One of the frequently asked questions I am asked about planning is how many strategies they should have in their strategic or business plan.
My first response is that they should have as many strategies or objectives and actions as are required to take them closer to their goals and their vision. However when I dig deeper, I find that their question comes from overwhelm. I find that as they progress through a planning process and do SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, identify gaps to bridge, realise the work behind the goals, they end up with a whole series of issues, good ideas and to-do items.
When faced with a myriad of these issues, how do they focus on the right strategies?
Planning is all about simplifying, and to simplify all the inputs I use the principle of “KSI’s”
KSI’s are Key Strategic Issues, and I have provided a free download on how they work.
Key Strategic Issues analysis is about chunking all the issues you have found and finding the causal relationship – where if you find the right issue and fix it, you fix a whole lot of others. They are “Key” because the are the key to a whole nest of related issues, and they are “Strategic” because they are about the big picture.
When you create strategies around these high-impact issues, many of the micro-problems are automatically fixed, or reduced. This is where you can focus and spend most of your valuable time, rather than scrambling around all the low-impact issues.
The way I do this is to carry out a SWOT analysis.
But then I ask the question “How will this affect my business?” This helps me understand the entirety of the issue, whether good or bad.
Then, once I have a really good handle on how that issue could affect my business, I then drill down and ask two more questions:
- How much will this issue affect the attainment of my vision in the long run?
- How likely will this issue affect my business within the time-frame I’m looking at?
In order to put a quantifier to these questions I will score them on a scale of 0 to 10 where 10 has the most effect on attaining my vision or is the most likely to affect my business.
Then, and only then can you formulate high-impact strategies or actions.
Being able to create the most important strategies is all about great planning. When you enter the planning process, there may seem to be a lot of moving parts – but planning is about simplifying. If you can identify your high-impact issues, your KSI’s you are well on your way to creating strategies for what counts.
If you want to know more about my One Day Business Plan online training course click here, or go to my website at teikoh.com to find more resources to help you create great strategies, provide leadership, and grow your business.