Staying Ahead of the Game: Tips for Continuous Improvement in Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is an essential component of running a successful business or organization. It is a fundamental business technique to position a company for success, connect leaders behind a common vision, and guide management decisions. Most businesses hold some kind of planning gathering before the new year begins.  However, far too often, businesses do not devote enough time to planning. This results in poor execution and a waste of resources.

So, you and your team had a fantastic planning session. Everyone left the multiple-day session energized with strategic planning recommendations to help them attain the objectives and drive the organization towards its desired small-term and long-term objectives. Have you completed the planned job flawlessly? What could possibly go wrong?

Too often, leaders regard strategic planning as an event rather than an ongoing process. This leads to strategic plans that are not fully implemented since they are rarely revisited during the year after they are completed. Managers who appeared to support the strategic plan may not entirely align with the organization’s goals and priorities, putting implementation at risk. Let us look at some of the most effective tips to improve your strategic planning process: 

Improving the strategic planning process 

  1. Study your industry and competition

Assessing the external forces driving your sector, comprehending the competitive and regulatory landscape, and recognizing market trends are the first steps in developing an effective strategic plan. Make sure you deeply inspect your industry, market, trends, and competitors to understand whether your strategy is on track. 

It will also give you the insights you need to have the perfect strategic plan in place to help your organization achieve its objectives. This will also add more discussions about your business strategy and what it needs to be that perfect strategy you want. When you clearly understand your industry, competition, and market, you boost your odds of effectively executing the strategy. 

  1. Determine opportunities and threats

In conjunction with an external market assessment, an internal organizational evaluation will ground the strategy and establish a baseline for the organization’s culture and capabilities. A SWOT analysis will help uncover the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

You will be able to develop offensive and defensive tactics that capitalize on opportunities while mitigating the risks of potential threats using this knowledge. Just like you understand your industry and competition, this will help you understand everything related to your business.  

  1. Review the goal of the organization

Inspiring leaders to achieve meaningful goals is one of the values of a successful strategic event. At the start of the strategic planning event, it is critical to review the organization’s mission and vision. An engaging envisioning workshop assists will assist you in creating a common success story. 

This activity brings leaders together and inspires everyone to embrace the organization’s larger goal. By ensuring that you are reviewing the vision and mission of your organization, you ensure each and every major activity of the business is aligned with them. 

  1. Determine the objectives and priority of the business

Focusing on particular goals and priorities to achieve the vision is critical while using external and internal assessments guided by a compelling vision. This is a vital decision-making step. 

It is where leaders have rich decision-making conversations that define the big plays that will propel the organization ahead toward its objectives. At this point, having an objective, the professional facilitator can assist in bringing up, explaining, testing, and unifying leadership perspectives. 

  1. Specify objectives and key initiatives

With a defined set of company objectives and priorities, the next step is establishing precise targets and activities to implement the strategic plan. This is best accomplished at the functional level to ensure alignment and ownership. 

Limiting the number of initiatives per function to what can be accomplished in a year is critical. It is also critical that these activities align and contribute to achieving business objectives. You need to ensure that there is no confusion when it comes to what objectives and key initiatives each individual is responsible for. 

  1. Determine the needs of the resources

The strategic plan is put into action by putting sponsors, champions, and resources behind it. Senior leaders serve as initiative sponsors, overseeing finances and personnel. At this point, identifying and deploying strategic activation teams representing the various functions responsible for tackling cross-functional strategic initiatives may be important. 

This will ensure that no amount or type of resource is allocated wrongly so the resources are utilized as efficiently as possible. 

Strategic planning is essential for businesses to achieve their goals and stay competitive. However, it’s not enough to create a plan once and then forget about it. Continuous improvement is necessary to stay ahead of the game and achieve long-term success.

One useful tool for continuous improvement in strategic planning is OKR software. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, which is a goal-setting framework used by many successful businesses.

  1. Select the measures of success

You cannot understand if you are succeeding with your strategy unless you have the means to record its progress. This will ensure that your strategy is executed in an ideal manner and will also help you understand if and when you need to adapt and make some changes.  

Accountability and follow-through are ensured by the discipline to make progress and report on success measurements on a regular basis. It may be beneficial to appoint someone to gather, track, and report progress on the strategic plan using scorecards and dashboards. A quarterly business review comprises an update on plan implementation as measured by key performance metrics.

To improve your business strategy or ensure that it is executed in the most effective manner, book a consultation call with the experts today! 


  • What is strategic planning?

Strategic planning is the process of defining an organization’s direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this direction. It involves setting goals, analyzing the current situation, developing strategies, and creating a plan of action to achieve the desired outcome.

  • Why is strategic planning important?

Strategic planning is important because it provides an organization with a clear sense of direction and helps align resources, people, and activities toward common goals. It enables organizations to make informed decisions, respond to change, and achieve long-term success.

  • Who should be involved in the strategic planning process?

The strategic planning process should involve representatives from all levels of the organization, including senior management, employees, stakeholders, and customers. This helps ensure a well-rounded approach and promotes buy-in and commitment to the plan.

  • What are th e benefits of strategic planning?

The benefits of strategic planning include – clarity of purpose and direction, improved decision-making and resource allocation, increased focus and alignment of efforts, and better risk management. 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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