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Business Management

Writing A Good Strategy Document

I have to write a strategy for a completely new business venture for my company. I dusted off my Queen’s MBA books (they were not that dusty since I just finished my MBA last November), to review what I had learned on this topic. I started with my thesis: a management consulting plan for a new product introduction.I believe my paper included some important components of a strategic plan. Then I hit the books and I hope I have captured the important sections in crafting a strategy. Please note that each strategic plan will include slightly different sections and they may be presented in a different order depending on the solution, industry and corporate goals. The flow is important to capture the reader’s interest and to show a smooth progression of your plan from beginning to end. 

(1) Vision: The goals and reasons for the new product and why it is a good fit for the organization in the short and long-term.

(2) Market: An analysis of the state of the market for the new product. This section should include the size of the market, market growth forecast, and what is going on in the environment that is a cause or a catalyst for this growth.

(3) Product Overview: A high level view at features, functionality and benefits from the point of view of the target customers.

(4) Target Market: The primary customer segment(s) in the market for this new product. The size of this (these) target customer segment(s). Some thoughts on secondary segments.

(5) Competitive Analysis: Stenghts, weaknesses, price point and business models of competitors. If no head-on competition exists, a look at substitute products or other solutions where parallels can be made.

(6) Go to Market Plan: Steps to get from inception to market.

(7) Financial Analysis: Sales forecast, capital costs, variable costs, gross profit. This section should include a break-even analysis and also a project Net Present Value (NPV) if it is a capital project.

(8)  Risks and Mitigation: A look at the internal and the external environments (PEST, SWOT). Examine what could affect the success of the new product.

(9) Recommendations: How to move forward for best success!

CIO Study

IBM recently published a study titled “The New Voice of the CIO“. They interviewed over 2,598 CIO’s from midsized organizations from 31 countries. Based on profit before tax figures from 2004 to 2007, they ranked the organizations in three groups, high-growth, medium-growth and low-growth. Then, they looked at differences between CIO’s in each group  to find out what made some more successful […] Continue reading →

Foundation For Innovation

In order to encourage innovation and execute on a vision, an organization requires a solid foundation. This foundation is composed of culture, leadership and resources and all three are equally important. It is easy for a CEO to come up with good business ideas; it is much harder, however, for the organization to participate in the […] Continue reading →