Rigorous Strategic Planning

The Problem

A manufacturing organization of 300 employees had a vision of growing and expanding into new markets, but had no clear plan for how to accomplish this goal. It needed a strategy roadmap with long-term three-year goals plus realistic and actionable one-year goals. The organization also needed a process to get the buy-in, support and participation from all employees.

The client had experienced strategic planning processes in the past where a seemingly good plan was developed, but not followed. It needed a plan that would be effectively executed with measurable year-end results.

The Solution

The planning process began with department meetings to engage every employee in discussions about the current state, including positives and challenges. This information was compiled and analyzed by the Leadership Team, then compared with the desired future state to perform a gap analysis.

The analysis provided the needed information to develop key objectives using a Balanced Scorecard approach with a three-year focus and a one-year plan, including measures and targets. Owners were identified for each objective and key strategies developed at a corporate level.

A strategic roadmap was then deployed to each department, where department roadmaps were developed to support the corporate plan. The Leadership Team reviewed each department roadmap to ensure horizontal and vertical alignment throughout the organization. Execution of the roadmaps then began with quarterly reviews at the department level, then at the corporate level.

The Outcome

Tangible and measurable outcomes included the achievement of performance goals at the employee level, department level and corporate level. If there were challenges related to a goal, the target group identified risk management strategies to address barriers and achieve success.

Budgets were better defined and effectively managed throughout the year. Resources were also more effectively allocated to ensure efforts were aligned with organizational priorities.

Other outcomes included a highly engaged workforce that understood the corporate strategy and how its efforts supported the strategic success. Cross-functional teaming increased due to enhanced alignment and common understanding of goals and objectives. Due to success of the planning process for the first year, the same approach has been followed for subsequent years.