If You Are New at Strategic Planning, You Can Start Here
Strategic plans help companies to set their goals and define a pathway for the upcoming years. A strategic plan consists of your company’s vision, goals, and the actions you are planning on taking to achieve them in the end. In this article, we will be explaining the differences between other business tools and a strategic plan, alongside providing you with four easy steps to follow when creating a strategic plan with Asana.
What is a strategic plan and why it is important?
A strategic plan is a business tool serving the aim of defining your organization’s direction and what actions or tasks need to be completed to reach that direction in the long term. A well-structured strategic plan would provide a systematic framework for your team. It would include your company’s vision, mission statements, and goals that can all be collected through a logical and realistic management process.
Building a strategic plan for the company would present a three-five year future vision and let you stay informed about the goals you determined from the start to analyze if you are acting upon them or not.
Do you need a strategic plan?
If you have a small company that is likely to thrive or have just started working in a startup, it can be very beneficial for you to create a strategic plan with Asana. A strategic plan would help you set your goals for the long run and improve workflow management, task management, project management, and team management as you would have your eyes set on the goals and objectives knowing what could be done to reach them.
However, as a strategic plan is only one of the business tools you can use to set your goals in Asana, it could be beneficial for you to understand the differences between a strategic plan and other business or project tools.
Strategic Plan vs. Business Plan
Business plans’ purpose is to document a strategy when changing the present project plan or starting a new project. Creating a business plan with Asana would ensure every team member has a shared understanding. Business plans can also be helpful for you when you want to share the core strategies of your business with newcomers or critical stakeholders during the management processes.
But if your business is already running, and you need a roadmap to follow to reach the goals in the long run, or if you need to build on your business management processes, creating a strategic plan with Asana would be more logical.
Strategic Plan vs. Mission and Vision Statements
Strategic plan and mission and vision statements are tools that are interconnected with each other. In fact, before sketching out your strategic plan, you should already have a vision and mission statement prepared. So, it could be said that these two tools, while being super-connected, should be designed respectively with the help of Asana.
The mission and vision statements of the company should be created before the strategic plan, most likely during the business plan phase and when the company has just started. While a mission statement underlines whit what purpose in mind you had started the business, a vision statement highlights what you are planning to do for reaching that purpose or place.
Therefore, the strategic plan you will create with Asana has to include your mission and vision statements in a more detailed and specific way.
Strategic Plan vs. Company Objectives
The main difference between a strategic plan and company objectives is that while company objectives are set yearly or sometimes even less, strategic plans cover more than one year of a work process.
Company objectives would provide a clear and straightforward insight about what you should plan for accomplishing a goal for a period of time, and therefore, they need to be recreated frequently.
On the other hand, a strategic plan includes more about the future and covers the actions, tasks, goals, and missions to be completed in the upcoming years.
Strategic Plan vs. Business Case
As its name suggests, a business case is a document that companies and team members create when focusing on a particular case, pitching a certain investment or initiative. A business case makes the team members and leaders understand why a business investment or case will improve the business or why it would be necessary for the company.
On the other hand, creating a strategic plan with Asana includes a vision plan that sketches out a roadmap for the company for multiple years. Moreover, it thinks about the whole company and its management processes, not just one particular initiative.
Strategic Plan vs. Project Plan
A project plan would give provide you with an outline for a particular project. This means, its focus would only be on a specific project’s goals, scope and budget, timeline and schedule, communication plan, and success metrics.
While all these elements are also present in a strategic plan, they are created considering the upcoming years for the company by determining goals to achieve.
The Benefits of Creating a Strategic Plan
With a well-structured and clear strategic plan, you can:
- Assure that everyone in the team is on the same page with a shared purpose
- Analyze your current situation and opportunities as a company
- Help project develop better by thinking about the long-term actions and missions
- Increase the motivation and workflow management of the team members.
Four Steps for You to Follow When Creating a Strategic Plan
1.Determine Your Position
Before starting to make long-term plans and defining goals or objectives for the next three to five years; you first need to know where you are.
You can start by gathering customer insights with the help of Asana to know exactly what your customers need and expect of you. Or you can store data about employee feedback to detect what you can improve within your company and what roles need more assistance. You can also collect market data from similar industries to estimate market opportunities and possible threats.
As another practical choice, you can also conduct a SWOT analysis to become aware of your company’s present and future potential. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Including a SWOT analysis can become very handy for you when you need to analyze the strategic planning process later.
2.Develop your Strategy
Being probably the most important step in creating a strategic plan with Asana, developing your strategy will set the tone and future for your company. However, to develop a strong and working strategy, first, you need to be aware of who you are and where you are right now.
This way, you can make sure the strategic plan you will be creating with Asana can move the company in the right direction. You must take the mission and vision statement, company values, long-term goals, and financial status of the company into consideration when deciding on a strategy.
3.Build your strategic plan
Now it is finally time to start building your strategic plan! Following the first two steps, you understood the current position of the company and the future position you would like to see your company in at the same time. Now, you will define the long-term plan for your organization.
When creating the strategic plan, don’t forget to include defining your company’s priorities based on the SWOT analysis you conducted. Also, the objectives you aim to reach each year, the budget you have or will need, and the outline that underlines what the company is expecting to work on.
Also, by using a project management tool like Asana, you should create a roadmap to include in your strategic plan to have a visualized timeline for the long-term goals you determined.
4.Share, track and manage your strategic plan.
As no business can work fluently if you don’t keep track of the progress, you should constantly monitor and manage your plan regularly for your strategic plan to work without falling apart.
By sharing your strategic plan document with all team members, you can ensure that they know which aims they are working for and how their role will contribute to the company’s overall strategic plan. This way, you will see that team management and workflow management processes will improve and thrive over the years.
It would be best if you also made the necessary updates on your plan since your company can decide to change its direction or focus on different investments. Updating your strategic plan regularly, preferably in each step according to quarterly and yearly goals you had determined, will improve the company’s productivity.
You should note that a strategic plan cannot stay the same forever even though it is planned by taking long periods and long-term goals into consideration. Therefore, once you see that you have reached most of the goals in the strategic plan you created for the next 3-5 years, you should not waste your time on that and directly create a new one.
You can easily connect your goals to your everyday work with the help of a project management tool like Asana, encouraging the team members to contribute to the overall company goals with their Daily work
Make sure you only work on your top priorities. Contact us so we can help you!