Every business needs to have a vision and an ultimate goal. However, these are not enough on their own. Strategic planning is a process that shows which strategy the company needs to adopt to achieve these objectives, and strategic planning tools can make it happen.
All strategic planning tools and techniques have different advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, they have found different applications, depending on the business and its industry. Therefore, you must carefully research the available strategic management tools at your disposal before you make your final choice.
In this article, we will get into more detail about several strategic planning tools and techniques that might cover your company’s needs. Then, you will be able to evaluate which one will be the best for you. In addition to this, you will also learn a great online tool that can help you with your strategic planning. Keep reading.
[Must Know] Strategic Planning Tools and Techniques
The first step to finding the best strategic planning tools for your business is to learn everything about it. Below, we will explain the different strategic planning tools and techniques so that you are fully aware of their different applications. We are dividing this port into tools and techniques so that it becomes easier to understand their differences.
8 Popular Strategic Planning Tools
First of all, we will talk about the most popular strategic planning tools. These are specific frameworks that can be combined to achieve the desired result.
One of the most popular strategic planning tools and techniques is undoubtedly visioning. This tool requires that you visualize the future of your company. The key component of this tool is brainstorming, and for this reason, you need to find a platform that facilitates the conversation between your team members.
Visioning is one of the most important strategic planning tools because it guides the organization as a whole in the desired direction. Both managers and employees can look back at this vision to remind themselves of their objectives.
#2 SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is one of the most popular strategic planning tools and techniques because it is very effective. During this analysis, you have to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your company. By listing them, you can start finding connections between them, which will help you find ways to help your company grow. This is one of the strategic management tools that are perfect for companies that need to find a competitive advantage to increase their market share.
#3 PESTLE Analysis
One of the greatest strategic planning tools and also techniques is PESTLE analysis. In fact, this is a tool that is often used in the SWOT analysis as the data you will get from it will help you identify potential threats and weaknesses. In this tool, you will be focusing on the external factors that immediately affect your business. Such factors are Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental. However, in some cases, you might not need all of them, and so you can do the PEST analysis instead.
#4 Balanced Scorecard
One of the most well-known strategic planning tools is the balanced scorecard. The BSC is a great tool as it focuses on both operational and financial factors. For this reason, it allows you to get a holistic view of your business. Moreover, this is one of the strategic management tools that specify objectives, measures, and initiatives. What’s great about the balanced scorecard is that it allows you to divide your big-picture goals into smaller objectives that you can actually measure.
#5 Hoshin Planning
If you are looking at the most popular strategic planning tools and techniques, you will surely notice Hoshin planning. This tool applies a top-down approach to your organization as a whole, from your big-picture objectives to your specific projects and tasks. By doing this, you ensure that all of your processes align with each other, thus working towards the same goal. There is no denying that this is one of the strategic planning tools that you need to explore.
#6 VRIO Framework
The VRIO framework is one of the strategic management tools that keeps gaining popularity. The word stands for Valuable, Rare, Inimitable, and Organizational. In essence, this tool has been specifically designed so that you can determine what your company’s competitive advantage is. Furthermore, you can also study your resources to find a way to turn them to your advantage. The way to use this strategic planning tool is to ensure that your resources have all the VRIO factors.
#7 Objectives and Key Results (OKR)
One of the most widely used strategic planning tools and techniques is none other than objectives and key results, or OKR. This is one of the easiest-to-understand strategic management tools as it measures the success of the strategy based on specific objectives and key results. With this tool, you will constantly be setting goals, which you must also evaluate. This enables you to react to any changes and adapt to an ever-changing market.
#8 Competitor Analysis
No one can deny that one of the most popular strategic planning tools is competitor analysis. Your competition affects your company’s growth, and so, you should always study what the other businesses in your industry are doing. Both their successes and failures can guide you so that you find the most efficient strategy. For this reason, a competitor analysis has been proven as one of the most valuable strategic planning tools and techniques that you can use.
5 Strategic Planning Models
The strategic management tools that we have analyzed above can be combined to bring you the answers you were looking for. However, the techniques and models that you choose will affect your decision as to which strategic planning tools you should select. The most prominent strategic planning models are the following:
#1 Basic Model
One of the most standard strategic management tools is the basic model. This is ideal for startups and small businesses as it helps you form your vision and objectives. Once you start gaining more experience, you can implement various strategic planning tools into this model. By doing this, you will refine your goals and objectives.
#2 Self-organizing Model
This is one of the most complex and time-consuming strategic tools and techniques. When you adopt this model, you let your company’s values define your strategy, rather than focusing on specific metrics and goals. This is a model that is most suited for big organizations that can afford this natural self-organizing.
#3 Strategic Alignment Model
Another one is the strategic alignment model. In essence, this model tries to make your internal processes and your strategic goals align. It considers your strategy execution, technology potential, competitive potential, and service level. This is one of the strategic planning tools and techniques that can help businesses refine and reassess their objectives.
#4 Scenario Model
The scenario model is the one that works perfectly with the other models in this list. For instance, you can use it with the basic model. This is one of the strategic planning tools and techniques that considers the various external factors that influence the company. Then, you imagine the worst-case scenario and possible solutions. This is the reason why this is one of the most helpful strategic management tools for small businesses and startups.
#5 Real-Time Strategic Planning Model
The last one is the real-time model. This is one of the strategic planning tools that change over time as it works reactively on three levels, which are the organizational, the programmatic, and the operational. This is one of the strategic management tools for businesses in rapidly changing industries.
Boardmix - Your Best Strategic Management Tool
Right now, you have access to one of the greatest strategic management tools, which is called Boardmix. This is an online platform that works as a virtual whiteboard and gives you access to a variety of high-quality features. What sets this app apart from other strategic management tools is that it enhances productivity and collaboration between team members.
Boardmix earns its reputation because it brings the functions you need to achieve your goals and complete your projects effectively. Namely, you can use Boardmix to brainstorm, exchange files, give feedback, and even organize online meetings. Furthermore, the app is perfect for diagramming and mapping thanks to the preset templates, which are ideal for your strategic planning.
Just try Boardmix now and manage your strategy in a better way!
The Bottom Line
When it comes to strategic planning tools, there are many things that you need to consider. Every tool and technique focuses on a different element that can help your business. For this reason, you must research your options carefully to make the most effective decision for your strategy.
No matter the strategic tools that you might use, Boardmix is the best app to keep track of your progress. With a variety of features and functions, it is the perfect platform to bring your team together and form your strategy. Try the app today to discover its powerful features!