A strategic plan is essential to achieving great results and differentiating the business in a dense construction industry. A good plan should consider aspects such as an analysis of the internal and external environments, the definition of goals and monitoring the key indicators of results. It is crucial that there is consistency and proper execution, enabling continuous control of the results.
Whenever possible, perform the strategic planning process as a team, with all the business departments or areas represented, because many heads think better than just one.
Here are nine essential steps to formulate high-efficiency strategic planning in any construction firm.
The company's definition of mission, vision, and values must be fully known. This is crucial for the plan to have long-term alignment as well as respect the organization's beliefs.
The mission defines what an organization is, why it exists, and its reason for being. At a minimum, the mission statement should define who the primary customers are, identify the products and services the company produces and describe the geographical location in which the business operates.
The vision statement is a company's road map, indicating what the company wants to achieve by setting a defined direction for the company's growth. Values are the fundamental beliefs on which the business and its behavior are based.
2. ESTABLISH THE DESIRED GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Establishing reasonable goals and objectives is critical. To do so, one must understand that there is a difference between goals and objectives. Goals are statements that represent the future of the business, aligned with the company’s mission and vision.
Objectives are the detailed planned steps that the company must go through during the execution phase to achieve the desired goals.
3. ANALYZE THE ORGANIZATION'S INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
It is necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of the company's resources. Factors such as motivated people, clear processes, quality products, control systems, company culture and suitable facilities are of great value.
Make a list of the key features that will be needed to achieve goals and objectives by performing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis and evaluating each one of them.
4. MONITOR THE COMPANY'S EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
The external environment (such as market, regulations and competitors) must be taken into consideration. Issues such as financial crises, the emergence of new laws and changes in consumption habits should be thought of in advance.
For example, one suggestion is to divide the external environment into two main blocks: the macro environment and the task environment. The macro environment is everything that is more abstract and distant from the company, such as legal aspects, general economics or market trends. The task environment is represented by what is near, such as customers, competitors, suppliers and regulatory bodies.
5. UNDERSTAND THE CUSTOMERS
In most cases, the planning targets are the final consumer, aiming to engage them in new purchasing decisions and retain them. Because of this, we need to give special attention to customers and understand their purchasing habits.
The planning process can segment customers in four different categories: geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavior. By understanding the target audience, a business can draw a more effective engagement strategy and a better marketing campaign.
6. DEFINE THE OVERALL STRATEGY THAT WILL BE USED
The overall strategy refers to how the results will be achieved. Good strategies contribute to creating a competitive advantage and differentiating the company in the construction industry.
The company should use a strategy that best fits its target audience and is aligned with the business’s mission, vision, and values. The strategy needs to be constantly revisited because the market conditions are dynamic, with new entrants, new regulations, substitute products and changes in demographics. A company needs to have the ability to quickly assess the external business environment and its impact on the business to adjust the strategy as needed.
7. DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN
The action plan symbolizes the tasks that must be done to achieve the goals and objectives initially defined. Generally, this plan is developed based on a tool called 5W2H, which represents these seven words:
- Five W: What (what will be done?), why (why will it be done?), where (where will it be done?), when (when will it be done?) and who (who will do it?)
- Two H: How much (how much will it cost?) an how (how is it going to be done?)
A table with the answers to these key issues should be assembled so that the company will have an auxiliary document for the implementation of each stage of the plan. In the end, the chances of success in execution will be even greater
8. MONITOR THE RESULTS
Monitoring results is a way of observing whether everything is going according to plan or if the execution needs adjustments. Therefore, it is important to establish the tools that will be used for this monitoring as well as to train the professionals accordingly.
Timelines and key performance indicators (KPI) are good options for evaluating the progress of the plans being put into practice. The choice of the ideal indicators will vary according to the final goal of each plan.
9. EVALUATE THE FINAL RESULTS
With the correct choice and use of KPIs, the results of the implementation of the strategy can be evaluated and then the action plan can be modified or maintained based on the results. Thus, it is possible to enter a learning process, creating a feedback loop that will guarantee better results in the future by making constant adjustments to the strategy and action plans.
It is important to record and archive the results obtained, ensuring that they can be seen in the future, and that they can be incorporated into new corporate strategies.
By applying these steps, the company will have an ideal strategic plan.