Monday, December 13, 2010

The 12 Days of Strategic Planning Questions

“The 12 Days of Christmas” is a Christmas song that chronicles a series of gifts that are given just prior to Christmas. These are wonderful gifts on their own, but when taken together can be overwhelming. Think of all those animals and people.

Conversely, this article is a series of gifts for you, that on their own are valuable but taken together can really jump start your business progress. December is the month for final revisions to the strategic planning for companies that operate on a calendar year basis. Yes, we have recommended that it be done more frequently, at least every 6 months, but as a start, once a year. Here are 12 questions to ask about the plan you are creating - one for each of the 12 days of Christmas, so to speak. Despite appearances, since the questions are simple, the answers are not. They need study and reflection and of course action as you put them into your plan. Enjoy a new one each day.

1. Are you making your numbers now? If not, why not?

2. How has your target market changed in this past year? What are the key challenges that face your customers?

3. How well do your offerings solve the needs of your customers? What do your customers say?

4. What was the greatest success of your organization this past year? Does your plan provide for making this repeatable?

5. What was the greatest stress on your organization? How have you corrected this and set up processes that can operate without causing this stress?

6. If you were to evaluate your people, who would be in the top 10%? What are you doing to increase their impact on the organization and prevent turnover with them?

7. Given the significant talent pool that is currently unemployed, who are the 20 % of your organization that are least effective and how can you upgrade from the pool? This needs to be done surgically, rather than with a general cut.

8. What bottleneck is causing increased costs? As the economy improves and sales rise, how will you keep up with the new production requirements cost effectively?

9. How are you capitalizing on social media to increase your business?

10. What metrics are critical to monitoring the success of your plans? How are you measuring them and what are you doing to keep them in range?

11. What three things will you initiate that will make a significant difference to the results this next year? How do they leverage your and your company’s core competencies?

12. Do you actually have a written business plan that has been shared throughout the company?

Ask and answer these questions and you will have a better plan. Contact us if we can help.

Thanks and Merry Christmas


John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management
View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

No comments: