Another Dilbert comic- I know! It does bring up a few great considerations for strategic planning.
When you’re in the process of building your plan, don’t just skip right to churning out objectives and responsibilities- nothing can replace a thorough analysis of your external and internal environments. Sure, you want to be seen as a man or woman of action- you’ll get your chance. But you don’t want to ignore important events in your market like the pointy haired boss!
When you begin your external analysis, make sure you take into account external forces by doing the following…
Assess your market:
- What is happening externally and internally that will affect our company?
- Who are our customers?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor????? (Think Competitive Advantage)
- What are the driving forces behind sales trends?
- What are important and potentially important markets?
- What is happening in the world that might affect our company?
- What does it take to be successful in this market? (List the strengths all companies need to compete successfully in this market.)
Assess your company:
- What do we do best?
- What are our company resources – assets, intellectual property, and people?
- What are our company capabilities (functions)?
Assess your competition:
- How are we different from the competition?
- What are the general market conditions of our business?
- What needs are there for our products and services?
- What are the customer-market-technology opportunities?
- What are the customer’s problems and complains with the current products and services in the industry?
- What “If only….” Statements does a customer make?
For more on External and Internal Analysis, check out our comprehensive article on the subject.
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