Building a Strategic Plan

Building Strategic Plan in the Industrial Age

Any strategic planning method focuses on the direction an organization is taking, how it will get there, and what resources it takes.

Desired Outcomes

  • Inform – key stakeholders understand priorities, direction, and execution
  • Inspire – teams identify with how their work serves the organizational vision
  • Align – cross-functional teams operate cohesively

Case Study World War II

Define Vision

An ambitious future state

A world free from fascist tyranny

Define Objectives

Results we want to accomplish

Defeat Axis powers and compel unconditional surrender

Define Strategies

Methods to meet outcomes

Europe First – close the ring on Germany

Pacific Theater – island hoping

Define Tactics

Activities to meet methods

Blockade & Bomb

Stop the Axis Advance

Build Capacity for Invasion

Attack the “soft underbelly”

Close the Ring

Establish Metrics

Measure Success and Failure

Training Efficiency


War Supplies Production

Food Production

Building Strategic Plan in the Age of Complexity

On average, a company uses 36 different enterprise software applications per $1B in revenue.

Strategic planning tools fail to align strategies with execution and become static as the environment changes.
Project management tools fail to provide valuable insights to senior leaders and enable fragmentation of information.

Techniques for creating organizational alignment in the digital age

Individuals are inspired when their work serves the greater goals of the organization.

Construct plans hierarchically to connect initiatives to overarching strategy and objective

Plan Hierarchy

  1. Objective
    1. Strategy
      1. initiative 1
      2. initiative 2

Start by defining your organization’s objective(s).

Defeat Axis Power

Late Updated: Date
Owned by: Name

Establish and prioritize your strategies for accomplishing the objective.

Europe First - Close the Ring

Late Updated: Date
Owned by: Name

Pacific Theater - Island Hopping

Late Updated: Date
Owned by: Name

Techniques for maintaining organizational alignment

Reinforce networks by identifying where there are cross-functional dependencies between teams.

Defeat Axis Power

Late Updated: Date
Owned by: Name

Define winning. Connect key metrics to initiatives to measure progress and enable decision making.