Business Planning Tools & Templates
Strategic Planning Models
When you purchase The Planning Boot Camp you will also receive these 8 Skill Boosters that will round out your skills, and give you the confidence to get started.
- The Role of Strategic Planning and Operational Planning Groups
- Communication in Business Planning
- Performing an Environmental Scan
- Creating an Effective Target Setting Process
- The Importance of Sign-Offs in Business Planning
- The Concept of Strategic Planning Readiness
- Challenging Underlying Assumptions
- A Vision of Failure: How to Plan for the Worst
All the Tools and Templates you Need to be Successful
For a limited time you will also receive templates, diagrams, models, letters, reports, presentations, tools and other materials that you can lift right out of the package and start using right away.
I have even included a data CD in the package so you don’t need to retype anything. Everything you need is in the package!
Here are a just a few examples:
- Business Plan Templates and Samples
- Strategic Imperative template
- Integrated Initiative list spreadsheet
- Sample process explanation presentation for internal clients
- Integrated Planning Model diagrams
- Template for learning the Integrated Planning Model
- Special report on the benefits of using the Integrated Planning Model
- Sample engagement Kick-Off letters
- PowerPoint to introduce others to The Practical Vision Statement
- PowerPoint to introduce others to Strategic Imperatives
- Diagram of the Planning/Execution Gap for use with internal clients
- Business Planning Assessment Tool
- Sample agendas for strategic planning meetings
- Special report on breaking down operational silos
- Accountability Model
- Law of diminishing detail diagram
- My Rolodex of Planning References
Free Planning Resources
Even if you choose not to purchase The Planning Boot Camp, please enjoy the following free articles.
What would it take to make your business fail? What conditions could precipitate and sustain “the spiral of death”? What would complete financial collapse really look like?
If your primary competitor acquired your firm, where would they strip out expenses, and what assets would they covet?
These are grisly questions to even consider, but sometimes you need to envision complete breakdown and failure to understand how to prevent it, and find your next level of success.
Executed properly, a quarterly or monthly planning process will actually consume less overall time, resources and effort than planning once a year. Over time you will incorporate a greater degree of strategic thinking in the ongoing management of your business, and discover some other great benefits.
Whether you call them silos, smokestacks, or stovepipes,the organizational impact is the same: inefficiency, dysfunction, hard feelings, and low morale. The product of years of turf protection and empire building, organizational walls are as hard to break down as the real thing.
A gap analysis will enable you to identify, highlight, and understand the key differences between an organization's current state, and future state; essentially the gaps between where they are, and where they want to be. This sounds easy enough, but to identify the gaps, you need an intimate understanding of the current state and future state of the firm at many levels.
In part 1 we discussed the pitfalls of project management, and a typical scenario that many companies fall into when their project management process is not aligned to the company's business strategy. So how can we maintain the benefits of project management, and avoid the problems?
Remuneration that is tied to performance is a double-edged sword. Whether you call it a bonus, variable pay, or pay for performance, the intention is the same: create a real and personal link between success and pay.
The Balanced Scorecard has been around since Norton and Kaplan conceived it in 1992. Since then, almost every major company has implemented, and re-implemented some form of a balanced scorecard as a disciplined, focused effort to understand and articulate a set of metrics that effectively measure the performance of an organization.
The only thing worse than not planning at all, is going to all the effort of articulating a compelling business plan that does not get executed. I've never taken a poll, but I'd guess that unexecuted plans are one of the top reasons that so many people feel dismayed, dejected, and disconsolate about business planning.
I have a little block of aluminum that sits on my desk with the inscription "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" Although I have an obvious aversion to all parts of business planning that are less than practical, there are appropriate times to ask this question.
Do non-profit organizations have the same responsibility to create business plans as their profit driven counterparts? In a word: yes. In fact, with funding coming from taxpayers and fundraising, not-for-profits have a higher duty of care to create and execute clear, measurable plans.
In the last newsletter we talked about the best approach to making real progress with special purpose working groups... ones that often don't work well together. To recap, we discussed taking the first meeting through a deliberate approach, that carefully builds from context to mandate to priorities to real content.
It's tough to decide what's worse about the current economic climate: the actual impact on our businesses, or the sheer uncertainty. With the turmoil in our markets and the uncertainty regarding future prospects, is this a good time to embark on strategy discussions and tinker with our business planning processes?
Personal planning is not for everyone. It requires an investment of 10-15 minutes every week.
So you're watching yet another powerpoint presentation full of graphs measuring click-through rates and customer engagement. What stats should you and your company really be tracking? Where's the analysis?
I once had a colleague ask me: "is it the plan or the execution?" Without any further explanation, I knew what he meant and I surprised him and myself with my answer. For many years I believed that real success is about effective execution. Over the past decade however, I have discovered that most companies are actually quite good at execution. In fact, execution is really what companies do every day.
To have a realistic hope of finishing a project on time, a number of steps need to be taken before that project is even assigned.
The first step is figuring out how much resources the initiative will consume by comparing its projected scope, and estimated budget and timelines to similar past initiatives.
That will give you a reasonable idea of how much staff time is needed."
A heavy travel schedule this year had me reflecting on the nuances of language and cultural differences when working abroad. In 2007 the international aspects of my consulting business really heated up and now I'm lucky enough to work with clients in over 20 countries around the world.
I stopped talking about typical strategic prioritization many years ago when I realized that most of my clients actually require Brutal Prioritization. Ultimately, the making and execution of strategy is about tough choices. Making choices and prioritizing the allocation of scarce resources should hurt. It should be as painful as hell. Frankly, it should be brutal. If your prioritization doesn’t hurt, you are probably paying lip service to strategic decision making.
Companies love teams and committees. It seems like every day, I see clients forming a new working group, team or committee for some special purpose. In a world where collaboration and shared wisdom are critical, it is often imperative to bring together a diverse group of brains that share a common goal. Getting the ground rules in place does not need to be fancy, it just needs to be formal.
Designing a strong business plan is crucial to the success of any company. That said, sound business planning is more difficult and time consuming than you might think. With the Business Planning Camp package, you receive a plethora of useful tools, templates, and examples to help you build a strong business plan for your company. Before you sign up for our Business Planning Boot Camp package, be sure to peruse some of the helpful business planning tips.
An important part of effective business planning and strong leadership is to keep things moving smoothly.
So whenever you are working with a group of people and progress becomes stagnant, you feel bogged down, or when a high level of agreement on a certain point is required, it might be a good idea to take the details off-line.
Whether you are a professional facilitator or it is just a small part of your job, you know that things do not always run smoothly.
Over the years, I have learned that doing your homework is the best way to be prepared. So whenever possible, I insist on individual phone interviews with my session participants in advance. This helps build a basic rapport with each person, while helping me understand what their hot button issues are.
In last month’s Planning Boot Camp newsletter we discussed the facilitator’s dilemma when dealing with difficult personality types in a typical facilitated session. As promised, this month I try to make sense of it all and offer practical tips to be successful with every participant type.
When you recognize you have an extreme situation, call a break for your own sanity and talk it over with the most senior person in your session. Then face the situation head on.
Keep your cool and do not be baited to attack in front of the rest of the participants. You may lose them as your allies and you will make the situation worse.
I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time. It’s been eating at me, and then just last week, I witnessed an example of an unwillingness to provide real insight, when real insight is really required.
A couple of academics, senior people who know their stuff, had promised specific actionable recommendations for policy makers to act on.
I was meeting with them to review their recommendations in advance of a big roundtable type meeting focused on reviving a troubled industrial sector. They were then to present their recommendations to the policy makers as a basis for action.