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Do You Have A Plan Or A Wish? Strategic Planning | Part 1

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Expery

by Carli Kistler-Miller

Director of Programs & Marketing, PMPA

Published February 1, 2024

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We all have goals both personal and professional. “I want to go to Austria.” “I want to workout more.” “I want to be able to give my employees a raise.” “I want to sell 90% of my machine time.” All of these “wants” are only wishes without a plan. And when it comes to business, those goals are achievable through a strategic plan that is carefully crafted, implemented and evaluated.

Creating A Strategic Plan

There can be several levels to a strategic plan, but the “bones” are:

• Goals — what you want to achieve (the destination)
• Strategy — how you are going to achieve the goal (the map)
• Tactics — what needs to be done to follow strategy.(the actions taken to follow the map)
• Deadlines — the expected timeframe to achieve tactics
• Owners — (not to be confused with the shop owner) the point person in charge of making sure the tactics are completed within the allotted timeframe. Th e owner may need others to complete the task.

A strategic plan should not be created in a vacuum. To build a truly dynamic plan, gather a group of stakeholders who can provide different perspectives. Stakeholders can be management, machinists, customers, sales, quality, IT, marketing — anyone whose perspective can help shape a viable plan. For example, creating a goal of integrating a new ERP system may be desired, but without the input of someone from IT, the feasibility, tactics and deadlines would be difficult to determine.

The example to the right is a simple outline of one goal in a strategic plan for a medium size shop. Keep in mind, a strategic plan should have at least three goals. (Thank you to Henning Industrial Software for their assistance with this article.)





Carli Kistler-Miller, MBA has over 25 years of experience with
communications, event/meeting planning, marketing, writing and
operations. Email: gro.apmp@rellimc — Website: