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Some of the Don'ts in Strategic Planning

Some of the Don’ts in Strategic Planning

When talking about “don’ts” in the area of strategic planning, there are a few steadfast principles:

  1. Don’t take too long to complete the plan. Most plans can be completed in a one day or less. Some organizations with a larger strategy group may need two days.
  2. Don’t focus on “analysis paralysis” but rather on what general direction you want the organization to go, making sure to get commitment to the milestones or benchmarks. These will enable you to demonstrate later how you are progressing.
  3. Don’t exclude key people who are responsible for making the plan happen. If the key people don’t have a hand in developing the plan, they will not be committed to making it happen, thus rendering your strategic plan a worthless piece of paper.
  4. Leave the writing of novels to such qualified folks as Leo Tolstoy. Don’t attempt to write a book like War and Peace. Some of the best strategic plans are done on one page and certainly less than 8 pages.
  5. Once you have written your strategic plan, don’t throw it in the bottom drawer and ignore it till next year, think of it as a living, breathing entity. You should have it handy for constant review to determine its continuing validity.
  6. It is not a document set in stone. If things change dramatically during the year, don’t panic, be ready to call the strategy group together to revisit the plan.
  7. Don’t treat it like a secret document to be put under lock and key. It needs to be shared with as many stakeholders as possible so they can all help you achieve your goals. It should not be unusual to share the plan with suppliers, funding organizations, governments, employees, customers and the public at large.

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