Overview of Strategic Business Planning
Develop high-level strategies first, then work out the details. For larger and ongoing
organizations, a StratPlan is an important first step to more detailed plans. This top-down
approach starts with a high-level strategic plan and follows it with more detailed plans, which may include:
- Departmental Plan (or Product Line of Business Plan), which is developed
for an entire department, a line of business or a subsidiary (in another country).
- Strategic Information Systems Plan (SIS Plan) creates a specific IS departmental plan
that carefully aligns the organization's technology and systems with the goals senior
management wants to achieve.
- Marketing Plan that focuses on the specific marketing strategies to be implemented on a
local, national and international basis (including import/export feasibility analysis).
By taking first the top-down (StratPlan) and then a bottom-up approach (Departmental Plans), the planning is
better and implementation more successful.
Smaller organizations may find that the level of strategic planning incorporated into a
Business Plan is sufficient for their needs. But for many companies, including those start-ups
with a significant level of operational and management expertise that can be tapped, a
StratPlan is an excellent precursor to developing a Business Plan. The benefit to
developing a StratPlan before creating the Business Plan is that it
gives the company's executives a chance to see their vision on paper and to get "on the same
page" before trying to translate corporate goals into operational procedures.
After completion of the StratPlan, the direction of the company -- including the mission
and key objectives -- is well defined. Doing the StratPlan first, before the more detailed
plans/studies, has many benefits to the client such as that it:
- clearly defines high-level strategies and the fundamental direction.
- organizes executives' decisions and the implications of them.
- provides the foundation for all of the follow-on plans/studies.
- minimizes the client time committed to follow-on plans/studies.
- sets the stage for StratPlan revisions during bottom-up planning.