8 Strategic Planning Pitfalls and Its Countermeasures

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants

Planning is an integral part of any business. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” It’s a quote that rings true for everyone. The same goes for strategic planning.

Amidst all the planning and preparations done by companies, not everything works out well in the end. Business owners and entrepreneurs sometimes commit mistakes before, during, or after the planning period.

Here’s a list of the common mistakes done in strategic planning, and how to fix them.


Your Plan is Too Ambiguous

This mistake arises because the goals are not well-defined. When coming up with a plan, everything must be detailed so that employees and other business stakeholders involved will not have much guesswork to do.

Avoid using ambiguous words and always clearly state the actions needed. By being clear and straightforward, the plan should run its course with little to no hiccups.

Your Plan Timeline is Too Long

While it makes sense that certain strategies will have better results when implemented over an extended period, strategic planning must be revisited at least quarterly to refresh the points made in a plan.

It is also wise to keep the timeline of strategic planning within a year so that new data and information can be plotted in to suit the current state of the business better.

Keeping your plans fresh allows it to be useful to face current obstacles and prevents it from being outdated. Consistently engaging in the plan gives it an opportunity to be accurate and do its job.


You Have Too Many Strategic Goals

Businesses sometimes have some goals they want to reach, which isn’t inherently bad. It just goes to show that they have a vision in mind. In the end, what’s essential is to narrow down these objectives to come up with a list that’s realistic and attainable.

Business leaders have to understand what the priority is at the moment. Out of the goals listed, which one is the most important? As a leader, you have to decide what makes the cut, what will be highlighted, and what will be addressed so that the strategic planning will bear good fruit.


Your Goals Do Not Have the Proper Key Metrics

More often than not, business leaders fail to look at the finish line. They give out goals, but people who are working on the goals are not given the proper metrics to measure effectiveness. Goals should be defined. The correct key metrics should be put in place so that everyone knows what the outcome should be.

Aligning the proper metrics to measure the effectiveness of your plan is crucial to move it forward and steer it in the right direction.


Risks are Not Accounted For

There is no perfect plan. The best that any business can do is to prepare well for what’s ahead. One way is to understand the risks surrounding your plan so that you can have an idea on how to mitigate them. Blind spots, risks, and oversight can all cause damage to any strategy.

Avoid these pitfalls by doing proper research and risk analysis. It can become tedious, but going through this process can show your business’ vulnerabilities. When done correctly, business leaders can make well-informed decisions and prepare action plans to block future risks.


You Don’t Monitor Your Strategy Progress

As mentioned, updating the plan at least quarterly can serve a great purpose moving forward. A well-updated plan can help meet your goals set in the first place. To achieve this, every progress must be monitored.

Strategy progress must always be monitored to know that the plan is moving accordingly. Follow-ups must be regularly done so that the framework is translated into action. Never underestimate the power a quick follow-up!


Forgetting the Purpose

While the plan is being executed, business leaders lose track of the main goal. Avoid falling into this trap by always going back to the goals listed during strategic planning. Do not steer away from this.

Avoid being tempted to achieve new goals when the former ones have not been met yet. Adapt to the facts, data, and information presented during the plan execution only when the need arises.


Not Pushing Through at All

The worst of them all would have to be this – gathering the greatest minds of the business and coming up with a fruitful strategic planning session only to find out that the plan will just be shelved for a long period.
It is not only a waste of resources but also a waste of an opportunity to not push through with your strategic plans.


Bottom Line

Making any of these mistakes can bring damage to your corporate strategy or the plans that you’ve well-thought of. It wouldn’t hurt as well if you go out and seek help.

Knowledge is power, so why not learn more about strategic planning and help your business reach its objectives in no time?

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