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What You Need to Know About Strategic Planning

    sticky notes on a board, representing the importance of strategic planning

    For any business, strategy planning can be a successful way of plotting out the direction of your company. Strategy planning, or strategic planning, is a plan by which you lay out your vision for your business and the steps you will need to take to do so. This includes the overall goal of your business, what obstacles there are, and what methods to use to pursue your strategy. While strategic planning is an integral part of the start of a business, it also can be implemented or modified later in your company’s lifespan to account for any changes. No matter when you implement a strategic plan into your business, having one can be incredibly helpful in determining what your goals are as well as how you will achieve them.

    What Data You Need For Strategic Planning 

    While there are different ways to conduct strategic planning, you first must gather the necessary information needed. Strategic planning revolves around the goals of your company and the steps to take to achieve them. Because of this, you will need data on the resources of your company, knowledge about your industry, expectations of your company, and lastly, an understanding of your organization’s values, strengths, and weaknesses. This list encompasses the internal and external conditions of your company and is key to the process of strategic planning.

    The best way to gather data on your company’s internal conditions is to conduct interviews with the key figures related to these conditions. These figures can range from key executives and department heads. The information attained from these interviews should shed light on the performance of your company, the efficiency of your business processes, the culture of your company, and the use and allocation of your resources. And besides interviews, data about your use of resources can also be provided by business resource plans. Along with insight into your company, interviews with the key figures in your company can also provide data on external conditions. These external conditions can include your industry’s trends, your competitors, what makes your company stands out in the marketplace, and what shortfalls your company is trying to overcome. In addition to interviews, business intelligence documentation, business analysis documentation, and general research into your industry can provide you with the necessary information for strategic planning. By having all this data on the internal and external conditions of your company, you will have a clearer understanding of what metrics your companies need to meet to reach its goals and the obstacles you need to overcome to reach these goals.

    Putting Your Strategic Plan Together

    With all the data collected, you can begin creating strategic planning documentation for your business. The scenario for creating strategic planning documentation is to analyze the internal and external conditions of your company, extrapolate the most important goals from that data, develop a plan to attain these goals, and then carry this plan out. To begin, it is best to analyze your data to find any particular opportunities in your marketplace, and what is stopping you from achieving them, as well as how far you are from reaching this goal. One way to do so is through SWOT analysis among others (PEST analysis, Scenario Planning, Growth-Share matrix). SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and it works by taking all the information about the internal and external conditions of your company and categorizing them based on where they fall under the SWOT terms. 

    After you have established which framework you will use to analyze your company data, you can move forward. Looking at the opportunities presented through your analysis, you should be able to prioritize which steps your company needs to focus on to achieve your overall goals. These steps are based on where the most opportunities lie for your company based on your strengths, or what weaknesses you can address to improve performance. The steps that you need to take can be influenced by whether you need to increase revenue, how your company is doing in comparison to your competitors, how much work needs to be done to achieve your goals, and whether your goal is measurable. An example of steps you can take to address include revamping your website to attract more customers, updating your training materials to improve employee performance, or whether to expand your business into another marketplace.

    What Role Technical Writers Can Have

    Once you have your goals laid out, and planned out the steps that are needed to achieve them, the next step is to formulate a plan. This is the most important, and most difficult part, of strategic planning. The plan you institute should be shared throughout each department and mapped out so you clearly communicate what changes are being made. Your plan should also lay out what objectives you need to achieve, along with some way to measure whether the steps you are taking is creating concrete success. To properly create a plan that can work for your business, expertise is recommended. This is where technical writers come in. Having to conduct interviews, analyze multiple sets of data about your company, and then formulate an actionable plan requires both time and expertise. So, by hiring an outside consultant like one of EDC’s technical writers, you can guarantee success through strategic planning. With a new technical writer on staff, you can prioritize your business first, while a technical writer provides their services. This way you will be able to maintain your current business success without any disruptions while a technical writer works on providing you with new strategies to further optimize your company.

    Conclusion

    Strategic planning can help you with implementing a clear direction for your business. Whether your company is a startup or is already an established business, strategic planning documentation can play a key role in your business. With strategic planning, you will have a much easier time determining what goals you need to achieve. To achieve optimal strategic planning results, having an expert on staff will help. Since a technical writer deals with both documentation services and business intelligence and analysis, EDC’s technical writers can provide you with all the strategic planning documentation you need.

    How EDC Can Help You?

    Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

    Written by Stanley Chu

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