When you’re first mapping out your business strategy, how do you know what to prioritize? Strategic planning templates outline your key initiatives and the tasks that will help you achieve them. By connecting your work to overarching company mission and vision statements, you can see exactly how the work your team does supports business goals. We’ll show you how to create your own custom strategic planning template so you’re always prepared.
A strategic planning template is a measurable tool used to map out how you’re going to achieve large scale business strategies and goals. It acts as a roadmap between where you are now and where you want to go. Usually, your strategic planning template includes your company mission statement, long-term goals, and short-term actionable tasks that will help you achieve those goals. Your strategic plan is the umbrella planning template from which you’ll create your action plans, marketing plans, and other business strategics.
Your strategic plan outlines longer-term goals and ambitions, but these will most likely need to be changed on a routine basis. Creating a strategic planning template allows you to quickly and easily make adjustments to your plan, without needing to start from scratch. Plus, larger organizations might need multiple strategic plans at once. Creating one template that you can use cross-functionally helps you streamline work across teams, so all projects lead back to your biggest company goals.
Using a strategic planning template gives you a structure for your strategy. Once you’ve created your template, you can:
Quickly reference and share key initiatives with stakeholders.
Proactively gauge workloads and resources before launching new projects.
Reduce the amount of time teams spend waiting for directives, because everyone knows what needs to be done and which priorities come first.
A strategic planning template takes the guesswork out of strategy. Once it’s created, you know exactly what you need to do—down to the smallest tasks—to hit your loftiest strategic goals.
The mission is your overarching company purpose and the reason your product or service exists. Similarly, your vision is where you see your company going. Writing these is the first step in defining who you are as a business and what you hope to accomplish. Then, include them in your template to ensure new strategic plan is aligned with your company’s mission or vision.
Once you determine your mission (what you want to help solve), look at how you can use your unique offerings to accomplish it. Use a competitive analysis or SWOT analysis to determine where you stand in the marketplace, and look for the gaps (opportunities) where your company can outperform others. Review all data you have about your company, including market insights, customer feedback, and employee insights before building out your strategic planning template.Create a competitive analysis template
Your strategic planning template will act as a central source of truth for much of your business or team planning and strategy, so it should connect your company’s larger initiatives to project planning. The most efficient way to do this is with project management software, where you can include all relevant information in the same space as your plan. Here, you can attach key elements to your template, including goals, milestones, and to-do lists—so you can see how each action directly ties back to the bigger-picture company vision.
When creating your template, create sections for:
Your vision and mission statement: So you can always tie strategies back to your company’s core purpose.
Key performance indicators (KPIs): Use KPIs (measurable metrics to see how you’re progressing towards your goals) to ensure your strategic plan stays on track.
Items you won’t work on. To stay focused and prevent scope creep, it’s just as important to know which elements to skip. For example, if you’re a startup that needs to sparingly allocate resources, you might decide that social media planning is not a top priority right now.
As a general rule, you can use strategic planning templates for any large-scale strategic objectives or business goals. Often, strategic plans are used by new businesses or during long-term planning. For example, if you’re a startup, you can use a strategic plan to clarify direction and get more organized about action steps. Or if you’re a long-standing business, you can use a strategic 10 year plan to determine what’s next for the company. Non-profits also use strategic planning for transparency with donors to show how they’re putting donations to good use.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Goals. Goals in Asana directly connect to the work you’re doing to hit them, making it easy for team members to see what they’re working towards. More often than not, our goals live separate from the work that goes into achieving them. By connecting your team and company goals to the work that supports them, team members have real-time insight and clarity into how their work directly contributes to your team—and company—success. As a result, team members can make better decisions. If necessary, they can identify the projects that support the company’s strategy and prioritize work that delivers measurable results.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Dependencies. Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.
Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.
OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
To use your template for strategic planning, follow these four steps: Know where you are now, develop a strategy, create a plan, and share it with others.
Create mission and vision statement to inform your template, then build a template with space for your company information (including a competitor analysis to show your market fit), key objectives, goals, and metrics that will let you know when you’ve been successful.
Strategic planning templates outline the key elements you need to give structure to your loftier goals and overarching company mission—including short-term goals, KPIs, and competitive analyses.
Yes, startups and small businesses can benefit from strategic planning templates. They’re completely customizable, so you can create a template that fits your exact needs—then adjust it as your company changes and grows.
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Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana with a free Premium trial today.