Tips for Creating a Strategic Action Plan

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Strategic business plans are developed in order to formulate planned strategic actions that are necessary to stay ahead of the competition. A detailed account of the hits, misses and errors for the current and the past year are recorded in the strategic action plan.

The strategic plan itself defines action roles of key persons in the organisation and the time frames within which the action is to be completed.

What Planning Involves

Strategic action planning involves developing strategies for effecting organisational changes by analysing the reasons or problems, which make such changes necessary. Managers can use the action plan model to organise their thoughts on any given point to develop results in the form of an action agenda, which will clearly outline all the tasks and the details of the jobs that need to be accomplished.

Here are some tips to enable you to make a suitable action plan and substantially increase your business results.

  • Make a list of your hits for the past and current year. All revenues from the sales of your products and services are considered hits.
  • Then make a list of the misses, which cover lost contracts and sales, lost opportunities such as not asking for referrals, lost proposals and lastly lost performance at all levels.
  • The value of all the misses should be represented by dollars in order to make a comparison with your hits. Such a comparison jolts entrepreneurs and business owners into the realisation that they have neglected to work on their business and have been busy working in their business.
  • Identify the reasons for the misses you have recorded. These misses can be due to a lack of job specific skill in customer service or sales, bad or improper planning or because there is no accountability at the individual level. These are real time information segments that are necessary in order to construct the Strategic Action Plan.
  • Use the W.A.Y.S.M.A.R.T. goals criteria to convert your misses of the previous period into homeruns for the forthcoming business year or business quarter. WAYSMART is: W(written), A(aligned), Y(yours), S(specific), M(measurable), A(attainable), R(realistically set high), T(target date or time driven). Your goals should be based on the data which you receive from the tips given above.
  • Create a business dashboard to identify and monitor key performance indicators at regular intervals. This would help you to make fast corrections, if required, for attaining desired business results and let you determine if the organisation is functioning at peak performance levels.
  • Schedule working on your business at regular weekly intervals. Make sure you sincerely devote at least an hour on a weekly basis to review your strategic business plan and your dashboard. The strategic business plan should include the sales plan, marketing plan, financial plans and growth plan.

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