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BTR



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Topic # 192270 4-Mar-2016 11:15
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I have been asked by my manager to write a strategic plan for my department ( IT) and I have no idea when it comes to strategic plans and wondered if anyone here has written one and if they were willing to share it as an example. 

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help given.





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Full time IT Manager, part time gamer & part time grease monkey. 

 

 

 

Certifications : Apple ACHT, Apple ACDT,  Apple ACPT, Sonicwall CSSA, Ruckus WISE Guy, Allied Telesis CAI & CASE

 

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  Reply # 1505913 4-Mar-2016 12:07
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If nothing more, this should provide you with an appropriate vocabulary of buzz words.

 

 


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  Reply # 1505925 4-Mar-2016 12:40
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http://dilbert.com/search_results?terms=Strategic+Planning


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  Reply # 1505934 4-Mar-2016 12:59
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Fred99:  [Wierd Al Yankovic - Mission Statement]

 

If nothing more, this should provide you with an appropriate vocabulary of buzz words. 

 

 

 

OUTSTANDING!

 

That's the best Mission Statement I have ever been privileged to experience - and it was SO holistic!  smile

 

Great text and graphics.

 

I have learned that SYNERGY is the most important word, as it was used three times and was written in the biggest letters.

 

I shall treasure this always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1505954 4-Mar-2016 13:26
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Fred99:

 

 

 

 

 

If nothing more, this should provide you with an appropriate vocabulary of buzz words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hat off for that - utterly, spectacularly hilarious!

 


"We will distill our identity through client-centric solutions!" Marvellous.






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  Reply # 1505956 4-Mar-2016 13:29
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Writing a strategic plan without any other detail/guidance can be a bit daunting, but without any real guidance you have some free reign.

 

There are a ton of resources out there (including templates) that you can use to generate the majority of it. I take it you haven't done this before? 

 

This is a good start:

 

http://onstrategyhq.com/resources/how-to-write-a-strategic-plan/

 

What I suggest you do is read the above and have a crack just coming down with some ideas/line items. Then take these and discuss with your manager to make sure you are aligning to their expectations, then go back and elaborate/flesh them out.

 

In some cases a "strategic plan" is a check box and doesn't get read, in other cases it forms the basis of strategic planning sessions etc.

 

The usual statements about appropriate business language etc too - don't use colloquialisms etc. But given you appear to be reasonably senior you probably don't need to be told that.


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  Reply # 1505962 4-Mar-2016 13:44
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BTR:

 

I have been asked by my manager to write a strategic plan for my department ( IT) and I have no idea when it comes to strategic plans and wondered if anyone here has written one and if they were willing to share it as an example. 

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help given.

 

 

I have written strategic plans but is difficult to share those real-world examples when plans, even old ones, contain private and confidential information.

 

If you can't get more specific help here, then there's no shortage of general help online. Just search for "IT strategy or plan for department" or similar. You will get examples but some will be too high level like the US government "department" IT plans which are for large organizations.

 

My one big and obvious concern is that any "strategic" plan will be wasted when your manager doesn't appear to be able to properly commission the task of writing such a plan. You should have a high-level brief for what you are expected to produce which would provide more context for getting help here. What does your manager expect you to produce and who are the stakeholders in the process?

 

 

 

[Edited to correct grammar]


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  Reply # 1505964 4-Mar-2016 13:49
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Agreed about writing a strategic plan without much in the way of detail or guidance.  The best you can probably do at the start is try and sketch out some general ideas and test that with your manager before going much further.

 

For me, it's important to distinguish a strategic plan from any other kind of plan (unless it's just a "plan" and "strategic" has been added as a buzzword).  You can have plans for lots of things that achieve those things in different ways, but a strategic plan is one that is more focussed on bigger or higher-level outcomes.  I would consider a strategic plan a document that sets the overall direction for the business or organisation (and in this sense is often conflated with mission statements, vision statements, etc).  "Strategic" also implies that it is cognisant of the world beyond it's own immediate sphere, and takes into account how outside influences may affect or shape the outcomes.  So the core components of a strategic plan are identifying what are the major outcomes, and the significant changes that are going to be made in order to achieve those outcomes.  

 

A strategic plan should be reasonably brief and uncomplicated.  If it is long, overly-detailed, and jargony then it won't get read or implemented, and it will just be a check-box/make-work exercise.  However, "brief and uncomplicated" doesn't necessarily mean easy or fast.  Before you can set the major outcomes for your plan, you probably need to research and understand the current situation, resources and limitations.  For small businesses or organisations you may already know many of these things without any detailed research.

 

I would start by thinking about what major outcomes or objectives you would expect the business or organisation to reach in a given period (1 year, five years, 10 years, whatever).  Then think about what you need to change to make those things happen.  Take that to your manager and discuss/refine/expand as necessary. 


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  Reply # 1505987 4-Mar-2016 14:17
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As a director of an electricity distribution company, I have been pressing our organisation to put in place a "digital strategic plan".  

 

I have asked that the plan be primarily in to sections.  One section dealing with our digital risk and security measures / breach reporting / etc.  The other section to deal with our digital opportunities.  The opportunities can cover software updates or capex predictions as well as opportunities such as app developments and other customer facing initiatives.

 

I trust this helps a little. 


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  Reply # 1506025 4-Mar-2016 15:11
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BTR:

 

I have been asked by my manager to write a strategic plan for my department ( IT) and I have no idea when it comes to strategic plans and wondered if anyone here has written one and if they were willing to share it as an example. 

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help given.

 

 

 

 

You're unlikely to be without guidance. Have you seen any board papers or management speak regarding an organisational 5 year plan, for example? Make sure you align your plans with any goals stated in those documents.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1506067 4-Mar-2016 16:07
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Don't bust a gut on this. Strategic plans are a load of codswollop and usually ignored. 

 

Incidentally, surely it's your manager's job to write the strategic plan, not yours? He's just saving himself from wasting a bunch of time on a meaningless document that no-one will read or care about.

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1506068 4-Mar-2016 16:10
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Sideface:

 

Fred99:  [Wierd Al Yankovic - Mission Statement]

 

If nothing more, this should provide you with an appropriate vocabulary of buzz words. 

 

 

 

OUTSTANDING!

 

That's the best Mission Statement I have ever been privileged to experience - and it was SO holistic!  smile

 

Great text and graphics.

 

I have learned that SYNERGY is the most important word, as it was used three times and was written in the biggest letters.

 

I shall treasure this always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word 'Synergy 'is so last decade. This decade, it is all about 'Fusion'


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  Reply # 1506097 4-Mar-2016 16:49
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frankv: Don't bust a gut on this. Strategic plans are a load of codswollop and usually ignored. ... 

 

+1

 

I have yet to see a Mission Statement that actually says anything meaningful in plain English about a company or organisation.

 

Sometimes, if you are very lucky, Mission Statements are unintentionally amusing.

 

 





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  Reply # 1506144 4-Mar-2016 18:35
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Sideface:

 

frankv: Don't bust a gut on this. Strategic plans are a load of codswollop and usually ignored. ... 

 

+1

 

I have yet to see a Mission Statement that actually says anything meaningful in plain English about a company or organisation.

 

Sometimes, if you are very lucky, Mission Statements are unintentionally amusing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission statements and strategic plans are totally different things. IMO Mission statements are marketing BS. The guts of a strategic plan are how are you going to align the business unit (or in your case support service) with the businesses strategy. If your business doesn't have a defined strategy then you are a bit screwed as a support function.


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  Reply # 1506356 5-Mar-2016 08:27
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People. A strategic plan is a PLAN. What it is a description of what you are going to do in the next 1,2,3 years; with direction statements for where you are going. The objective of writing a plan is to do some thinking about where you are going and what you are going to do to get there.

That's all it is and that's all there is to it. The plan should be simple and easy to read/understand. If the OP is charged with determining the direction and actions of the IT department, and it's all up to him/her, then he/she should simply sit down, determine what the IT department looks like and does in, say, 3 years time, and PLAN the steps and actions necessary to get there.

If it doesn't already exist, develop a definition of what the IT department is there to do as a precursor to the planning. Could be useful to do a strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats exercise to identify areas that need investment or to be worked on from a process perspective. These artefacts provide context for the planning.

Without doing a plan, you are making it up as you go along, out of context. So to spend some thinking and planning time to avoid wastage of time and effort (on things that don't add value, or are inefficient).

I would suggest that if you don't have a strategic plan you are likely a low performing organisation or person.

Reading between the lines I am a bit surprised a Manager would delegate a strategic planning exercise to someone without guidance or input, but that is very assumptive on my part. There are tools and templates and examples available via Google, and this planning exercise is fun, and also allows the person who is doing the plan to drive direction, so this is a valuable activity for anyone to pursue.

Just think logically, remember it's a PLAN, and good luck.




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  Reply # 1507315 7-Mar-2016 10:30
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BlinkyBill: People. A strategic plan is a PLAN. What it is a description of what you are going to do in the next 1,2,3 years; with direction statements for where you are going. The objective of writing a plan is to do some thinking about where you are going and what you are going to do to get there.

 

This is an IT dept.
Planning 3 years in advance , in IT ? Planning for what?

 


Surely all IT can plan for is possible hardware & software upgrades ,and thats just a best guess depending totally on funding and IT staff levels
Without knowing the future direction of the company , can IT really plan 2-3 years in advance , plan anything more than the blatantly obvious ?
And no one REALLY knows what MS will be doing in 3-5 years from now , doesnt that make a 3 year IT plan pure speculation ?

 

Just wondering...

 

 

 

 


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