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A Guide for an Effective Strategic Planning & Portfolio Management Cadence

 

Heading towards the end of a calendar year is an optimum time to reflect on the effectiveness of an organizations strategic planning and portfolio management capabilities. Effective strategic planning and portfolio management should be based on a rigorous process with engagement by senior management. It warrants investment in central management, cross-functional engagement, and a series of forums throughout the year to arrive at corporate, business area, and functional priorities. Fortunes are literally won and lost based on an organizations ability to plan and execute optimally.

Even the best planning process can be subject to delays. For example, finalization of budgets can bleed into January, as can ratification of top goals as commitment and accountability become a reality. Therefore, the spring time-frame is an opportune time to elevate from the practical and tactical realities of planning, and initiate the new planning cycle with a forum to discuss the long-term vision for the key business drivers. The purpose of these reviews is to orient the organization for the coming planning cycle. 

Building on context derived from the spring reviews, business areas can draft an overview of their respective market opportunities summarized in a document for distribution to senior management to review and agree on project priorities within and across business areas. Resource forecasts are developed for prioritized projects and a down-selection process is conducted to arrive at an efficient frontier of new projects with balanced resource supply and demand.

The annual strategic planning cycle for the coming year can start in the summer time-frame with an executive offsite to discuss and draft strategic top down guidance. Business areas and functional leads can then draft their own strategic plans based on a common template and content guidance. The collective material can then be collated into an annual strategic plan document for review with the Board of Directors and distribution to senior management.

Strategic priorities outlined in the strategic plan (3-yr view) are aligned with high level tactical goals in business area and functional operating plans (1-yr view) in the fall time-frame. This material drives budget planning, ratification of top goals, and cascade of priorities throughout the organization. And so begins the planning cycle for the next year. Contact us to learn more.