Do’s & Don’ts Of Strategic Planning: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Do’s & Don’ts Of Strategic Planning

The first 2 questions should be answered, even though vaguely, before Strategic Planning:

Strategic Planning with 2 Different Approach :

It’s a process of achieving the goals of an organization through setting up objectives, developing a critical understanding of the competitive environment, planning the strategies, and their effective implementation across the organization. 


There can be two different schools of thought that understand strategic management from a different perspective:

1. Inductive Approach

  • This approach focuses more on developing the strategies.  
  • It requires information and key stakeholders who are keener and more energetic towards innovation and bringing new strategies to the table.   

2. Deductive Approach

  • This approach primarily deals with the practical implementation of the developed strategies.Of course, Strategic planning is required in strategy implementation steps too as many of the corners are kept untouched while the design part plus few strategies is prone to be changed when they touch the surface. 
  • In this process, there is a requirement of stakeholders who are sharp in execution and know the algorithms of grassroots culture to take the strategy on the ground.

When we know everything about Strategic planning,
Why 93% of strategic planning gets failed in the execution phase?

  • Tradition Approach of Strategic Planning:
  • Traditionally, In the majority of the cases, Strategic Planning is designed  
    • Based on Past Experiences
    • Based on the Gut feeling of Key Stakeholders only
    • Not in presence of any of the Strategy Expert

Let me share with you Do’s & Don’ts of Strategic Planning: 

1. About Vision, Mission, and Goal


  • Define vision and mission statements clearly. 
  • Set clearly pronounced goals and objectives.


  • Set the Goals without keeping an eye on the vision 
  • In Most Cases, Goals are not matching with the long-term vision of the OrganizationAs said, a Good beginning is half work done. 

2. Who should be present?  


  • Total involvement of all the stakeholders is a must. 
  • Active Participation can bring an excellent result.  


  • Sitting for Strategic Planning without Data or information 
  • Prioritize perception, abstraction, and intangible ideas over facts. 
  • Key Stakeholders within the company are present 


  • Preferably, a Strategy Design expert or any third party’s presence can play a crucial role in designing the ground-level strategy .
  • Pl. inform, gather and analyze the required information before the day of strategic planning.

3. Optimistic Vs Pessimistic Approach   


  • Let it be optimistic enough and set the Goals and actions on which quorum is established 


  • The budget is not kept in focus while defining the strategy  
  • The key constraint in the execution of strategy is Budget only. 


  • Although Optimism is necessary, Budget and achievable plus commonly acceptable goals make more sense while designing the strategy  
  • Get Ready with Plan B if Plan A is not working.

4. The strategy remains “LIVE on PAPER” only 


  • Design Action Plans in depth  


  • Setting up the action plan without knowing the limits of bandwidth of execution 
  • Action plans are designed by review mechanism is missing 


  • Define Strategy Assessment and Execute 
  • Review and Update the Strategy towards Goal on Predefined Period

5. Strategy Design Methodology


  • Design Strategy by using the scientific tools used for the “Strategy Design” process .


  • Use the tools without having proper clarity about the outcome expectable from the used strategy design tool.
  • Being obsessed with outcomes so that the process and the means are forgotten.  


  • Understand the Strategy Design Tools in-depth about the Process of Design, Pros, and Cons of Tools, Key challenges and Expected Outcome .
  • Use Desired Tools (Max. 2 tools at a time) for the Desired Outcome only – Usage of Multiple tools may create a complex environment in the strategy design process.

Few of the Commonly Used Strategy Design Tools:  

  • SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Challenges) Analysis 
  • PEST (Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological) Analysis 
  • Porter’s 5 Forces Model 
  • Ansoff Growth Grid 
  • BCG Matrix 
  • Balanced Scorecard 

Strategic planning with expert and scientific tools will always fetch the desired results otherwise, follow the myth about trial and error as someone truly said:  

If Plan A does not work, there are still 25 other letters in the Alphabet…