Planning Questions

Frequently in the strategic planning process the right question can help to move things ahead. Here are a few which have been useful at times.

What is our primary business or activity?
All things considered, how might we need to change?
What business indicators should we be monitoring?
What major decisions have been made recently regarding the future?
What are we doing that is not succeeding?
How can we beneficially change or stop the activity?
What are we doing that we shouldn’t do?
What are we doing that’s unrelated to our business?
What are we not doing that we should be doing?
What can we do to enhance our business?

What is the process used for planning?
What guidelines are in place to facilitate planning?
Who should be involved in the planning process?
Who should facilitate the strategic planning process?
What are our current goals/objectives?
What is the status of our current planning?

Why are we in business?
What is our specific business or activity?
What is our organizational vision?
What is our mission?
What really “drives” us (income, service, etc.)?

How do we do business?
What is the structure of our organization?
What are our values?
What customer service do we offer?
What is our relationship to employees? Customers? Suppliers?

Where are we now?
Are we currently doing the right things in the right way?
What are we doing that we should discontinue?
What are we not doing that we should be doing?

How do we stand with regard to a SWOT analysis?
What are our organizational strengths?
How can we take advantage of these strengths?
What are our organizational weaknesses?
How can we minimize the impact of these weaknesses?
What are the opportunities for our organization?
How can we take advantage of these opportunities?
What are the threats which face our organization?
What competition do we face?
What rules, laws, procedures, etc., constrain the organization?

Where do we want to be?
Where should we be in a year? In five years? In ten years?

How can we get there?
What are our goals/objectives to accomplish mission?
Have we selected “the few” highest priority goals to address?
Is the number of goals/objectives small enough to achieve?
What resources are required?
Who will coordinate accomplishment of each goal/objective?
What are the milestones to assess progress?
What reporting requirement are needed to track accomplishment?

How will be know we’ve truly accomplished each goal/objective?
How will each goal/objective be coordinated?
How will expenditures vs. budget be monitored?
How will progress be tracked?
What reporting procedures will there be?