In this article we will talk about:
- The structure of good strategic planning
- The concept of the 5w2h action plan
- The transition from planning to execution
- Two essential tools for putting your company strategies into practice
We are tired of talking about how to have a strategic planning well structured is essential for companies of all sizes and as we are entering the last month of the year, I decided to speak once again about this tool that can be the differential for your business in 2016.
The truth is that it does not matter if you are an MEI (micro individual entrepreneur), a micro entrepreneur or if you have a slightly larger company. Structuring your strategies and what you want to achieve will help you think about what actions need to be done to achieve the desired goal.
In my thinking, what changes is the size and complexity of the strategic planning tools used, but regardless of the spreadsheet or software you want to use, the structure we consider ideal is this here:
- Step 1 - Posicionamento
- Business Differential
- Step 2 - Goals
- Overall objectives of the company
- Specific objectives
- Step 3 - Goals and Indicators
- SMART Goals
- Control panel for indicators
- Step 4 - Execution
- 5w2h Action Plan
- Step 5 - Control and Monitoring
If you want to dig deeper into each of these items in the EP structure, I recommend that you read our article on how to do your strategic planning, it is quite complete and goes into the details that I will not pass along this post.
If we are aligned on the importance of using a strategic planning worksheet, the second point we need to understand to put our strategies into practice is the 5w2h action plan. When doing this control, there are 7 items that you need to set and track:
- Why (why)
- Who (who)
- How (how)
- How Much
This is the framework we use in our 5w2h Action Plan Control Worksheet:
See that each action needs to be monitored to make sure that all the tasks related to a particular strategy have been put into practice. Again, if you want to dig deeper, we have another very interesting article that can help you, he talks about how to distribute your action plans well within your strategy to avoid failures. And it is precisely on this transition from strategy to practice that we will delve deeper into this article.
Now that we are going to get into the very practical part of planning, an essential care when making your strategy is to have the notion that the paper or Excel accepts any value or idea. See how goals look beautiful in our strategic planning worksheet:
It turns out that just having the planning is not enough and never was. Perhaps this is the greatest difficulty that many managers have in this matter. Leaving the conceptual field of strategy for the operational field of execution is one of the great challenges and one of its causes is the difficulty in controlling this process as a whole.
That's why, before you think about your strategy, we recommend that you find the right tool to do this control throughout the year (we strategic planning worksheet), as this makes it easier to make the transition from theory to practice.
Let's understand a little more than I'm talking about. As I said, finding your goals, goals and key indicators is easy to do. Below I show an example drawn for a given year:
See that I can plan (without blinking) several monthly goals to increase the inputs of my business, but only planning does not help much, it is important to understand how to reach those values. For this I always indicate the use of the 5w2h action plan. In our strategic planning worksheet we have prepared a simpler version of it so that it is easy and practical to complete and follow up the actions necessary to complete a specific goal.
Just set the goal you want to create an action and you can make the following data:
- What (action)
- Who (Responsible)
- Where (Team)
- When (Term)
- Status (automatic field showing how much time is remaining or if it has already been completed)
- % (field to set the completion percentage of that action)
When setting up the 5w2h action plan, you simply have to follow up the plans in order to have the complete data:
In this way, we are moving away from theory and the field of ideas to follow in practice what is happening and actually being executed in our company. Obviously, all this effort generates an automatic result in the worksheet, where you can see by area of your company exactly how you are putting your strategies in practice:
In our case, we have a positive 2% deviation from planned vs. completed alignment, and 45% of 5w2h action plans have already been completed. In addition, it is also possible to track the results by the tab of the strategies, analyzing the deviations occurring month by month and thinking about new actions to improve those results.
Now that you have understood the importance of putting what you have planned in practice, I recommend that you have the strategic planning worksheet (simply the best control tool on the subject) to organize their strategies and control the execution of action plans.
Another equally important tool is the 5w2h Action Plan Control Worksheet, which does not focus on the strategic part, but helps in more in-depth control of planned tasks and actions.