Both hard and soft strategic filters are needed to produce a well-prioritized list of initiatives. Learn how to apply filters to your list of initiatives.
- As I mentioned, in the strategic process, there are times the team comes together, and there are times they go off on their own to do some homework. This is one of those times. When they get ready to apply the strategic filters, what you need to do is assign homework. Take the list of initiatives, everybody should contribute all the ideas of what the organization might want to consider doing. Once you have that list of initiatives, break it up amongst your team members. Identify who should be evaluating which set of initiatives, and then take the strategic filters that you all agreed upon and distribute them. The homework should be have everybody go through each initiative they're assigned and document how that initiative stacks up against the strategic filters. For filters that are hard filters, they need to determine: Does this initiative pass or not pass through that filter? For ones that are softer screens, they should be able to identify: Is this a low, medium or high? In terms of how this initiative scores against that filter. When they go through this exercise, you should give them a template to do it. And when they fill this template out, not only do they need to say whether it's high, medium or low, they should also document their rationale. I think this one's a high because it would help us grow globally. I think this one's a low because it wouldn't affect that many customers. Having them articulate that rationale is going to be key for later on when you start comparing initiatives one against the other. Now, people's analysis of this is preliminary. You need to understand that when they go out and they look at these filters, not everybody is going to have a common understanding of what the filter means. And that's okay because the process is iterative, and over time, you're going to calibrate the organization on what each filter means, what a high, medium or low really is. And that's what you'll do in a future step of the process when you bring the team back together. So as you ask your people to apply the strategic filters, give them the best understanding you can of what the filter means, assign very specific initiatives for them to evaluate. Give them a deadline to come back with that evaluation, and make sure they document their rationale. And when they do so, you'll be well prepared in future steps to compare all the initiatives in your portfolio.
- Define the principles of strategic planning.
- Identify forces used to assess the market.
- Explain how to conduct a SWOT analysis.
- Articulate how to establish guiding principles and set goals.
- Explain what strategic filters are used for.
- Describe the steps of a strategic planning process.