TRU Group USA Best Practice Strategic Planning
The American Quality and Productivity Center's International Benchmarking Clearinghouse analyzed the strategic planning processes of 45 top companies, including Alcoa, Deere & Company, Frito-Lay, Shell International Petroleum Company, Whirlpool and Xerox Corporation. The work is still relevant and quoted today 2016: The following is a summary of many of the best practices employed by these highly successful corporations:
- Stretch goals drive strategic out-of-the-box thinking. While different organizations use different parameters, all of the best practice companies set targets that required a shift from business as usual.
- Their planning processes are evolving and flexible. A "continuous improvement" philosophy guides the planning-process design.
- Communication of the strategic plan is a formal and significant element of the process and it is viewed as a measure of quality planning.
- Planners emphasize action plans and strategic thinking. Planners expect strategic thinking to take place primarily at the business unit level.
- The planners' distinction between strategic planning and business planning is increasingly blurred. As the cycle time between strategic plans shortens, business planning is done within the context of a strong corporate vision or culture, even if a corporate strategy is not articulated.
- The role of strategic planning as a key element in the management system is explicitly recognized through strong links to other elements of the management system (e.g., strong human resources and organizational structures).
- Documentation of strategic thinking is stressed.
- A single core competence or capability is not the driver of strategic planning. Instead, the basis for competitive advantage and new business development is based on diverse competencies.
- Approaches to planning processes and planning system designs vary greatly. Although approaches vary, the framework of issue and option generation, prioritization, review and feedback continues to have universal relevance.
* Source: APQC. Strategic Planning: Final Report. Houston, TX: American Productivity & Quality Center :
Read Article "A Summary of Best Practice Approaches in Strategic Planning Processes"
See also: 2014 APQC's recent study on the value of benchmarking was designed to examine what how benchmarking provides value to core business activities like strategic planning.
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