- A Vision Statement
- A Mission Statement
- A set of core values
- An situational analysis (often called a SWOT analysis after Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
- A set of goals and objectives
- A set of strategies and tactics to meet those objectives
Remember that the purpose of a strategic plan is usually for internal use. People often ask me how long each section needs to be or if they can eliminate a section. I probably take a bit of a different stance from some others. I think that the strategic plan has to be useful. If a section is not useful, then don't write it. However, you had better be really careful if you do. Make sure that it really isn't necessary. I usually counsel people to write each section, even if a section is very brief. It may be that the discussion of external threats is minimal. Perhaps it's only a paragraph. Even then, it may be that the paragraph provides important information to those who read and use the strategic plan. That's the key. It has to be used or its not a good strategic plan because it is then not part of the strategic management process.