15 Effective Strategic Planning Models PMs Must Consider

Strategic planning models is  key to all businesses that wants to thrive all year round. But for many, growth is just a dream yet to materialize because of several barriers like unsuccessful projects, unavailability of resources, and poor management.

Many executives are reluctant to do what it takes to ensure projects’ success. For instance, most leaders don’t spend quality time in strategic planning. Developing a plan and pushing everything to success requires a solid strategy and robust tools.

Using effective strategic planning models eases the struggle of manually organizing and implementing project goals in a proper and systematic manner.

Therefore, executives must strive to come up with project goals before picking a planning model to employ. It is important to choose a model that matches your project’s objectives.

Planning tools aren’t for PMs only; anyone/team can utilize them to execute a plan successfully.

Nowadays, there are several strategic planning models to help a business achieve various organizational duties. These tools direct users on the right path to follow to complete a project successfully.

Benefits of Utilizing Robust Strategic Planning Models

Some of the benefits you enjoy when employing project management tools include;

  • Faster planning and scheduling

planning and scheduling

Planning and delegation of assignments is a one-minute job when utilizing effective strategic planning tools. They can arrange and delegate tasks, folders, patterns, subtasks, workflows, and datebooks in one central place that you can access in a few clicks.

  • Enhances collaboration

Planning tools don’t limit you to common communication channels like emails and SMS. Teams utilize these tools in approvals, adding comments and instructions, allocating work, organizing dashboards, proofing, and more.

  • Eases documentation processes

Records are a vital component in any plan. They help serve as references in future decision making or meetings.

With robust strategic planning models, you can expect reliable and safe documentation. They are designed with features like editing and versioning to deliver reliable, adaptable, and complete files.

Such tools also allow storage of several files which you can fetch from their archives anytime. Besides storage and management features, these models reduce high paperwork within an organization.

  • Eases analysis and evaluation processes

Track and thoroughly analyze your productivity and progress data using appropriate planning software. Project management software assesses all the crucial info you need in a clear and understandable form, such as tables or sheets.

Doing this reduces the possible sources of errors and misjudgments you incur during manual evaluation.

  • Improves managing and market knowledge

One indirect advantage of planning models is improving your expertise in project administration. They give you a clear view of what’s suitable for the company, its weaknesses, position in the marketplace, and strengths.

You can also learn more about your competitors and what steps to take to be unique and productive.


15 robust strategic planning models you can utilize in various projects

strategic planning models

After determining what’s best for the business and methodologies to achieve those objectives, the next procedure is utilizing a backward approach to accomplish their target.

Effective project planning can be a very complex task for both established businesses and startups.

Below are fifteen effective models you can utilize to plan and finish a project smoothly;

  1. Balanced scorecard (BSC)

BSC is a planning model designed by Dr. Norton and Dr. Kaplan to help managers keep tabs on a project’s objectives, measures, and initiatives.

Project goals are the main concern for any organization. BSC explores your company’s performance in terms of finances, stakeholders, consumers, and areas that effectively utilize financial resources.

This model monitors both the quality and efficiency of internal processes. Another important task BSC eases for you is your organization’s capacity in terms of infrastructure, technology, personnel, and all other important information significant to the company’s goals.

Creating a BSC is quite easy. You can use various programs like reporting software, excel, Google sheets, and more.

  1. Simple model

It’s well-known as the Basic model and often employed by startups with no strategic planning experience. New businesses use this model to direct them in proper decision making. Established organizations with limited resources or fixed deadlines can utilize this tool to help them with extensive and thorough planning.

For this tool to be more effective, you should come up with a mission statement. A mission statement summarizes all the organization’s goals and goal achievement methodologies.

You should closely monitor, plan, and report all the progress of a project.

  1. Alignment model

This model’s main objective is finding ways that an organization can use to develop strategies by syncing all the internal processes with its objectives. First, you should determine your business’s main goals and tactical ways or resources necessary to attain the goals.

Secondly, identify the lagging and well-performing processes, then develop ideas that can help you address problems. Lastly, create a list of changes for the non-performing processes to ensure they conform to your goals.

  1. Issue-based model

This model focuses on the challenges an organization is currently facing and subsequent projects in the future. To resolve issues effectively, it’s important first to identify problems. PMs need this model to analyze internal processes mostly, and it’s the best remedy for startups or organizations with few resources.

First, PMs should determine the main objective and issues then develop action strategies to resolve the problems. After that, it’s now an appropriate time to initiate and monitor the progress.

  1. Strategic planning gap

This model’s main objective is pinpointing the internal shortages present in a business and how to fill them. Gap planning compares a company’s current state with its aspirations and how it can fill in the gap between them.

  1. Blue ocean strategy

INSEAD professors Chan and Mauborgne came up with this strategy in 2005; they even have a book for it with the same title. This book aims at helping businesses create a market space with zero or minimal competition.

It’s preferable for a business to have a blue ocean than a red ocean (a saturated market place with highly-priced products. With the blue ocean strategy, you can recognize market spaces where your business can thrive.

This strategy’s main idea makes competition irrelevant by targeting a new group of consumers with extremely unique or better products. Some of the differences between the red ocean (ROS) and blue ocean (BOS) strategies include;

  • ROS brings up competition in the current market, while BOS creates a market with zero or minimal competition.
  • ROS gains an edge over the competition while BOS makes it irrelevant
  • ROS uses the current demand while BOS develops and capture new demand.
  • ROS follows the worth-expense trade-off while BOS breaks it.
  1. Strategy map

Strategy maps are essential when you want to clearly explain a business’s strategic plans and objectives in a straightforward and easily understandable manner. These maps deliver info through visual representations with clear explanations and strategies.

Using these maps eases your strategy by unifying all your objectives into one strategy. This way, employees are always at their toes since they know where to put their focus and efforts.

  1. Michael Porter’s five forces

Porter developed this strategy basing around five forces affecting a business’s or market’s profitability. These forces include;

  • Entry threats. Here, a business has to know if other industries could come into the marketplace. If there’s any, then what hurdles they’ll have to go through to reach your position?
  • Bargaining effect of consumers. You need to know if there are possibilities that individual clients can bargain, forcing your organization to reduce its products’ prices.
  • Bargaining effect of wholesalers. A business needs to know how large wholesalers can affect their position and prices of products, for example, by lowering costs.
  • Threat of buyers substituting your goods and services. It is crucial for companies to know the possibilities and easiness of consumers replacing their goods or services.
  • Competition threats. Knowledge about your competitors’ motivations and strategies is important for any business. Here, a company gathers info about the growth or expanding plans or rivalry firms and the effects your business will face if they launch new merchandise.

A company with a full account of the above forces can easily know how upcoming events can affect its growth and position in the future. Doing this enables the company to prepare well to tackle any hurdle that arises.

  1. Malcom Baldrige framework

Baldrige is a program that has been running for more than three decades, created purposefully to evaluate the performance excellence of businesses. The main objective of this program is to help businesses thrive while accomplishing their missions and goals.

Baldrige is an open Award event for startups, non-profit organizations, education, companies, governments, and health or medical sectors.

Winning the national Baldrige awards requires an organization to accomplish and improve in all the seven areas involving implementing this program’s framework.

During this contest, organizations should utilize the Baldrige criteria to show improvement in; leadership, customers, employees, planning and tactics, processes, results, management of data, analysis, and measurements.

  1. Hoshin planning

Hoshin strategic planning models target more on your objectives and initiatives than the strategies. This model ensures a business has an organized effort by aligning its goals with the projects and processes.

First, you need to develop a list of at least 3-5 goals to focus on and ensure every stakeholder or responsible employee can access it. Ensure to monitor closely and appropriately gather feedback form workers.

Finally, you can execute changes basing on employee’s responses. After the first round of change execution, repeat the process as many times as you want, so long it’s positively impacting your business.

This model’s planning matrix visualize your organization’s goals, tactics, processes, and targets in a comprehensive format.

  1. Objective-based planning

This planning model uses a backward approach. It focuses on the realization and achievement of a company’s vision. With this model, setting realistic and quantifiable objectives that match your business’s vision and strategies is not a hassle.

After goal identification, you need to allocate a timeframe for the accomplishment of every goal. Since this planning model is meant for long-term purposes, you can set a time interval of up to five years. From here, the only remaining work is monitoring, calculating, and tracking progress.

  1. Organic planning model

The organic planning model concentrates on the visions and ethics of a business instead of its strategies and procedures. An organization can utilize this model by using internal systems to identify its core values and utilize resources to accomplish goals or increase productivity.

Participants using this model can create their ideas using this model’s storyboarding technique. Stakeholders also have the liberty and power to have more control during meetings.

During this process, both inside and outside stakeholders should clarify the company’s ethics and visions in their perspective. The next step is determining the exact personnel to allocate responsibilities significant to the company’s vision.

Stakeholders and workers need to regularly report back to the responsible personnel about their progress and actions. Big organizations with many stakeholders and a vision that follows a tactical and long-term approach can benefit from this model.

  1.  OKR planning models

In OKR, O stands for Objectives while KR Key Results. It’s among the simplest but strategic planning models meant to create alliance and engagement of a company’s objectives through objectives identification, progress measurement, and monitoring.

OKRs can help you win employees’ buy-in without hassling. First, start with developing OKRs from the worker perspective and then later go to other departments and management sectors in the organization. This model enables you to track and reassess goals easing their adoption when necessary constantly.

  1.  SWOT matrix

SWOT matrix is a planning model used to analyze two internal factors: strengths and weaknesses, and external factors: opportunities and threats. An organization can utilize this model to identify its thriving areas and areas they’re capable of improving.

  1. PEST planning model

This model focuses on the technological, economic, political, and sociocultural factors affecting an organization.

Some organizations use PESTLE to signify additional “legal and environmental” factors while PESTLED, where the D stands for demographic factors.

What to Do and What to Avoid during Strategic Planning

Strategic planning and its additional tools have been a solid and reliable solution for most organizations. However, most businesses are unaware of the main factors to avoid or do to execute and complete a venture successfully.

Here are things you need to do and avoid during this crucial process.

Dos of strategic planning;

  1. Ensure you adhere to the KISS code. Keep it simple and continuous by creating objectives you can work on for at least one year.
  2. When utilizing planning models, it’s best to use approved methodologies known to work. Remember the reason you chose it in the first place; its reputation. Other people’s success can be a great motivation and life changer to your business; not admitting this can be a big drawback.
  3. Remember to concentrate on your goals always. Anything you do, decide, or change should focus on the achievement of the company’s mission.
  4. Constantly measure the important metrics and activities significant to your objectives and processes.
  5. Support your customers and employers in any way possible, for example, through training, customer services, discounts, and establishing a multi-channel contact option.
  6. Motivate employees and monitor the company’s processes closely. In case of any issues, address them immediately before they escalate.


  1. Manage your seniors with respect and professionalism. Don’t blame, bully, or show your team members any form of arrogance. When mistakes arise, instead of pointing fingers, its best to dig deeper into the problem’s root and develop a possible remedy for it.
  2. Don’t allocate tasks without the necessary resources to ensure tasks are effectively done. You can’t hold a team member accountable for things they couldn’t control; therefore, it’s important to understand what’s needed for all the tasks you assign and obtain them on time.
  3. Avoid skipping the measurement process because it’s hard; analysis and evaluation are crucial for all procedures, whether hard or easy.
  4. Don’t implement tasks and changes before coming up with objectives, mission statements, and strategies.


Strategic planning models are important for businesses looking to stay relevant with the current market trends, make appropriate decisions, and maintain stable and optimal productivity on a long-term basis.

All project management software works efficiently; the best tool to utilize strongly depends on your goals and problems.

Always select a planning model that solves your problems and is vital in achieving your strategic objectives.