Strategic Plan Template

Project management is all about strategy. Before you can start executing a project, you need to identify the tools and the resources that you will use in order to successfully deliver your project on time and on budget. Strategic plans help to identify those critical factors and they also provide structure for the different levels of your work.

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Strategic Planning Definition

Strategic plans can be defined as an organizational management activity that aims to set priorities, goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics, by listing and identifying resources. Strategic plans help to ensure that team members are working toward common goals, by identifying and then establishing agreement around intended outcomes and results.

Strategic plans differ from project plans mainly because instead of focusing on what needs to be done, and listing different tasks and steps that need to be completed, they focus on how it needs to be done

But why is it strategic planning so important for project managers? Simply because without it, achieving success can be a much more complicated path. Strategic planning focuses on a company’s or a business’s future by deeply understanding operational priorities and resource availability, and it benefits project execution by setting out clear objectives for desired business results. When optimal desired results become clear, developing a plan on how to achieve them is much easier and also more efficient.

Benefits of Working With Strategic Project Plans

Project managers are well aware of the fact that plans can go array at any time and due to a number of different, unforeseen factors. Working with thoroughly developed strategic plans can help to prepare for any unfavorable situations as well as to minimize the risks involved. The main benefits also include:

  1. Projects are completed more efficiently.
  2. Resources are managed more effectively.
  3. Project communication is increased and it ensures that project managers make informed decisions, which are pivotal to the project’s success.
  4. The chances of project success are greatly improved.

Steps to Developing a Strategic Plan

There are several key aspects to consider when developing a strategic plan. Let’s dive into the  five-step approach:

  1. Mission and objectives. The first step to developing a strategic plan focuses on deeply understanding your company’s current business strategy. In order to accomplish this, review documentation and past and present performance. This process will help you to take advantage of growth opportunities as well as to assess your strategic position by being able to identify businesses’ strengths and weaknesses, recognize potential threats and risk factors.

  1. Analyzing resources and capabilities. This is a critical step. Assessing current resources is extremely important because it will lead to determining whether you will be able to execute your plan accurately as well as to be able to support the goals of your project. Analyze every available asset, including employees, finances, and equipment. You should also examine business current capabilities, and identify any organizational vulnerabilities or risks.

  1. Future projections. This is the step that will help companies establish a vision statement. You’ve already identified resources and set priorities, but now it’s time to determine the short-term goals to achieve your objectives. In order to do so, begin by establishing clear and specific goals, and a roadmap to tracking the progress of each goal. Keep in mind that goals should remain realistic and attainable. Your vision must ensure that goals are in fact relevant to your overall business objectives, and each goal should include a time target for completion. 

  1. Method. Up to this point, you have determined your objectives and you have successfully identified resources. Now it’s time to focus on determining the method you will use to meet your objectives, which is also known as an action plan. This will help you establish the course of action you will follow in order to reach your previously defined short-term goals. Action plans entail listing tasks that need to be completed and communicating who will be responsible for completing those tasks. Budget and schedule are also critical factors that need to be established within this step.

  1. Reviewing and refining. Planning is an evolving thing. No matter how complete your strategic plan might be, it’s important to understand that projects are not set in stone. There might be changes of many sorts, which is why is very important to hold regularly scheduled formal reviews in order to refine the process as many times as necessary. The right strategy will make sure you keep working towards achieving your vision and overall objectives. 

Developing Strategic Plans Using Gantt Charts

Think of a strategic plan as a set of tools and resources that you can map out in order to ensure a smooth project execution. This document will provide transparency, structure, and direction to you, your team, and your stakeholders. 

Strategic plans entail listing goals, objectives, and resources, but given the fact that they require analysis and constant review, it’s important that they can be easily customized. This is where project management software, such as Instagantt, can prove to be extremely helpful. 

Strategic Planning Template
Strategic Planning Template Example

With Instagantt, you’ll be able to create and manage strategic plans and action plans in minutes. Moreover, you will be able to keep track of changes and edit any activities linked to your projects. Thanks to its Gantt chart design, not only will you be adding goals and tasks, and assigning responsibilities to team members, but you’ll also be managing a clear timeline for your work. 

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