A tested approach to strategy development that takes account of the organizational and political factors in generating actionable strategies.
Strategy is about making informed choices with limited resources, in ways that strengthen your business. There’s no easy way to be sure that you have the right strategy, but there is a process that yields consistent results. In this post I’ll summarize a proven process for strategy development. Then I’ll describe each step in turn.
The seven key steps are these:
- Problem definition – what’s the scope of the strategy? Who is the end customer for the information? What are the success criteria?
- Environmental scan – get hold of every piece of information that’s easily available. Talk to people within your circle. Build up a basic education about the area in which you need a strategy.
- Research plan – on the basis of the environmental scan, you’ll have an idea of what you know, and what you need to know. Make a plan to find out the things you need to know.
- External research – through interviews, reading, and if necessary purchased research, gather the information you need in order to develop a strategy.
- Hypothesis – given all the information you have from your environmental scan and research, develop an argument around solving the strategic problem you set out to address.
- Validation – before you’re ready to make a firm recommendation, you need to test your thinking, internally and externally. This step will increase the credibility of your recommendations and begin the process of buy-in.
- Recommendation – finally you’re ready to present your proposal. Good strategies are easy to ...