Contractor Marketing has developed the "Strategic Planning Grade" as a diagnostic tool to assist contractors to rate themselves and show areas in need of improvement. The ten categories are interrelated and have weighted point values.
Written Strategic Plan (15 points) It is wonderful if the President has the plan in their head, but that hard drive can crash and leave everyone else in the dark as to future direction of the company. It must be written succinctly and practically.
Champions to Oversee Key Issues (15 points) Each major objective stated in the strategic plan should have at least one champion to lead the charge to positive change. This champion agrees on a reasonable timeframe to carry out the needed change and will be held accountable by the management team running the company.
Implementation Ability (15 points) How well does the firm/champions carry out the objectives jointly decided by the team? Many firms have learned the importance of planning, but very few do a good job implementing these plans. Only the progressive, innovative and empowering firms do a superb job moving forward with relative ease.
Healthy Human Resource Function (10 points) The key issue that we observe in planning is the people issues. The ability to select, train, retain, motivate, lead, compensate and change is rare, especially in the construction industry. We are more competent building structures than we are people.
Leadership Development/Training (10 points) The leaders of a company determine the culture, the values, the business approach and philosophy. They set the tone for the rest of the staff.
Target Market Focus (10 points) It is wise to consider new opportunities and target markets every time that you meet. Which market segments make the most sense to pursue with your firm's experience and capability?
Clear Vision, Mission and Goals (10 points) I know that these items seem soft to the reader, but perhaps they direct much like a small rudder does a huge ship. They need to be clear, distinct and relevant so that the staff is all pulling in the same direction.
Internal Communication/Morale (5 points) How well do your employees communicate with one another? Does the office and field stay in sync? Does upper management let the troops know what the key issues are? This factor impacts the overall morale of the company and creates the energy for the client to be serviced and satisfied.
Monitoring Mechanisms (5 points) Do we know when our plan or projects go off track or is it too late by the time we realize it? How well do we keep score on the foundational basics?
Marketplace Position (5 points) Where do you stand in light of your competitors? What differentiates you from every other contractor in your market area claiming to be quality-oriented, on time and within budget?
How your company measures up to these key points will help you and your staff in refining and moving forward with your strategic plan.
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