Search This Blog

Subscribe to Let's Talk Business!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Strategic Planning

Since I'm on tour giving presentations on Strategic Planning, I'll share some of it with you. One of the things I talk about are the four elements of the Strategic Plan:

Products & Services




Products & Services are the products and services that you're going to offer to you customers. For most organizations you're probably talking about broad product lines or service offerings, but for smaller organizations you might be more specific, defining individual products or services.

Markets defines the markets where you're going to sell your products and offer your services. These might be geographic markets, types of customers, demographics of customers, or however you segment your markets.

The Financial element is one that is often confusing to people. In the Strategic Plan, we're not talking about the budget or sales or revenue forecasts. What we're doing is defining the financial structure of the organization over the planning time period. We're setting financial goals, defining where we're going to be. This is different than what most organizations do, and requires a different mind set. Set the target, then we'll work on how we're going to get there.

The fourth element is Structure. This is defining what the organization will look like, how it will be structured, so we can reach the other goals we've defined. It might include things like new plants or facilities, new departments, a re-structuring from what we look like now, or even individual positions that need to be added and filled.

As an example, let's look at what might be included in a Strategic Plan for the Hawaii State Rugby Union. The first thing that has to be decided is the time frame fro the plan. For a small, fledgling organization, a two-year plan is probably appropriate. So let's use two years.

What you want to do is define what the organization will look like two years from now. Products & Services for the Union include a variety of things. The weekly games are an important part, so we'll include them. We have one tournament each year, but maybe two years from now we'll have two tournaments. One might be the local tournament, with all the local teams, and the other might be an international tournament, like the one the Harlequins used to put on. Services might include annual coaching and referee clinics, so that we can train new people and keep the current people up-to-date with their skills. Maybe we want to add some sort of fitness training clinic for everyone in the Union who wants to attend.

For Markets, the Union might want to expand so that it includes teams on all the islands. It might include adding some games on the mainland. Remember, these are goals we're defining over the time period of the plan. We'll talk about how we get there later in the process. Our goals must be realistic, but they should also be stretch goals.

The Financial element defines our financial structure. Maybe we say that one of your goals is to have total revenue of $50,000 annually at the end of year two. That would include team dues, tournament fees, sponsorships, sales of Union merchandise, and anything else we come up with. We might set goals for the profitability of the tournaments, or total sales of merchandise.

Finally, the structure. We've got a structure now, but what will it look like at the end of year two so that we can achieve the other goals we've defined? Maybe we need a marketing director to help get the word out about rugby, to advertise the tournaments, and just raise the level of awareness to the general public. If we've defined two tournaments as a goal, maybe we need a dedicated tournament director to act as the project manager for both of them. We might need to formalize the structure that includes the referee committee, the Hawaii Youth Rugby organization, the select side selection committee, and the disciplinary committee. We might need to add a coaching committee to address the needs of the coaches and run the training that we defined as a goal.

That's part of what we're looking at when we do Strategic Planning. We set out defined goals, then we work to get the entire organization, and everyone in it, moving in the same direction, towards meeting those goals.

No comments: