Start achieving your business goals using these strategic planning visuals. Customize your whiteboard to help your team plan, monitor and measure for strategic success.
Your business plan is not one-and-done. If you and your team are making mistakes, that’s half the battle. Learning from your mistakes is the hard part. It’s up to you to make sure no mistake is made twice. There are endless variations of strategic business plan diagrams and visuals, because no two companies have the same function. The goal of all strategic planning frameworks is to connect individuals to the larger mission.
Engaging all organization members in the overall mission is less difficult with the right tools. Erica Olsen, co-founder and COO of OnStrategy says one way to do this “is to hop into a room with a whiteboard and brainstorm with your planning team.” A whiteboard is inherently an effective tool to unite individuals because its nonpermanent surface welcomes collaboration and alleviates the fear of making a mistake. It’s a “clean slate” that can quickly transforms thoughts into shared ideas. Rob Walker, author of the article ” An Ode to the Whiteboard,” described it as “the office equivalent of a campfire: a gathering-place symbol…” And what do we do around a campfire? We tell ghost stories. On our business plan whiteboards, we tell stories too, just without the ghosts. We take turns being audience and storyteller, recounting stories from the past and predicting ones yet to transpire. During a strategic planning session, the whiteboard is a judgement free zone that accepts every ink mark just as easily as it’s erased. These custom business strategy diagrams and visuals offer a more structured template to unite your team and help reach those SMART goals.
The business strategy framework that you choose should be based on the questions you need answered. Where can we improve? How can we streamline the sales process? How can we make sure that we don’t go over the budget? How can we reinforce company culture? What is causing bottlenecks? Am I giving my employees a voice? All of the business frameworks here, are proven to help your team set and achieve goals, from analysis to measurement.
OKR: Objectives and Key Results
The OKR or Objectives and Key Results board is a visual used to connect individual results with lofty goals. Blocks represent deliverables that start with long-term and breakdown into a pyramid of short-term deliverables. Each individual, team, team leader and director is responsible for executing the assigned deliverable represented by the blocks. Individual team members can clearly see how their key results are supporting the team and providing the foundations to accomplish company objectives. Fill out this OKR Whiteboard quarterly, semi-annually or in any increment that meets your company’s needs.
SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
The SWOT analysis is a staple in the initial business plan. It is a template for you to fill out your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and your external threats and opportunities.
Updating your SWOT periodically is one of the many ways to maintain a keen sense of self-awareness throughout the year. The SWOT analysis above comes equipped with an Action Plan that raises questions like, how can we capitalize on opportunities? How do we shore up our weaknesses? What are our competitive advantages? How do we keep up with our competitors? Your SWOT and Action Plan can help keep your business copacetic in an uncertain market.
Balance Sheet: Goal vs Actual
Keeping a tidy record of your business’s revenue, expenses and profit has many benefits, like a less stressful tax season and the ability to make safer financial decisions. Amanda Russell MBA , Business Finance Coach, says “successful business owners always know their money .” Keeping an overview of your cash flow acts as a visual reminder of where each penny comes from and where it goes. Businesses of any size can use this to monitor savings. When you know how much you spent last quarter, you know how much you need to save this quarter to meet your savings goal. The pie chart on the left can provide a visual comparing and contrasting the metrics that are most important to you, like operating revenue or total expenses.
A KPI or Key Performance Indicator measures your business data against your business goals. These can be financial goals, HR goals, Lean Manufacturing goals, etc. No two businesses’ KPIs are exactly the same. This KPI dashboard provides company performance data at a glance. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, your KPIs can ebb and flow as time goes on making writing and erasing on a dry erase surface that much more convenient.
Flow Chart and Funnel
These whiteboard visuals lay out your business strategy after you’ve done your homework analyzing and identifying your major objectives and what actions need to be done to accomplish them. Your flow chart is great way to standardize business processes that have several steps or require careful decision making. It can help streamline manual actions that cannot yet be automated or serve as a guide for recently onboarded employees. The funnel has a similar function; it standardizes a plan and offers customization and flexibility. It represents a sequence even events that transpire from top to bottom. It’s a staple in sales teams because it visualizes retention rate and represents the narrowing of leads as time progresses.
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