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Strategic Planning

  • ID: 42815
  • Report
  • January 1996
  • 107 pages
  • American Productivity & Quality Center, APQC
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The purpose of this study was to identify and examine “best practices” in the
area of strategic planning. The study focused on strategic planning programs at six best practice companies who demonstrated having successful practices.


The objective of the Strategic Planning Consortium Study was to identify innovative and proven practices throughout the strategic planning processes. More specifi- cally, the consortium sought to find approaches, practices, and outcomes in the following aspects and elements of the strategic planning process:

Triggers Evaluation
Overall Process Implementation
Issue Generation Communication
Options Generation Linkages
Feedback and Review


At the time of the initial planning meeting on September 15, 1994, 11 sponsoring companies gathered together and nominated 45 companies thought to have innovative strategic planning practices. These 45 companies were sent screening surveys and 19 (42 percent) responded. With a goal of six best practice companies, the group reached consensus and recruited six companies to join the study. This combination of 17 companies (11 sponsors and six best practice companies) participated in a series of planning.


The data collection tools used to collect information included both questionnaires and site visit interviews. Two questionnaires were used—a detailed questionnaire designed to collect objective and quantitative data, and a site visit questionnaire designed to collect qualitative information about targeted aspects of the strategic planning functions and processes within each best practice company.

The six best practice companies hosted site visits where they described their processes and strategies on strategic planning. These site visits allowed the consortium to have a more expansive discussion into interview questions and
experience the organization’s culture. A subset of sponsors attended each site visit to participate in discussions with best practice companies. A free-flowing question-andanswer session was also allowed at the conclusion of each
site visit. Both best practice companies and sponsors responded to the detailed questionnaire. Only best practice companies were asked the questions on the site visit questionnaire.

The sources used to select best practice companies who were viewed as innovative in strategic planning included secondary research conducted at the International Benchmarking Clearinghouse, as well as input from Dr. John
Camillus, Subject Matter Expert, and sponsoring companies. The chart on page 7 shows the tools, approaches, and deliverables the IBC used to gather information for the study.


The best practice companies rate their processes to be at a higher level of effectiveness than the rating which sponsoring companies give their own processes. Differences between best practice and sponsoring companies consequently provide insights regarding potentially rewarding directions for strategic planning system design.

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Sponsor Companies 4
Partner Companies 5
Executive Summary 6
Key Findings 11
Leading Edge vs. Current Practice 31
Company Insight 37
Summaries: Best Practice Companies 61
Summaries: Sponsor Companies 77


A Detailed Questionnaire
B Site Visit Guidelines
C Screening Questionnaire
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown