Strategy tools, courses & learning materials for individuals, universities and business
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Strategic Challenges and planning

Strategic management involves both continual steering of the strategy and performance via strategic plans (see next tab on this page), and the tackling of one-off issues and challenges, such as entering a new market, dealing with an aging workforce, defending against a competitor’s attack, or responding to market down-turns or other shifts in external conditions. The Strategy Challenge process can be used to tackle a wide range of issues, from very simple cases up to larger and more complex situations.

This process is as follows:

  1. A white-board workshop lays out the architecture of the challenge, which will itself generate value in terms of changes to decisions or increased confidence in what to do.

    If this is successful and sufficient value is at stake, you can go on to stage 2

  2. Develop a small demonstration simulation, using readily available information and estimate, which will give more value, through testing alternative scenarios and policies.

    If this is successful, and again, if there is a lot of value at stake,

  3. Build a fully-validated simulation model to confirm exactly what to do, when and how much across all decisions relating to the challenge.

Both the simple model and full model can then be used throughout as the situation develops through time, to check on progress and adjust policies and actions as new information becomes available.

This staged process allows you to make progress in small steps and get value at each stage – rather than have to find big budgets from scratch.

If we can help you tackle a strategic challenge, please contact us

Strategic Plan: for a whole business or specific units or functions.

Strategy Dynamics enables you both to tackle specific challenges, and to build a complete, rigorous strategic plan for any organization – large or small, corporate or non-commercial. Strategic plans in many organizations are too generalised, lacking specifics of what to do, when and how much, across all functions. Annual plans, are not adequate in any case, since in most cases much can change from quarter-to-quarter or month-to-month. We need quarterly or monthly action-plans and expected outcomes – and the adaptability to modify these plans as circumstances change.

The process for developing a rigorous and actionable strategic plan is as follows:

  1. A white-board workshop with the management team lays out the architecture of the business at a high level, followed by collecting the limited data needed to explain recent past performance and project a desired future. This stage alone will highlight KPIs that are usually missed by most planning processes and balanced scorecards.

  2. To whatever extent is required, this process is then replicated for sub-parts of the business - different business units, different markets, or specific functions, such as HR or Marketing. This stage breaks out the KPIs into more detailed levels, under the leadership of specific teams. [You can also create a strategic plan for any such unit on its own, without requiring the whole organisation to be analysed].

  3. The output from stages 1 and 2 is then used regularly [a] to update the latest performance changes and [b] to adjust short- to medium-term action plans and forecasts.

  4. For all except the simplest cases, this approach to strategic planning and management is helped by creating a software model of the strategy that both captures historic developments and projects likely future performance. This can be used both to test the plan’s sensitivity to uncertainties, such as market trends and competitor initiatives, and to test alternative strategies.
If we can help you develop a more rigorous, explicit and action-focused strategic plan that you can use continually to steer performance with your team, please contact us.
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