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2nd of 3 Guidelines to Boost the Value of Your Strategic Plan

July 27, 2007

2.  Aside from tracking financial returns as part of your strategic plan, every goal has to have a plan, represented as initiatives.  Every initiative supporting a growth goal has to stand two tests. If your strategic goals and initiatives don’t link to goals and projects in your business operations, they will typically be under-supported in the day-to-day work process and shouldn’t be in your Strategic Plan.  This is our working definition for alignment.  But what about those tests? 

1. The first test we use when looking at initiatives is – “Do they represent a compelling plan for achieving the strategic goal?”  They should represent a believe-able, testable, sequence for achieving the strategic objective while minimizing risk of lost time, missed opportunities and incorrect use of resources.  Initiatives represent your game plan.  How good to you want your plan to be?

2.  The second initiative test is embraced by the following question, “Is that (initiative) really required to reach the strategic goal?”  If the initiative is not critical to reaching your strategic goal, don’t keep it in your plan.  Keep your plan light and focused, you want to carry and drive this through-out the year.   Sacrifice or trade comprehensive descriptions for targeted, punchy sentence stubs. 

 Note: All non-critical initiatives should be in your Operations section, not your Strategic Plan. Don’t fill up your Strategic Plan with multiple layers of initiatives, many, if not most, of them should be represented as projects under different business, product and service initiatives in the Operations area of your business in a strategic management software tool like ManagePro.

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