The Planning Concept that Remains In-Demand with $500M+ Companies
Despite their supposed “death,” 3-to 5-year strategic plans that are expressed in a one-page strategic plan template are popular among our corporate clients. The popularity of the one-page strategic plan template is consistent in both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) organizations. And, as a practical matter, these one-page strategic plan templates for 3-5 years are supported by 1-year initiatives and are dynamically updated, typically annually.
The Most Popular One-Page Strategic Plan Template
The 3-to 5-year one-page strategic plan template that is the most popular among our clients starts with an upfront situation assessment as the first component (see left hand graphic on chart). The situation assessment looks broadly at demand drivers, customer trends, competitor assessment, brand strategy, SWOT assessment, and core skills/competencies. The results are summarized in findings, conclusions and implications as well as SGOAs (strategic growth opportunity areas).
The next component in the one page strategic plan template is an overall vision for the organization with financial objectives, which can include a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). Among our large corporate consulting clients, who are typically more than $500 million in revenue, it is clearly understood how much of the financial growth goal will be delivered by the existing business, organically, and how much will need to come from new business lines and/or acquisitions or joint ventures. This is important and clearly understood.
Among smaller firms, in the $3-10 million range, we’ve noticed a tendency to skip the situation assessment step altogether. Instead, the organization begins with a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) that typically involves increasing its topline by five to ten-fold. Lacking altogether is the perspective on how much of the growth is likely with the existing products and services as compared to how much of the growth will require entering new markets or offering new products. We’re familiar with several smaller firms whose BHAG goal is unrealistic and unmatched to the rest of the “system.”
What Are the Most Important Strategies to Include in the One-Page Strategic Plan Template?
The next step in developing the 3- to 5-year strategic plan using the one page strategic plan template is to identify the most important strategies to deliver against the plan. An earlier version of these strategies will often emerge during the situation assessment phase. This step in the process will require some “heavy lifting” from the organization’s functional leaders, such as operations, sales, marketing, and R&D. From the first pass, there may be as many as 8-10 strategies that emerge. It’s a good practice to vet these and prioritize their impact at this point.
We encourage clients to avoid having more than 6 strategies. The one page strategic plan template shown in the visual has 5 strategies. While each organization’s strategic plan will be different, typical areas to look for strategies may include:
- growth strategies
- functional strategies
- supply chain and operations
- distribution and channels
Remember to Assign Responsibility in the One-Page Strategic Plan Template
The next step is to complete the initiative and responsibility component (shown on the far right). Each major strategy will include the individual and functional area responsible and the specific action initiatives that support the strategy. These action initiatives will include some in the 1-year time range, some in the 2-3 range, and some in the 4-5 year range. For purposes of the one page strategic plan template, the goal is to prioritize to the most important initiatives, not to list every action that the organization is considering.
The #1 One-Page Strategic Plan Template
There are alternative one-page strategic plan templates that may look highly visually compelling and/or include other components, but none outperform this workhorse template. This practical one-page strategic plan template comes from Peter Klein of PK Associates, who we are fortunate to work with from time to time.