Creation of the Implementation Plan is generally the responsibility of the organization’s Strategic Planning Group. If necessary, we recommend that organizations establish such a group before the workshops start, or at the very least, create one from among the participants. The Strategic Planning Group can also be responsible for tracking key issues—especially the STEEP ones—to ensure the organization does not miss any significant changes taking place.
Step 11: Develop the Communication Plan
Generally, the subject of a Communication Plan comes up as one of the Top-Level Goals. If it does, then we work with it there, as part of the overall strategic plan. If not, we add it at the end.
If it doesn’t come up as a goal, we recommend that the organization develop a Communication Plan separate from the overall organizational strategy, as it is a critical element in getting all your stakeholders, including employees, to understand what your organization is and does. We will discuss Communication Plans in a further article.
Once the whole Strategic Plan is complete, and the Critical Path Analysis has been prepared, then the major parts of it can be displayed in WarRoom fashion along a timeline. It can be very useful to display it along a wall, or on foam boards, with the opportunity for people to place questions or comments along it as time progresses. And so that it can be reviewed easily if new and unexpected events occur.
One important note to remember is that Strategic Planning is a process, not a one-off event, although the kind of workshops we have described here are events. Generally workshops such as these we have described are the start of a new process, or a major update that may be conducted every two years or so. The other important note is that this approach to strategic planning can and should be fun and inspiring. Go into the process with minds focused on possibilities and potential!