7 Mistakes to Avoid in Strategic Action Planning

Need to create a Strategic Action Plan? Your business will benefit from using an Action Plan to link your business goals to your strategies. This plan lets your develop a series of tasks that you can assign to targets and review as they are accomplished.

Action item Log

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Strategic Action Plan: Definition

One definition:

Strategic Action Plans enable you to plan strategic actions to determine your market position in relation to your competitors and take the necessary steps to develop your business assets.

Your Strategic Action Plan lets you track:

  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • Targets

in relation to different activities, such as marketing campaigns.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

You can also use the plan of action to identify the roles of key persons in the organization and their commitment to the plan. It also lets you define goals within the time frames which the actions need to be completed.

Action Plan: How to Write

Your strategic action plan means effecting organizational-wide changes by analyzing problems, scenarios, markets and opportunities so that changes may be realized.

Here are some ways to write your first strategic action plan and increase your business results.

  1. Success – Create a list of your main achievements in the past year. Include large wins and major contract awards.
  2. Failures – Create a second list of areas where your projects didn’t work and product launches that failed. This may also include lost clients, contracts. and other areas where you lost ground or market share.
  3. Value – Identify the sum total of profit by subtracting the failures from the successes. Hopefully, it’s a positive number.
  4. Root Cause – Identify the root cause and the main reasons for the failures. These may be related to a lack of skill in business units, such as poor training in customer service.
  5. Be SMART – Create a plan this is S (specific), M (measurable), A (attainable), R (realistic) with a T (target date).
  6. Dashboard – Create an Executive Dashboard that monitors key performance indicators (KPIs). This helps you identify what needs attention and where you goals need to be aligned. This does not have to be very complex, rather use an Excel spreadsheet and create pivot tables to display the data you want is chart format.
  7. Process Improvement – Make sure to allocate time every week to refine the strategy plan, for example, at team meetings. Align your strategic plan into other activities and see where it helps other business units to improve their performance.


The strategic business plan is a living document and should covers the sales plan, marketing plan, financial plans and growth plan. You can benefit from using this plan by assessing your organizations strengths and weaknesses, and then putting goals in place to close the gap between these two areas.

One way to make your Strategy Plans more useful is to focus on one metric at a time. Once you have been through the lifecycle of the plan, share what you’ve learnt and then move on to the next metric you want to investigate.


[Learn more about these MS Word and Excel templates here]