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Monday, January 14, 2008

Strategic Plans and Business Plans - Not The Same

What kind of plan does your organization need--a strategic plan or a business plan?

The easy answer is that you need both. But... you may need one more than the other.

Hank Harris with FMI, offers these differences between strategic plans and business plans:

  • A strategic plan sets the direction for the firm in the mid- to long-term future. It spells out the company's mission statement, primary goals, and measurable objectives, and explains the basic strategies for fulfilling the mission and achieving the goals.
  • The purpose of the business plan is to define the steps necessary to achieve the short- or mid-term objectives. The business plan aims to improve the effectiveness of the organization without significantly changing its direction.

BOTTOMLINE: "The value of strategic planning lies in the process. Engaging team leaders - and eventually team members - is essential to the success of a strategic planning effort. Different viewpoints on directions, goals, and strategies will emerge, but they can lead to creative solutions. Alignment begins to occur as a consensus is reached on vision, values, mission, goals, strategies, and objectives.

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