The one-page strategic plan
Does your strategic plan sit on a shelf gathering dust? If it’s full of abstract goals, vague strategies and useless key performance indicators (KPIs), then I bet it does! Here's how you can create a one page strategic plan.
To help you create a results-oriented, one page strategic plan that lives more in your handbag or back pocket than it does on your shelf, I’ve created this one page strategic plan template. It’s not complex, trendy or an inch-and-a-half thick. It’s a single page that incorporates all the essential elements for a results-oriented strategy. Here’s how to use it.
Top left: Vision
Your vision should remind you and inspire you about the heights you want your business to reach. Make it a vivid, compelling, emotive statement that is succinct but not strangled. Read it everyday and use it as a constant reference point before you take any significant decision or action in your business.
Top right: Success results and measures
There will ultimately be two or three results that you use to define true success for your business. They’ll probably be related to your vision, and will most likely include factors like profitability, customer value and maybe even social contribution. Include measures to track these results.
Column 1: Key result areas
My favourite way to identify key result areas when you’re laying out a strategic plan is to choose three to five of the key business processes that drive success and focus on those: marketing, selling, delivering, developing and managing.
"Your vision should remind you and inspire you about the heights you want your business to reach."
Column 2: Results
Results aren’t goals or objectives. They are clear statements of the outcomes or differences you want in your business. Make them vivid so that reading the words invokes clear images of what it looks like when they’re happening.
Be ruthless so you’re only ever focused on what matters most of all, and only ever have a manageable number of priorities to achieve.
Column 3: Measures or KPIs
The term ‘measures’ refers to evidence, not steps you’re taking to fix things. Measures are usually quantitative values that you track over time, and tell you how well you’re achieving the results you’ve entered in column 2.
Typically you’ll only need one or two measures for each result. Include targets with your measures, too.
Column 4: Improvement actions
These are the projects, initiatives, investments and opportunities you’re using to make the changes in your business that will bring about the results you want (column 2).
To understand how well these improvement actions are working, just look at the measures you chose in column 3.
How to use your one page strategic plan
Carry it around with you. Read it every day. Refresh it as you achieve your targets and results. Adjust it as you discover which improvement actions are working and which aren’t. Add project plans for the improvement actions, so you know what to do to achieve your strategic plan. And of course, celebrate when you make exciting progress!
A one page strategic plan is your map to success. What’s on yours?