At some point most organisations will decide that it’s time to review current strategy and update action programmes to match evolving events and circumstances in their environment. This can be a limited scope, short timeline “dip stick” exercise. But to fully maximise the long-term benefits of strategic business planning, they should give serious consideration to investing time, energies and funds to an organisation-wide facilitated planning process. Such a process might look like this;

The Facilitation Requirement

To assist the business owners/senior management/board and their key managers to devise and agree a 3 year strategic business plan with clearly defined programmes of activity as the outcome.

The Planning Process Methodology

That the facilitator works with a small internal planning team consisting of one senior executive plus key managers over a 12 week timescale (no more than 6 on the team)

Indicative Planning Sequence

Wks Step Step Title Activity Who Target Outcome
1 1 Planning The Plan with the owners; senior management or the board Agreeing project scope; timeline; individual and collective concerns and expectations of the process  

Client & Facilitator  (F)


Clarity for client & facilitator on the process expectations; working arrangements alongside work in hand etc

2 1 Create the Planning Team (PT) A senior executive A team that is representative of the organisation is chosen






The strategic issues analysis of the organisation and its environment using 3 tools: PESTLE; Gap Analysis; Porter’s 5Forces  

PT/F (3hrs)


Planning Team clarity on how to complete the 3 analyses in wk.4

4 Fleshing out the 3 analyses PT 3 analyses completed
5 Review the 3 analyses;  using the SWOT tool; Key Strategic Issues Statements agreed  

PT/F (3hrs)

Key strategic issues for the organisation identified around which strategy is to be developed





Organisation-wide Planning Workshop

1.Prepare for the workshop by reviewing the organisation’s current Vision; Mission; Core Values and Goals  



Team ready to engage with their colleagues and to present their conclusions to date

7 2.Planning Workshop Part1 to engage all stakeholders in suggesting strategy  

PT/F(3hrs) plus all managers

Sign off the SWOT: Key Issues statement; debate organisation Vision; Mission; Core Values

3.Planning workshop Part2


PT/F(3hrs) plus all managers

Workshop agrees strategic goal priorities; strategic objectives; programme action areas; target outcomes; timelines; who leads
9-10 4  


Workshop outcomes written up in more detail  


Draft strategic plan ready for circulation within the organisation’s various departments
12 5  

Consultation & Adoption

Facilitation to agree the strategy & its immediate implementation PT/F(3hrs); managers  

Plan implementation agreed

13-24 6 Implementation- first phase Plan roll out across the organisation Management at all levels Quarter 1-3 actions concluded
25 7 Review first phase implementation Facilitation session re plan implementation progress (3hrs) Facilitator, client & managers Plan’s initial teething issues addressed and back on course for new quarters