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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.
Rather than working out of dozens of spreadsheets or endless presentations, Elate helps you build a simple, intuitive plan that can be easily shared with team members.
With Elate, double down on what’s working and shift away from what’s not through insights leaders can take action on.
The importance of strategic planning is that your business can operate the most effectively when everyone is working in the same direction. Think of your business as a longship with each of your teams at a different oar. A clear strategic plan is a drumbeat that keeps your teams rowing in unison. Without that rhythm, or if it is confusing, your teams will pull in different directions. You’ll drift off course, and if that goes on for too long, you’re sure to go under.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for most businesses. According to Harvard Business School, 90% of businesses fail to meet their strategic goals. A lack of clear benchmarks, measuring methods, and communication with stakeholders all contribute to these shortcomings.
There is a silver lining, though. Once you improve your strategic planning process, you’ll have a significant competitive edge over the 90% of businesses that lack direction. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, either. At Elate, we’ve done that for you. Our dynamic strategic planning platform provides you with the tools and guidance to build, execute, and continuously improve your roadmap.
In this guide, we’ll get to the root of what is strategy and its importance, so you can lead your business into a more cohesive and productive future.
Strategic planning is the process a business goes through to define their overarching goals and allocate resources to achieve them. Thorough strategic plans don’t end after planning, however. They are dynamic documents that are reviewed and updated regularly to provide guidance for how to execute steps for improvement, measure success, and adjust accordingly.
You may be familiar with some of the common frameworks for guiding your strategic planning:
Implementing these frameworks can help you decide which goals are worth pursuing, how to achieve them, and if what you’re trying is actually working or not.
The purpose of strategic planning is to make your business more effective and efficient by helping everyone to work toward the same high-level goals, instead of only worrying about their own day-to-day tasks. Depending on your organization’s specific goals, your strategic plan will lead you in different directions than other businesses. Some examples of strategic goals include:
Whichever goals you choose to pursue, Elate makes it radically simple to stay on the right track. With intuitive forecasting tools, you can analyze past performance to find opportunities for improvement and supercharge results going forward.
The key difference between strategic planning and project management is the scope and specificity of your goals. Strategic planning focuses on higher-level, long-term goals such as expanding into a new market or overtaking a key competitor. Project management tackles specific steps toward achieving those goals. For example, you might create a marketing campaign that directly compares your latest product to your direct competitor’s.
It’s crucial to differentiate the two tasks because each provides unique value. Strategic planning provides an overarching roadmap that guides each of your projects, while individual projects actually move the needle. If you let your strategy get too in the weeds of each project, no one in your organization will understand the bigger picture. Teams won’t be coordinated in their efforts, and results will suffer.
With Elate, you can create a simple, unified strategic plan. Your vision will also be easy to update and share with team members, so everyone can always be working toward the same goals.
The importance of strategic planning in an organization is that without it, you’ll be wasting precious resources while your competitors who are better aligned leave you behind. Your business will be faced with obstacles—both internal and external. Having a strategic plan in place helps you overcome these challenges in stride to outperform your competition.
The benefits of strategic planning can range from increased market share and profitability to improving operational efficiency. One of the key advantages of strategic planning is that you can tailor it to meet your specific needs. Do you want more consistent business throughout the entire year? Would you benefit from proactive decision making? Are you excited about putting customers first? With the right plan in place, you’re that much closer to achieving your goals.
At its core, strategic planning puts you in charge of your business’s path—not competitors, not the government, and not the shifting of public opinion.
While the strategic planning process can seem overwhelming, you can break it down into three manageable steps: build, execute, and review.
This is when you set your objectives and build alignment. It’s important to have stakeholders from multiple departments involved so everyone can offer their perspective into what’s important and understand how they’ll be able to help. A strategic plan should include both threats and opportunities. Remember the frameworks from earlier? These will help you understand your current position so you can chart the best path forward.
Now it’s time to roll out your plan across multiple teams and departments—all in unison. During this stage, it’s important to drive engagement and collaboration as different teams focus on their individual projects. To ensure everyone is still keeping the common goal in mind, it helps to regularly update teams on progress so employees can see that their efforts are making an impact. In fact, using a strategic planning software like Elate allows teams and individuals to easily report metrics.
Don’t save the review stage for after you’ve met your goal or failed to do so. You can receive and apply feedback during the execution stage of your plan. To help overcome roadblocks as they happen (or even before), provide your team leaders with regular opportunities to report progress and challenges.
Strategic planning software can make a world of difference when developing a clear plan—if it has capabilities to improve your building, execution, and review stages. Here’s a breakdown of what your software should feature to make each step seamless:
The answer to “Why is strategic planning so important?” may be different for each organization, but you don’t have to develop your plan in isolation. With Elate’s groundbreaking software, you can segment your big plans into actionable objectives. The best part? It’s easier than ever for your whole team to participate in planning, update their progress, check on objectives, report challenges, and brainstorm solutions. Here’s how:
Are you ready to choose your direction and pursue your goals like never before? See Elate in action and contact us for a demo today.