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*To access the worksheets under “Tools & Techniques” please refer to our Strategic Planning Kit for Dummies.Strategic issues are critical unknowns that are driving you to embark on a strategic planning process now.It should be a small group of approximately 12-15 persons.
Evaluate the options you’ve generated, and identify the ones that give the greatest benefit, and that best achieve the mission and vision of your organization.
Add these to the other strategic options that you’re considering. Once you have formulated your strategic objectives, you should translate them into goals and measures that can be clearly communicated to your planning team (team leaders and/or team members).
An environmental scan is also referred to as a PEST analysis, which is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social and Technological trends.
Sometimes it is helpful to also include Ecological and Legal trends as well.
These issues can be problems, opportunities, market shifts or anything else that is keeping you awake at night and begging for a solution or decision.
Conducting an environmental scan will help you understand your operating environment.If your team wants to take the next step in the SWOT analysis, apply the TOWS Strategic Alternatives Matrix to help you think about the options that you could pursue.To do this, match external opportunities and threats with your internal strengths and weaknesses, as illustrated in the matrix below: *To access the worksheets under “Tools & Techniques” please refer to our Strategic Planning Kit for Dummies.Take the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats you developed earlier, review, prioritize and combine like terms.The SWOT analysis helps you ask, and answer, the following questions: “How do you….” *To access the worksheets under “Tools & Techniques” please refer to our Strategic Planning Kit for Dummies.Move at a pace that works best for you and your team and leverage this as a resource.For more of a deep dive look into each part of the planning phase, you will see a link to the detailed How-To Guide at the top of each phase.They should address what you need to do in the short-term (think 1-3 years) to achieve your strategic objectives.Organization-wide goals are annual statements that are specific, measurable, attainable, responsible and time bound.On average, this process can take between three and four months.However no one organization is alike and you may decide to fast track your process or slow it down.