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24 Strategic Planning Techniques

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Strategic planning is the process of developing a strategy and planning its execution. Organizations and teams typically develop a concrete strategy for a financial year. Beyond that it is somewhat common to create a long term plan that sets targets for the future. The following are techniques that are commonly used to plan a strategy.


Benchmarking is the comparison of your metrics with a competitor or industry average. For example, a firm may consider how much its spending on innovation or technology relative to its industry.

Budget Planning

In many cases, strategy formation is closely tied to an annual or quarterly budget planning process.

Business Analysis

Validating the assumptions that underlie your strategy with business analysis techniques such as voice of the customer or statistical analysis.

Business Cases

A business case is a formal proposal for a strategy that includes analysis of benefits, costs and risks.

Business Models

A business model is the framework that an organization uses to capture value. In most cases, a strategy adds products, services and capabilities to an existing business model. Occasionally a strategy may also seek to transform a business model or enter new industries.

Business Plans

A business plan is a proposal for a major new initiative such as entering a new market or transforming a technology platform. Business plans are most typically targeted at investors in new businesses but can be developed internally where due diligence is required.

Capability Analysis

Describing your organization as a set of capabilities and identifying gaps that represent a competitive weakness or new capabilities that represent a potential advantage.

Competitive Intelligence

The practice of gathering information about competitors, markets, products, industry trends and customers. Competitive intelligence is a fundamental input for strategy planning.


Developing preliminary estimates for strategic plans using a high level estimation methodology such as reference class forecasting.

Financial Analysis

Analysis of financial metrics such as return on investment and payback period.


Strategy planning often requires forecasts such as predictions of market demand.

Goal Planning

A goal is a desired outcome. Strategy is primarily driven by goals in the context of the opportunities and threats that exist in the market. It is common to define goals as a starting point of strategy planning.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is a means of strategy implementation that sets goals for your organization, departments, teams and individual contributors.

Management Accounting

A collection of accounting techniques that support management decision making and optimization.

Market Analysis

An analysis of market conditions such as size, growth rates, demographics, influencers and trends. Important to industries such as technology and fashion that experience a high rate of market driven change.

Mission and Vision

Mission and vision are fundamental statements of why you exist and where you are going. Organizations with a strong sense of identity and purpose tend to develop more effective strategies.


In most cases, an organization develops far more strategies than it's possible to execute due to constraints such as budget and time. As such, prioritization is a critical strategy planning step that decides what gets done. A strict ranking of priorities typically achieves more than a rating system.

Risk Identification

It is common for strategy planning to involve early phases of risk management such as risk identification with estimates of impact and probability.

Scenario Planning

Scenario planning is the practice of planning tactics in advance.

Strategic Drivers

Strategic drivers is a broad term for everything that influences a strategy including mission, vision, goals, values, principles, competition, regulations and markets. Listing out strategic drivers is a basic step in strategy formation.

Structured Decision Making

The use of a process for strategic decision making such as steps that allow your entire organization to provide strategy proposals with a system of prioritization and approvals.

Structured Planning

The use of a process for strategic planning that might include information gathering, strategy formation, estimation, business cases, reviews, decision making points, budget approvals and goal setting.

Swot Analysis

An evaluation of current strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.

Target Operating Model

A vision for the future capabilities of your organization.

Business Strategy

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business strategy.
Added Value
Advertising Strategy
Algorithmic Pricing
Bargaining Power
Bricks And Clicks
Business Development
Business Environment
Business Goals
Business Models
Business Objectives
Business Outcomes
Business Scale
Business Strategy
Business Transformation
Camping Strategy
Channel Strategy
Club Goods
Communication Strategy
Competitive Advantage
Competitive Intelligence
Complementary Goods
Cost Advantage
Cost Reduction
Cost Strategy
Critical Success Factors
Customer Analysis
Customer Service
Cut And Run
Defensive Publication
Designer Label
Digital Maturity
Distinctive Capability
Do Nothing Strategy
Economic Moat
Economies Of Scale
Fail Often
Fail Well
Innovation Culture
Inventive Step
Long Tail
Management Strategy
Market Development
Market Maker
Market Research
Marketing Experimentation
Mass Customization
Operational Efficiency
Plateau Effect
Point Of No Return
Price Discrimination
Price Leadership
Pricing Strategy
Product Strategy
Promotion Strategy
Razor And Blades
Relative Advantage
Resistance To Change
Risk Management
Sales Strategy
Ship Often
Strategic Advantage
Strategic Communication
Strategic Drivers
Strategic Planning
Strategic Vision
Strategy Failure
Strategy Monitoring
Strategy Risk
Target Market
Test Marketing
Trade Dress
Trade Secrets
Turnaround Strategy
Two Sided Market
Types Of Strategy
Voice Of The Customer
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Business Case

A strategy or project proposal that outlines the case for a particular strategic direction.

Business Models

A list of common business models.


The common types of estimates.


A definition of feasibility with examples.

Scenario Planning

An overview of scenario planning.

Strategic Drivers

An overview of common strategic drivers.

Strategy Development

An overview of the strategic development process with examples.

Business Strategy

An extensive list of business strategies.


A reasonably comprehensive guide to strategy.

Baseline vs Benchmark

The difference between a baseline and a benchmark.

Strategy vs Tactics

A definition of strategy vs tactics with two examples.

Competitive Advantage

A few sources of competitive advantage for businesses.

Macro Environment

A list of macro environment components.

Competitive Advantage vs Distinctive Capability

The difference between competitive advantage and distinctive capability.

Do Nothing Strategy

An overview of a common business strategy.


A definition of restructuring with examples.


A guide to management techniques.


The basics of productivity.

Project Management

A guide to project management.

Internal Benchmarking

The common types of internal benchmarking.

Internal Customer

A definition of internal customer with examples.

Business Optimization

A definition of business optimization with examples.

Team Objectives

The common types of team objective.

Internal Stakeholders

A definition of internal stakeholder with examples.

Management Planning

An overview of the different types of management planning.

Management Examples

A definition of management with examples.
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