Analytical Tools to Meet Your Strategic Planning Needs’s difficult to accomplish anything without a plan.  Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, running a small business, or coaching your child’s soccer team, you need a strategic plan.  By establishing a strategic plan business leaders are able to determine where to spend human capital, time, and money.  With year-end payroll reporting activities in full swing and the holidays fast approaching, this is an opportune time to plan for next year.  Fortunately, SmartDraw has the analytical tools to meet your strategic planning needs.

Strategic Planning Category

The Strategic Planning Category contains a number of sub-categories that range from competitive analysis diagrams to PEST analysis to strategy matrices.  Depending on the analytical methodology that you choose to apply during the strategic planning process, you may find that a combination of these templates will prove to be valuable.    Although there are a number of templates that can easily be applied, this week’s spotlight will be focused on the Ansoff Matrix,  Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, and SWOT Analysis tools.

Strategic Planning Category’s Sub-Category List* 

  • Strategic Planning Templates
  • Affinity Diagrams
  • Ansoff Matrix
  • Balance Scorecard
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Five Forces Analysis
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Goals Grid
  • Growth-Share Matrix
  • Performance Prism
  • PEST Analysis
  • Strategic Analysis
  • Strategy Maps
  • Strategy Matrices
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Value Chain Analysis

*Note: Each sub-category contains a folder of templates and sample diagrams.

8_Strategic Planning Category

SmartDraw Tip: To access the Strategic Planning Category, simply open SmartDraw.  In the Left Panel of the Category screen, select Strategic Planning.  The Strategic Planning Template sub-category will appear in the Category Preview and the remaining sub-categories will appear in the Left Panel as shown above.

Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Matrix was first published in the Harvard Business Review in 1957, enabling business leaders and marketers to develop strategies for future growth in a quick and simple way.    It is also referred to as the Product/Market Expansion Grid.    The matrix shows the four ways business can grow.  The idea is that each time you move in a quadrant (vertically or horizontally) you increase risk.  Click here to view examples of Ansoff Matrix diagrams.

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Five Forces Analysis

The Porter’s Five Forces Analysis Tool is a simple yet powerful tool to that enables you to understand the strength of your current competitive position and the position you’re considering moving towards.  By using this tool you’ll be able to weigh the potential profitability of new products, services, or businesses. In short, you’re examining the five important forces that determine competitive power in a business situation.  Click here to view examples of Five Forces Analysis diagrams.

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a strategic method that allows you to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or business venture.  Below is an example of modifying an existing SWOT diagram template.  The SmartDraw User Guide: Fundamentals for New Users can walk you through techniques of how to add color and effects to modify or brand any of the templates.  Click here to view examples of SWOT Analysis diagrams.

8_SWOT Analysis