A corporation functions day to day, and grows in an organized fashion, based on well-structured corporate plans. In order for a plan to be effective, it has to be created and implemented in a specific order. When you use the proper stages in corporate planning, you will be able to create comprehensive plans that can benefit your organization.
A corporate plan starts with an idea. That idea can come from a member of the executive team, a company manager, an employee, a customer or even a vendor. The genesis of the idea is either a need to improve the way the company follows a procedure, or a plan on a grander scale such as company expansion or a new product release. When an idea is laid on the table in an executive meeting, the executives must determine if that idea addresses a legitimate concern of the corporation. Once the need that the idea addresses is established, the process of corporate planning can move forward.
In order for a plan to be successful, there needs to be input from the various factions of the company that will be affected by the plan. For example, restructuring the sales department affects the sales group, the management group and every department that the sales team comes into contact with on a daily basis. Create a team of individuals that represent each of the affected areas of the company and get their input on the plan. Make changes to the plan based on the input you receive, and develop a final draft that can be made company policy.
The implementation stage of corporate planning is done in phases. The first phase rolls the plan out to a small control group that will experiment with the plan and see how it would work when it actually goes live. The next phase makes changes to the plan based on the findings of the control group. The final phase of the implementation stage is the structured roll-out of the plan. Do not implement the plan all at once. Introduce it slowly to the rest of the company so that you can try to fix errors along the way before it starts to affect productivity.
A plan is never totally completed in the world of corporate planning. A plan that ran for a limited amount of time will generate results that will be used in future plans. Monitor your plan regularly to determine the effect it is having on your business. Hold weekly or monthly meetings, depending on the company's need, with the department managers involved to determine what can be done to improve the plan as it moves forward.
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