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If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

3 min read
May 26, 2017 12:00:00 AM


Essential Brand Planning

There are many different structures and levels of detail that Senior Managers employ in their planning of Goals, Strategies, Tactical and Action Plans. The three the most important types of planning are

  • Strategic Plans
  • Tactical Plans
  • Action Plans

If you picture these three types of plans as stepping stones, it is easy to see how each relates to the other in planning and in the achievement of organizational goals. Action Plans are necessary to achieve Tactical Plans and Tactical Plans lead to the achievement of Strategic Plans and Strategic Goals.

A Goal Without Strategy and Execution is a Hallucination

In the end, regardless of planning methods, processes, styles, delivering Measureable Results are what really matters.

Strategic Planning is an Incremental Process

There are no absolute rules regarding the process, content or the format of a Strategic Plan. Most businesses follow a conventional process that is based on long held Best Practices. Most often strategic planning follows an incremental process.

Planning Process Standards

The process meets these 9 standards.  

Primary Content of Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is a brand’s primary planning activity that sets priorities, directs management, resources and operations. It helps assure that management, staff, and other stakeholders are aligned to corporate goals and strategies

Strategic Planning looks at a longer time horizon, usually 5 years. It begins with a brand’s self-analysis and then defines a brand’s long-term Vision, Mission, Values, Core Competencies, and Critical Success Factors.

Content Elements of Strategic Planning

Long-Term and Medium-Term Goals and Objectives provide the foundation for individual department strategies.

  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Strategic Drivers
  • Critical Business Issues
  • Critical Success Factors
  • SWOT
  • Long Term Goals & Objectives
  • Tactical Initiatives
  • Organization Plan
  • Organization

Organizational Strategies

Once these Organizational Strategies are established supporting Tactical Plans should be developed. Tactical Plans are the critical final stage where specific actions and tasks are defined and assigned to departments, managers and to key employees.  

What is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

What is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?KPI’s are performance measures set up to access progress toward a desirable outcome. Strategic KPIs monitor actual performance on execution of the organization's strategies. They are used to determine the gap between actual and targeted results. KPIs can be assigned to measure individuals or to whole departments. 

Robust Information Systems

Assure That You Have Robust Information Systems Capable of Providing Timely, Accurate & Actionable Information.  All planning requires data.

  • First, baseline historical information defines where we are. This base line information is the foundation for establishing a desired future in the development of SMART goals.
  • Second, develop SMART goals.


Alignment to Brand Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactical & Action Plans across the organization will assure management and staff are committed to deliver results, and intended outcomes. Alignment will help Brand Goals, Objectives, Strategies to become beacon for each staff member. Alignment is disciplined effort to assure that individual efforts and actions work in concert with individuals and other departments. Each staff member will do their part to support the brand goals and strategies regardless of where the plans are ultimately executed.

What Got You Here . . .  Won’t Get You There

Every organization must change and evolve as it grows. The challenges for a small operation will increase as it grows. Processes, people, procedures, controls all must mature and evolve to meet growing challenges. Top executives must be alert growth and able to match current competencies to current capacities. Good planning identifies future growth requirements and challenges and assures that the organization evolves to meet the future needs of the organization.

Set Goals for Consistent Improvements in Your Operations Performance

Continuous Improvement should be one of the operating precepts of any organization. Set up a continuous Improvement process in your organization. Focus on improving core competencies and set up an HR process which should include outside training to actively improve the skill set of your key managers, staff members and department teams.

Tactical Planning-Strategies V Tactics

Often one of the of the biggest challenges in tactical planning is understanding the difference between a strategy and tactic. These are often confused.  

Communicate Your Brand Plans & Goals Throughout the Organization

Alignment to Goals, Strategies and Plans can only be assured if everyone is exposed to them.

Broader Staff Involvement

Broader Staff Involvement Will Help to Align Individual Actions Toward the Attainment of Your Brand's Vision, Goals  and Objectives.  Connect Goals, Strategies and Plans to department programs. Integrate and connect department, individual and team efforts into company Goals, Strategies and Plans whenever possible.  

Use Aligned 52 Week Calendars in Each Functional Department

52 week calendars are essential to managing operations at all levels of an organization. We always use these and they work.


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