Your organization is ready to tackle strategic planning, but where do you start? You need a strategy framework, but building one from scratch can take time and resources you don’t have.
To help you skip the learning curve and start outlining your strategy right away, we created templates for eight of the most popular strategic planning approaches:
Use these free templates to jump start your planning process. Add your strategy into these frameworks, and you will be off to a good start.
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a strategic framework that breaks down an organization's goals into four distinct categories: Financial, Customer, Internal Process, and Learning and Growth. The BSC also includes key performance indicators and initiatives, linked to each goal, to help measure the tangible progress you've made.
A Strategy Map is a visual representation of your organization's strategy and often includes the main goals, organized by categories. A Strategy Map is a great tool for communicating your strategic plan both internally and externally.
A SWOT Analysis is a tool that organizations use to assess how they are currently doing and where there may be opportunities for improvement, both externally and internally. It includes four perspectives: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It's often used at the beginning of the strategic planning process to inform the organization's goals.
A PEST Analysis is another tool used at the beginning of the strategic planning process to analyze the external factors affecting an organization. PEST stands for political, economic, sociocultural and technological (sometimes, environmental and legal are added as well).
Gap Planning is a framework used to help an organize define where they are now and where they want to be in the future. Once the start and end points are defined, the organization can decide how to 'close the gap' in the middle.
The objective of a Blue Ocean Strategy is for organizations to find and develop "blue oceans" (uncontested, growing markets) and avoid "red oceans" (overdeveloped, saturated markets). In a blue ocean, organizations will have more success, there are fewer risks, and they'll have increased profits.
The VRIO Analysis is often used to refine and define an organization's vision statement. VRIO stands for value, rarity, imitability and organization. Define these four things, write your vision statement, and then create your strategic plan to reach it.
With Porter's Five Forces, organization's can gain insight into the forces that impact their market. The five forces are 1) threat of entry, 2) threat of substitute products or services, 3) bargaining power of customers, 4) bargaining power of suppliers, and 5) competitive rivalry among existing firms.
There's no need to start from scratch when you have these free strategic plan templates at your disposal. Download the templates to save time setting up your analysis and strategic planning process.