model. It explores the specific goals in an in-depth manner and you can use it to identify and prioritize the major goals within your organization.
Once this is done, you need to come up with strategies and action plans as well as the necessary roles and responsibilities required to implement the set goals. For example, engineering departments implementing new software have to define their own quality control plans as well as the software development lifecycles they intend committing to delivering.
This model is usually formal and structured in its approach. I created a separate post detailing an overall strategic planning template that could be used as a starting point when evaluating the structure of such formal documents.
iii. Alignment model planning
This model is usually applied to fine-tune and adjust already existing strategies. You can use it to determine why certain strategies are not working for your organization, and what you can do to rectify the situation.
This model is ideal when responding to internal efficiency problems. It involves defining the overall mission, evaluating the already existing problem, the available resources and any need for additional support.
Once the existing problems have been identified, remedial measures should be devised and integrated into the strategic plan.
Key models for strategic workforce planning
Strategic workforce planning is a systematic evaluation of the current and future labor needs and then determining the actions and strategies required to meet these needs. In simple terms, it involves getting the right people with the right qualifications and skills into the right roles within the organization at the right time.
The key models for strategic workforce planning focus on identifying, evaluating, developing and sustaining organization’s workforce skills that are necessary to successfully accomplish the goals and priorities while balancing the expectations and needs of the workforce.
Thanks to this process, you can gain an insight into your organization’s capacity and labor needs so you can make crucial human resource decisions and take deliberate, timely action towards developing your employees. Ideally, strategic workforce planning identifies the gap between your organization’s labor demands and the available workforce, and then working on how to close this gap.
Your human resource team specialize in managing your workforce plans. They should have their own templates, spreadsheets or databases in place for tracking list of employees in your firm, their skills, their levels of ability in strategic capabilities and the various performance appraisals. As new projects come in, the business leaders need to work with human resources to evaluate their workforce skills spreadsheets and identify where additional staff will be required as part of your strategic workforce planning.
Key models for strategic marketing planning
Strategic planning models usually come with some form of strategic marketing planning section that is directly linked to your sales plan. Therefore, it is crucial that your marketing plan is based on proven marketing models and aligned to your new product design & development strategy. Here are the key strategic marketing models that you can easily adopt in your organization. It should be apparent from these basic descriptions how marketing plans are so tightly aligned to customer needs and key product benefits you need to identify.
This is the first basic marketing model defined as:
- ATTRACTING- the attention of your audience or market
- INTEREST- your target audience or market
- DESIRE- creating desire for your products and services
- ACTION- from buying your products and services
These four elements need to be identified within the product offerings your company provides and compared to your competition. Your strategy is then all about how you’re going to improve one or more of these elements in order to drive your competition out of the market and gain bigger market share.
ii. The 4 or 5P’s
- PRODUCT- what you should include in the marketing plan
- PRICE- what must be value added or competitive
- PLACE- where you must target for greater exposure
- PROMOTION- find an effective strategy
- PERFORMANCE- measuring the effectiveness of your marketing plan
All forms of strategic marketing planning documents showed at some point clarify 5P’s. It is essential that this vision for your product, place, promotion, etc. is adequately defined. It actually informs all development and implementation work done by your company as well as other dependent departments such as advertising, sales, customer support, quality control, etc.
iii. The 2 or 3Q’s
- QUALITY- of your products and services
- QUANTITY- of your marketing campaign
- QUALIFY- your message with customer testimonials
In marketing terms this form of strategic planning theory is a different viewpoint or different when looking at how your marketing is going to benefit the firm. Your marketing team need to uniquely identify how their campaigns are going to emphasize products when reaching out to the customer. More often than not, capturing every market research to establish the voice of the customer (VOC) is a highly effective way of identifying the three Q’s
How strategic planning for nonprofits differ from that of profit organizations
Lastly, strategic planning theory is not only designed for profit making purposes but also for achieving the desired goals in the best possible manner.
Most often, non-profit organizations have goals that differ from those of profit organizations. Therefore, strategic planning questions with respect to non-profit organizations should aim at addressing how the organization can reach the largest possible audience using the least possible resources and services, while positioning itself to acquire and relocate funds in an effective manner.
This sort of mindset should apply in fact to all companies however, strategic planning for nonprofits has a greater focus on making effective use of the limited budgets available to individual departments.
The other distinction between non-profit and profit organizations is the motivating force. Most often, non-profit organization workforce is never motivated by money and career growth but rather compassion and the ultimate result of the overall development.
REMEMBER: Strategic planning models are not only crucial to the operation of organizations but also to their sustained viability. A strategic plan provides vision to the organization. If done clearly, your organization’s strategic plan will precisely outline your goals over a specified period and the organization plans to deliver on these goals.