During the deep analysis stage, individuals complete their own appraisal of the initiatives. Learn how to guide this appraisal process and outline several key variables of interest.
- Once you've been through your filtering exercise to identify your highest priority initiatives, you need to do deeper analysis. For those top initiatives on your list, you're going to assign them to individuals for further analysis. Part of that evaluation will require them filling out templates. Within that template, you're going to ask them to fill out multiple aspects of this initiative. First, provide a description of what the initiative is. Then identify what the value proposition is of doing that project. Identify who the customer's going to be. Sometimes it's an external customer, sometimes, it's an internal customer group. And articulate clearly the benefit that that initiative delivers to that customer. For external facing initiatives, identify the point of differentiation. What sets you apart and how does this initiative drive that separation between you and your competitors? Refer back to your core competencies. Hopefully, if an initiative is truly differentiating you, it's going to be tied directly to one of your core competencies. Also, be sure to identify which competitors this initiative could affect. Many of our organizations face multiple competitors for different products or different geographies and it's helpful to understand if you take an action, which competitor will be affected, because you need to understand what their response might be down the road. Next, look at the resources that will be required to implement this initiative. Understand the people, the capital, the expenses. Think about external partners or vendors who might need to be involved in making this happen. Take a look at your milestones and put together your best guess for when you'll have market validation of your initiative, when you'll have the infrastructure scoped and built, when you're going to test it, when you expect to launch it. Whatever the major milestones are, from idea to end market, identify what they are and put tentative dates to them. Next, define the owner, categorize the opportunity type. Is this a growth initiative? Is it a cost reduction initiative? Identify the market you're going to impact with this. One of the biggest pieces of analysis you need to do with your high priority initiatives is the detailed financial analysis. You'll need to understand things like what's the revenue this could generate, what are the savings if it's a cost reduction effort. Understand it over time, how does that revenue ramp up in year one, two, three. Look at some of your key financial metrics: net present value, return on investment, internal rate of return, if you need to involve the folks from finance to help you do this analysis. And lastly, understand the execution considerations. Will there be impacts on the sales team, your marketing campaigns, your core operations, customer service, your technology group? Identify what the risks are from an operational standpoint of implementing this initiative. By doing all of this detailed planning, you're going to have a much clearer picture of what this initiative is going to take to get executed and what the initiative should deliver as part of your broader strategic plan. Because in future steps of the strategic planning process, you're going to need to provide that entire picture of what all of your initiatives can deliver to the organization. So making sure you're doing the detailed analysis now will not be wasted effort later on.
- 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.