Is there such a thing as a quick check to determine whether a strategic plan is on the right track or not?
While reviewing mini-strategic plans attendees developed at a recent logistics company customer event we facilitated, I relied on one that works well.
We designed a group exercise for participants to identify strategic plan topics. We also provided an overview with instructions about how to write a mini-strategic plan. Each mini-plan section featured one or two questions to help guide small groups in their work. Each of the six groups had fifteen minutes to complete the front and back of a mini-plan. As they worked, we roamed among the six groups to answer questions and provide guidance.
1 Question to Test Effective Strategic Plan Development
I was familiar with the starting topics and trigger events, but did not have close knowledge of the conversations each group had to develop its mini-strategic plan. Beyond looking for good structure and form in each mini-plan, I repeatedly asked a strategic thinking question that is valuable for anyone writing or reviewing any type of plan:
If I had to implement this, would I know what to do?
This simple strategic thinking question helps you quickly identify:
- Whether the plan provides enough detail
- If the words (and especially the acronyms used) are understandable
- Whether the steps (or tactics) follow one another in an order that makes sense
- How complete the path is to lead to the stated goal or objective
- How faithfully the steps carry out the stated strategy
In the Brainzooming world, we think highly of a single strategic thinking question that works that hard, shedding light on five key areas in creating an effective strategic plan.
Tucking this question away for the next time you are writing or reviewing a strategic plan will lead to a more complete plan with simpler, straightforward language offering a better opportunity for successful implementation. – Mike Brown