Strategic Planning for Multi-Year Investments to Build Competencies
In order to make the strategic intent happen, a strategic plan roadmap is needed to capture the management team’s thinking about critical elements of moving forward.
Often the best place to start is by doing the fundamental SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to get the management team on the same page of the current reality.
Next, a review of the value disciplines that define how the company intends to compete with in the market. This decision reflects not only on what the company has done to date but also what it would wish to do in the future. By determining the primary discipline as one of Product Leadership, Operational Excellence or Customer Intimacy; a company can then identify major activities and skills it needs to insure are in place to be able to beat all competitors in its market and line up all activities of the firm to insure leadership in this dimension.
Of critical importance is to identify the competencies needed to win over time that do not exist today such that an investment plan can be made over the planning horizon (3 to 5 years) leading to the end state and anticipating future market needs. Challenges for the organization need to be spread out and accomplished one at a time. Deciding what not to do can be as important here to free up resources and M and A may come into place to accelerate competency building.
Added analysis and tools can be brought to bear on a given company’s specific needs – e.g. Value chain analysis can point out mismatches in competitors’ costs versus yours or gaps in what is being sold and what customers want to pay for and doing industry structure analysis can identify power shifts or risk of new market entrants among other things.
With these analyses completed, directional decisions made and the impacts outlined, functional groups (R and D, Operations, Sales and Marketing, HR and Admin) can then plan out how best to support these directions.
Reconciling the functional plans together into a company plan, and putting an umbrella financial model around it, will provide a sufficient roadmap for the organization to move forward with in the final step of Focused Implementation.