Development or updating the organization’s strategic plan is frequently a key management exercise undertaken each year.
There are many tools that support and facilitate the strategic planning process such as SWOT, PEST, Porter’s Five Forces, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix, SPACE Matrix, competitive analysis, etc. (Templates for these tools are available from the Business Tools Store )
Strategic gap analysis is an excellent approach to developing a highly effective strategic plan. It identifies the gap between the current status and performance and the “better” performance one wants to achieve by the end of the planning period.
However strategic planning becomes an annual academic exercise if it is not supported by a clear well-defined operational implementation plan.
One needs a roadmap and bridge from an effective strategic plan to the all-important operational implementation action plan.
A Checklist: Ensuring an effective framework and methodology is established
What are the individual operational plans to close the gap?
Has the percentage contribution to closing the gap of each been identified?
Are there any “Quick Wins” that can be quickly/easily implemented that would make a significant contribution to closing the gap?
Have the appropriate target KPIs been identified?
Are there intermediate target milestones for the achievement of the KPI?
Have the financial resources and human resources for successful implementation been identified?
Has a SINGLE executive been identified, who is designated as being responsible for the successful execution of each complement of the Implementation Plan? Without a single executive being responsible one runs the risk of “everybody and nobody” being responsible.
Addressing each item on the checklist will help to identify and document the various actions, timeframes and responsibilities that must be undertaken, and by whom, to ensure that the gap is closed within the desired timeframe and the strategic plan goals are met.