Strategic Planning works with an intended 3 part focus.
- strategy that’s realized ‘deliberate strategy’
- strategy not realized ‘unrealized strategy’
- (most often not mentioned) where realized patterns are not expressly intended ’emergent strategy’ … Thanks to Mintzberg for the model.
Making a Smarter Strategic Plan:
- External analysis of similar companies. This is more than a SWOT … this is creating comparison reports to show – population(s) served; outcome metrics; products and services; geographic footprint; plus other pertinent information (this will be a way to understand the current condition of the environment)
- External analysis of customer base. This is more than a SWOT … this is looking at age, demographics, political affiliation, religious affiliation, geographical maps, plus other pertinent information.
- Internal analysis of operations, management, and organizational structure. This is more than a SWOT …. this is looking at current data, outcomes, metrics, staffing, competencies, management reporting, access to data to create Quality Improvement, access to data to share with customers (those paying for the product or service, those receiving product or service, etc)
- Internal analysis of current Quality Assurance or Quality Improvement
- Someone to translate and support staff to understand #1,2,3,4 and develop plans to operate in a changing environment
- Someone to help identify where you are …. what is working well … what is not working well …
- Support and development of the management team to prepare for the changes happening
- A process to keep the plan in place – while allowing for emergent ideas and approaches to be seen and used to move the company
- A visual (info-graphic like) image to show updates and progress in a visual way to all employees, maybe key customers suppliers vendors, where you are on the plan and what is working
There is nothing wrong with just doing a SWOT… The concern is that without some of the above information you are making strategy based on limited knowledge and understanding. With limited knowledge and understanding, you may miss or not be able to capture opportunities when they present themselves.