Align Your Teams with A Strategic Plan Framework

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Redefine your strategic planning process. Dynamic planning with radical simplicity connects planning, execution, and success for Strategy and Operations leaders.

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Elate puts everything you need to build your Strategic Plan right at your fingertips. From setting your long-term vision and annual goals to tracking quarterly objectives, it’s never been easier to create a plan that helps you reach your goals.

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What is a Strategic Plan Framework?

Imagine trying to take a coast-to-coast road trip without a map or GPS. There is a strong chance you’d end up getting lost, running out of gas, or even missing your destination completely. The same thing can happen in business if you don’t have a strategic plan. 

A strategic plan (sometimes referred to as a business plan) acts as your business’s road map. It helps you identify where you are, where you are going, how you will get there, and what checkpoints to look for along the way. When it comes to strategic planning there are some important things to consider. In this blog we are going to look at some essential strategic planning techniques and frameworks to help guide your business for years to come. 

Strategic Framework vs. Strategic Plan

Strategic plan and strategic framework are often mistakenly used interchangeably. While these two phrases are similar, it’s important to understand the difference between a strategic plan and a strategic framework.

What is a Strategic Framework?  

A strategic framework is the basic structure for how a business plans to make decisions and act moving forward. Instead of detailing exactly what will happen and how, a strategic planning framework outlines the structure of operation. A framework is a more general set of statements, guidelines, or philosophies that will help govern a business. Let’s look at SWOT analysis and OKRs as a couple of strategic planning framework examples. 

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis stands is a strategic planning framework used to assess your company’s:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

The SWOT method is sometimes referred to as situational analysis or assessment. To perform a SWOT analysis, essentially all you need to do is create a comprehensive list under each category. Generally speaking, strengths and weaknesses tend to be more internally focused, while opportunities and threats focus on external factors. Some examples of each may include things like:

  • S - strong customer base, cash reserves
  • W - inexperienced sales team, lack of social media presence
  • O - acquiring competitors or partner companies
  • T - new competitors emerging
OKR

An OKR is an objective and/or key result. Basically, the OKR approach is a planning framework that helps define measurable goals and track their outcomes. Examples of OKRs include things like:

  • Reduce customer churn by 5%
  • Hire 3 new sales employees
  • Increase annual recurring revenue by 25% 

Using a strategic planning framework that includes OKRs is essential to help measure progress along the way.  

What is a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan is a framework come to life. It can take the form of a detailed map of actionable tasks, both short-term and long-term. Think of a framework as more of the structure or guiding principles, built to help ensure you have a strong foundation. The strategic plan is your team’s direction and goals detailed out into an actionable plan itself. Of course, plans change and can be amended, but the best strategic plans have a strong foundation in your strategic framework that entails your company’s rituals, meeting cadence, and cadence for updates. A good plan will outline the steps a business needs to take, when they hope to achieve them, and how they will actually execute while also embodying strategic frameworks. 

For example, if one OKR of a strategic plan is to reach $100,000 in sales after one year, part of that plan should also include assessing progress after three, six, or nine months. Perhaps the OKR for three months is $25,000 in sales, for six months it’s $50,000, and for nine months it’s $75,000.

Similarly, if your SWOT analysis highlights glaring weaknesses, or massive opportunities, your plan should take steps into account to act on those areas. 

As you can see, while strategic plans are important in their own right and provide guidance for the goals and ambitions of a business, strategic frameworks provide the structure and tools to adapt the plan as needed. 

How Do You Create a Strategy Framework?

There are a handful of ways you can create a strategic framework. You can adopt existing frameworks, like SWOT, OKR, Blue Ocean, VRIO, or PEST.  Another option is to create your own framework. When creating a strategic framework you need to understand the following components:

  • A vision for the future
  • A mission that drives everything you do
  • Values that you operate by

Once you have identified those components, you can go about creating your framework. You will also want to be sure to include the four key elements of a strategic framework.  

What are the 4 Key Elements of a Strategic Framework?

The four key elements are: objective, approach, measurement, and target. 

  • Objective looks at what the project or initiative will achieve
  • Approach details the methods and how an objective will be realized
  • Measurement defines how achieving the objective will be measured and reported
  • Target is the forecasted improvements and the definition of “success” for a project 

Elate Your Strategic Planning Partner

Strategic planning can be difficult, chaotic, and stressful. However, it doesn’t need to be anymore with Elate. Our platform simplifies and streamlines the strategic planning process. At Elate, we think of planning in a complete life cycle: Build, Execute, Review. This approach to planning allows high growth companies to create a unified view into how you build your strategic plan, execute the objectives or initiatives critical to success, and review past performance of outcomes with key performance indicators. We make it easy to stay on top of things with transparent reporting, easy collaboration, and one-click integrations with other tools like Salesforce or Hubspot. 

Learn more about our strategic planning tools, or get in touch today to start your free demo!

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