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Strategic business planning

Once a company has created an inspiring vision of the future, it must then go about the more workmanlike business of defining a practical, working plan that will turn the dream into reality. 


The ExecKIT® Strategic Business Planning Methodology takes the company's vision and builds from it a rigorous and practical business plan that will drive your success. 


Strategic planning 


ExecKIT® Strategic Planning defines (or confirms) the mission and goals of a business and explicitly identifies the challenges which must be overcome if the vision is to be achieved. Strategic planning also provides a way of building the senior management team, ensuring difficult issues are aired and resolved, and a common purpose agreed. 


The key challenges are then cascaded into a set of objectives and milestones for the functional lines of business, and a separate category of required cross-functional strategic business improvements. A financial business model is then built (see financial business modelling) that shows how resources will be allocated to enable the lines of business, the strategic business improvement programme sponsors and the quality management team to achieve their respective objectives. 


These processes usually require a number of iterations before a realistic plan is achieved where resource allocation matches the delegated objectives in an agreed way. 


Strategic business improvements 


Most business plans will identify strategic business improvement projects that apply to the organisation as a whole and are not strictly "owned" by the head of a functional department. It is best to sponsor, plan, resource and manage these projects separately from normal business, and have mechanisms in place to ensure they are adequately planned, resourced and reviewed. 


This ExecKIT® module sets up a process for planning and managing strategic business improvement projects. 


Strategic quality management 


In addition to business operations and strategic business improvements, the modern company must continuously improve the way it works by using the best of the established quality management techniques. As well as providing incremental improvements in quality, efficiency and effectiveness, this activity is also "required" for necessary independent certification such as ISO 9001:2000 (which, sadly, often provides the "compelling event" that ensures action is taken).


At a strategic level, you need to decide what quality policies you want to follow and how you will implement them. Where should you make your investment in quality initiatives, to ensure business return?


The ExecKIT® Strategic Quality Management module shows you how to set a strategy for quality management and an organisation to implement productive quality management techniques.


Financial business modelling 


As a result of the strategic planning work performed in previous modules, aspirations will have been formed that must now be tested for financial viability. For example

  • What revenues will the proposed activities generate and what costs will be incurred?

  • Will the financial plan satisfy the stakeholders?

  • Are there any financial hurdles or show-stoppers? For example, what are the cash-flow implications? Can they be managed?

  • How risky is the financial plan and how will the risks be managed?

To answer these questions, a financial model must be built which forecasts revenues and costs the resources required. This process will invariably lead to an iterative process where the strategic plan is refined to ensure the goals can be achieved in an affordable way. 


This ExecKIT® module helps you to build a detailed financial model as part of your business planning process. 


Business planning

 
The ExecKIT® Business Planning process pulls together all the planning and analysis work performed in previous modules into a single integrated plan that states clearly where the organisation is going and how it will get there. 


The business plan documents the results of the strategic analysis business planning work, including accountabilities and milestones, and also contains the financial model of costs and a resource allocation plan. 


Before the business plan is prepared, careful thought should be given to its audience. Is the plan designed to be a working document for the senior management team, to impress the boss, or to be used to raise investment funds? 


Operational planning 


Now that the business plan is agreed, the organisation must define the day-to-day operational and review processes that will ensure the management is fully informed and able to take action when necessary. 


The operational plan defines things like: operational review meetings; authorisation and review; sales quota allocations; cost monitoring, management accounts, project monitoring, pipeline management, product development monitoring and so on. 


This ExecKIT® module enables you rapidly to define (or refine) exactly how the business will be managed, the information you require and how authorities and responsibilities are delegated. 

How risky is your financial plan?
Use the right process and tools to achieve your plan