Strategic Plan Assessment

There is no single perfect way to structure a strategic plan. There are, however, plenty of bad ways to structure a plan. To be effective and executable, a strategic plan needs to have five key attributes:
A stakeholder-centered strategic plan ensures that all decisions and actions align with the needs, interests, and values of those who have a stake in the business. This includes customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, and the community at large. Ensuring that the strategic plan is aligned with stakeholder interests ensures buy-in, reduces potential conflicts, and promotes smooth execution.

According to a study published in the "Academy of Management Journal," companies that prioritize stakeholder engagement tend to outperform peers in terms of profitability and growth.

(Source: "Stakeholder Theory and Organizational Performance" - Academy of Management Journal)
In a world filled with endless possibilities, a strategic plan needs to pinpoint the most crucial actions and initiatives. Radically prioritized means the organization has clearly identified and is focusing on a few key areas that will drive the most impact for stakeholders.

Spreading resources too thinly can dilute focus and effectiveness. Prioritization ensures the highest return on resources and time. A report from the Project Management Institute (PMI) indicates that 37% of project failures are due to a lack of clear priorities.

(Source: "Pulse of the Profession" - PMI)
This attribute means that strategic plans have been scrutinized to remove cognitive and organizational biases that can skew judgment. Biases can lead to poor decisions, resulting in wasted resources and missed opportunities. Ensuring decisions are made based on evidence and data rather than unchecked biases is crucial.

According to Harvard Business Review, more than 75% of cross-functional teams are dysfunctional, partly due to biases like groupthink. Removing these biases can significantly improve team and plan performance.

(Source: "Evidence-Based Management" - Harvard Business Review)
For a strategic plan to be effective, it must be communicated repeatedly, ensuring everyone in the organization understands it fully.

Over-communication ensures alignment, reduces misunderstandings, and drives consistent execution across all levels of the organization.

According to a study by McKinsey, companies with effective strategic communication are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers.

(Source: "The value of good communication" - McKinsey & Company)
Every strategic plan will face uncertainties. A risk-mitigated plan identifies potential risks and outlines strategies to manage or counteract them.

By proactively addressing risks, the organization can navigate challenges more effectively and ensure smoother plan execution.

A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that companies that effectively manage and mitigate risks achieve 3 times greater growth in profits.

(Source: "The importance of risk management" - Economist Intelligence Unit)
Complete the following assessment to see if your company’s strategic plan has these essential attributes.


Answer the following questions by Yes or No to assess your current situation.


13. Does the plan include an up-to-date analysis of market/industry trends and conditions?

14. Is there a clear understanding of your target market segments and customer profiles?

15. Have you identified your key competitors and analyzed their strengths and weaknesses?

16. Have opportunities for growth or expansion been exhaustively identified and assessed?

17. Are potential threats to the company’s success and strengths recognized and plans put in place to counteract them?

18. Is there a communication plan for ensuring that all employees understand and align with the strategic plan?

19. Are there regular intervals defined for reviewing and updating the strategic plan?

20. Is there a mechanism for gathering feedback from employees and other stakeholders?

21. Does the plan identify potential risks and outline strategies for managing or mitigating them?

22. Does the strategic plan consider the company's culture and how it will support or hinder the plan's execution?

23. Is there a mechanism in place for regularly reviewing and adapting the strategic plan based on changes in the market, internal capabilities, or other relevant factors?

1. Have you clearly defined the purpose of your strategic plan and the process for drafting, refining, and finalizing it, including roles and responsibilities for contributors?

2. Are only senior leaders involved in the strategic planning process?

3. Does your plan focus on a future state beyond the next 12 months?

4. Does your plan clearly state your company's purpose?

5. Does your plan clearly identify your key internal and external stakeholders, their critical needs, and the value you intend to create for them?

6. Are your core values identified and integrated into the plan?

7. Are the company’s long-term goals clearly defined?

8. Is the total number of long-term goals or strategic priorities less than 8?

9. Are potential strategic priorities screened and evaluated in an objective, data-driven way?

10. Does the plan break down long-term goals into annual, quantifiable objectives?

11. Is every objective supported by key strategies that will be used to accomplish it and do the key strategies have corresponding action items with and assigned owner and due date ?

12. Is there a clear resource plan that identifies how the action item owners will be supported?

Your Results

Here is what your results mean, based on the number of your No's.
Less Than 8 “No’s”
Your plan has a strong foundation. Take it from good to great by closing any gaps.
Between 8-15 “No’s”
Your plan has several missing pieces. Shore up the foundation by identifying and prioritizing the areas where you responded “no.”
More Than 15 “No’s”
Your plan is on life-support. It needs immediate attention to bring stability.