Strategic Planning is a critical business function that allows a businesses to assess issues and opportunities, set future direction, discuss priorities and ensure strategic alignment throughout the organization. It is not a one-time annual event. A strategic plan is a living document that is managed and should evolve as market conditions change. Our experience tells us that companies who are unable to make strategic decisions, communicate direction and turn strategy into action suffer from slow reaction time, poor accountability and under-performance. We often hear the following:
- “Our leadership team is not aligned.”
- “We have lost focus on our core business.”
- “No one is accountable.”
- “Everything is a priority, so nothing is.”
- “We aren’t tooled to execute this.”
- “Our annual planning is a bureaucratic exercise.”
Strategic Planning is often defined differently in various organizations; however, we believe that strategic planning should be based on the following objectives:
- Establish executive consensus amongst leadership teams regarding mission, vision and strategic intent. Define or clarify the organization’s value proposition and competitive positioning as required.
- Identify key imperatives (e.g., issues, opportunities and threats) that must be addressed strategically based on market analysis and business diagnostics.
- Define key strategies to address issues and opportunities.
- Develop goals and tactics to achieve strategies.
- Create a strategic roadmap, assign accountabilities and define measures of success.
- Understand implications to:
- Products and services
- Customers and channels
- Core capabilities required to effectively deliver services
- Current operating model / business architecture (processes, org, technology)
At Centric, we take a pragmatic, execution-oriented approach towards strategy development. We provide end-to-end capabilities including business analysis, strategic planning, business architecture development and ongoing transformation leadership / change management. We believe that achieving success requires a strategy and roadmap that:
- Is born out of inclusive and participatory planning
- Brings to bear external and internal knowledge
- Is fact-based
- Sufficiently inspires and motivates
- Enables downstream decision making
- Clarifies capabilities and investments required for execution
- Is continuous, agile and adaptive
Centric’s Strategic Planning services include:
- Corporate and Business Unit Planning
- Innovating for Growth and Differentiation
- Scenario Analysis
- Prioritization and Portfolio Management
- Strategic Planning Process Design and Deployment
- Related Strategic Planning Capabilities
- Product and Services Strategy
- Customer and Channel Strategy
- Operating Strategy
Corporate and Business Unit Planning
Leveraging market research and business analytics, we work with clients to articulate key imperatives (e.g., issues, opportunities and threats) from which we will understand implications to an organization’s business model. Via workshops, we then help refine the organization’s vision and articulate the key strategies required to get there. The strategies will then be planned, prioritized and organized into a strategic roadmap with short-term, mid-term and long-term horizons.
Innovating for Growth and Differentiation
In today’s climate, organizations must constantly innovate to maintain company advantage. Innovation can positively affect products, the business model, third-party partnerships and sales channels. In addition, the seeds for innovation can come from many sources including customers, competitors and internal employees. Centric takes a multi-faceted approach to facilitating structured brainstorming and ideation to generate creative ideas for sustained advantage.
Scenario-Specific Rapid Assessment
During strategic planning, multiple alternatives are often generated to address potential issues and opportunities.The rapid assessment of scenarios is required to quickly weed out alternatives that do not hold merit versus ones which should be pursued. This assessment should include both quantitative and qualitative components. Centric works with its clients to leverage market research, customer feedback and internal modeling tools to assess, quantify and prioritize various strategic alternatives.
Prioritization and Portfolio Management
Developing effective business strategies is only half the battle. Deploying and implementing the strategies are equally important and in many ways, more difficult. Defining and prioritizing key initiatives and then actively managing these initiatives via an EPM / PMO is critical. Centric has a focused practice to help clients establish effective EPM / PMO functions and deploying supporting processes including portfolio management, budgeting, resource planning, project management and reporting.
Strategic Planning Process Design and Deployment
Strategic planning is an important function. Unfortunately, many companies do not have a structured approach or methodology for facilitating their planning process. Centric has a defined methodology for strategic planning and understands the fundamentals needed for world-class companies to operate. We tailor strategy to our clients’ specific considerations including company size, rate of change within the industry, performance challenges and other disruptive events.
Related Strategic Planning Capabilities:
Product and Services Strategy
Addressing key imperatives and maintaining competitive advantage in the marketplace often includes refining the company’s product strategy and innovation tactics. We work with clients to build effective product strategies by answering key questions such as:
- How well are current product portfolios aligned to market needs?
- How does the product portfolio align to competitor offerings (products, pricing, etc.)?
- How should products be segmented and managed based on profitability, strategic purpose, etc.?
- How can we drive more innovation, responsiveness and agility into the product development process?
Customer and Channel Strategy
Competitor and industry shifts often disrupt existing customer channels. In addition, customer needs and expectations are always evolving. This creates the need to constantly look at customer experiences to ensure successful delivery of the organization’s value proposition. We work with clients to build effective customer and channel strategies by answering key questions such as:
- How satisfied are customers with products, pricing, services, etc.? What are the key issues and opportunities?
- What is the current profitability of each customer channel? What are the driving factors to profitability within each channel?
- How well are we servicing each customer channel? How is effectiveness being measured?
- Which channels offer the largest opportunity for growth? How can we drive growth?
- How might various channels be segmented? Which ones should be eliminated, maintained or enhanced?
- How can we be more effective in servicing each channel via organization, support and technology?
An organization’s strategic plan often has implications on a company’s operating model including core processes, organization alignment, technology needs, etc. We work with our clients to answer key operating strategy questions such as:
- What are the core competencies of the organization?
- Which operating capabilities are most impacted by various strategies around growth, product, customer and channel focus?
- What is the nature of the required changes?
- What are the service level expectations?
- What is the insourcing and outsourcing approach around various capabilities?
- What should our shared services strategy be?