Strategic plans are typically prepared by a strategy facilitator (eg a Strategy department, an external consultancy, or for smaller companies, an executive) in close concert with a sponsor (typically the CEO) and key leaders and stakeholders within an organization. The facilitator group is responsible for conducting and collating research into the organization's internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external influences. The research phase forms a crucial early segment of any strategy planning workshop. The various drivers that should be considered during strategy research include customer factors such as mission & vision, customer value & segments, and product innovation & R&D, market factors such as sales force, market expansion & contraction, and industry factors such as competition & substitute products, and potential of new initiatives.
The strategic planning process involves a series of strategy workshops that bring stakeholders together to create a cohesive and well-thought-out plan. These working sessions are facilitated by the facilitator group. These sessions provide a valuable opportunity for teams to come together, align on goals, and develop a prioritized plan-of-attack to achieve those objectives. By regularly engaging in strategy planning sessions, businesses can foster a culture of innovation, adaptability, and long-term thinking that sets them apart from their competitors.
In addition to the preparation of the strategic plan, it is essential to ensure buy-in from internal leadership and stakeholders. This can be achieved through a compelling strategic statement, alignment of strategy and initial objectives in all communication materials, and crafting an investment projection and illustrative milestones for strategic initiatives.
It's important to note that the facilitators of the strategy planning process may also function as strategic input providers, if they have deep internal or industry-specific experience. This is not a requirement, however.
Ultimately, the strategic plan is a result of a well-structured, well-researched, and collaborative effort by key leaders and stakeholders within the organization.