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This phase is usually Day #2 of the offsite (remember your offsite maybe longer depending on the size of your business) so this is just a baseline you can use as a guide.

I named this phase of the process “Assemble” because your focus will turn from defining the path your business needs to take, to defining how to get there. You will do this by prioritizing the strategies, creating goals and action items that will fulfill the objectives and follow the strategies which have defined in the previous phase.

After any offsite there is usually an output and a few takeaways. Getting these documented early on and following up on the takeaways as soon as possible is important so that you don’t leave action items unaddressed. A good practice is to have a post Offsite tollgate to ensure you have tied up all loose ends.

Step #18: Prioritise Strategic Options

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Planning Team SWOT Analysis A set of key prioritised strategies

 

This is where the SWOT comes in very handy because it will help your team prioritise the strategic options available. This step will capitalise on the opportunities which best align with your company’s internal strengths.

  1. Discuss the SWOT and all the strategic options that have been identified up to this point and make sure they are written down as a list.  
    It’s a helpful exercise to look at the strategies available when you pair Opportunities with Strengths.  Can you see additional ideas jumping out? Is so, add them to the list.
  2. Cross out the strategy ideas, which do not carry much benefit or are not aligned with the overarching objectives, mission and vision.
  3. Prioritise them in order of importance.
  4. Balance them against the Overarching Objective Categories from the Balanced Scorecard to ensure that you aren’t focusing too much on just one aspect of the business.

Step #19: Define SMART Goals

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Planning Team
  • Overarching Objectives
  • Prioritised Strategic Options
Completed SMART Goals Template SMART Goals Template

 

Using the strategic objectives that have been defined in step 16, the planning team needs expand on each of these and convert them to SMART Goals by adding measuring details to each.

I’ve illustrated this on the balanced scorecard.

Step #20: Define Measure of progress and Success

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Planning Team SMART Goals (step 19) Added KPI’s attached to each SMART Goal SMART Goals Template

 

This is the set up of a dashboard with a number of key metrics specifically designed to monitor the progress being made towards achieving the objectives / SMART Goals defined in the Balanced Scorecard.

Based on Step #19, most if not all of your goals should have measures and targets that you can use. If not, you can pick a proxy KPI that is suitable.

Add these goals, measures and targets to the SMART Goals Template and if necessary choose which ones will become Key Performance Indicators to monitor if your organisation is on track to achieving its goals. In many instances, it will be all. In some instances, if you have too many, then you will need to pick out the ones which will best provide you with an a key indicator of progress per objective category.

 

Step #21: Communicate Company Wide

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Planning Team + Functional Leaders + Specialists SMART Goals (step 19) Organisation-wide communication of the strategy and goals.

 

At this stage you need to cascade all the strategies to the rest of the company. In this step, its also a good idea to bring in and engage a wider net of personnel that have a stake in the strategy. This allows for fine-tuning before the strategy is communicated widely to the organisation.

I would suggest that you engage Functional leaders and key specialists into this step. For an SME organisation this will usually be the one-downs from the Executive Leadership team (some of them may already be in the planning team).

 

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