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Looking for corporate strategic planning best practices suggestions please

corporate strategic planning best practicesOne company I work with just has a bunch of meetings followed by some Google docs, but no agreed process, including but not limited to no ongoing measurement of success. Ideally, a simple agreed process on the front side would surely help. Must be simple, as the founder is kind of a maverick. Also, any suggestions on how to get the group to agree from the beginning to any defined planning procedure would be great.


Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

Not sure what particular kind of planning you're focused on, but it sounds like the process needs some improvement regardless.

Here are two white papers and a recorded ProformaTech conference session from the Proformative library that should help. The first is titled, "Battle-Tested Best Practices in Planning and Budgeting:"

And, "Best Practices for Planning & Budgeting:"

And finally, this video "Software and the Long Range Planning Process: How Does Your Company Compare to Best Practices:"


Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |


I hear your pain.
As to process, I like to have a series of meetings;
1) Whiteboard or Stickies with ideas, where they are grouped and then filtered. Brainstorming, in short. Even if you've got your ideas, brainstorming can help uncover the hidden gems / mines.
1a) Subset meeting where the groups are chosen and owners assigned. Could be full team or a smaller exec team.
2) Map Day. Literally devote the day to the chosen groups. Owners have done their homework and are presenting their initiatives. This is the meeting where you do beachhead mapping or similar to identify tactics from the strategic intent.
[now here is the hard part....stop doing strategy here! You can talk strategy forever; take a day and beat it to death, and then be done with it.]
3n) Subset meetings where the owners of the outcomes of 2 present budgets and implementation plans driven therefrom.

In a way, I see strategy as not measurable; it is too far out and there are way too many variables. You end up constantly redoing the criteria, which makes the measurement meaningless. Tactics are short term and measurable, so driving the tactical (3) meetings with assigned owners gives you what you need there.

To drive agreement: One slide, like the above, get buy in from the top then tell people that is what you're all doing. Showing a simple, results oriented process should be key to getting buy-in.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Executive Team Alignment. Make sure, whatever the results are, that all are on-board, all Team members are there to assist other members in succeeding with the agreed upon strategies.

Decide/Understand the decision making process. As Miles Kierson states, the leader has five processes h/she could follow: Directive, Testing, Consulting, Delegating, Voting and Getting Consensus. Each has it pro's and con's.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Check out or
We use My Strategic Plan (MSP) and it's great. You set your strategic objectives and deadlines. You get weekly email reminders and updates. The One Page Business Plan I have heard is a great tool and less intense than MSP. I recommend using something that will help with accountability. Then the meetings can be structured to open the plan and discuss progress, delays, etc.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I agree with Wayne on this. There is no formula, its about teaching your executive team what strategic planning is and having them tell you how they plan to carry it out. Sometimes a weekend retreat is a good thing so you can focus on communicating the overall plan then asking them to break into small groups for discussion on strategic areas so they feel like they own the process. The CFO should lead here, but in all reality your ops leaders have to be on board. Take them off to a resort, and then make them build out the architecture of the plan for you during their break out sessions.

Some may need a little more guidance than others. This is a great face time strategy for all and they will feel empowered to get their teams on board when you need them to provide you with the numbers and program management planning.

At that point if you need an expert to document your plan, you can bring in a consultant to help you there.


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