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Entrepreneurship

How to Write a Strategy and Change Management Plan

Jennifer Scott │ February 15, 2021

Thousands of businesses fail every year in the United States. Meanwhile, the COVID pandemic is responsible for numerous business closings over the last year, but that is not all-inclusive. Although some organizations have failed during the pandemic, others have managed to stay afloat and even thrive. While there remains some uncertainty about how quickly industries will recuperate post-COVID, many analysts expect the economy to have a resurgence of growth over time. Of the companies that continue to succeed, the common thread seems to be a clear sense of direction in good economic times and in the face of a downturn or a recession. Knowing how to write a strategy and change management plan, along with how to implement it can mean the difference between a successful future and imminent financial disaster. Below is an outline for a strategy and change management plan, along with an explanation of each topic.

Strategy and Change Management Plan Outline and Explanations

I. Introduction
a. Mission, vision, and values
b. Challenges

The introduction identifies an organization’s mission, vision, and values. It also explains the challenges that are facing the organization.

II. Business Environment
a. TOWS Analysis
b. Areas for Improvement
c. Prioritization

Analyzing the business environment requires doing a TOWS analysis which involves uncovering an organization’s threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths. Threats and opportunities are related to the external environment and weaknesses and strengths are related to the internal environment. It is important to note companies have more control over internal factors. Once the TOWS analysis has been completed, the next step is to determine areas for improvement pertaining to how the company conducts business. The last step of analyzing the business environment requires prioritization of the areas that are to be addressed, focusing on how the threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths work together in this context.

III. Financial Assessment
a. Examination of financial statements
b. Calculation/Interpretation of Financial Ratios
c. Problem Areas

The financials section of a strategy and change management plan requires investigation of the organization’s balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Thoroughly assessing these documents will help gain a better understanding of how the company is functioning overall. Calculation of financial ratios (current ratio, debt to asset ratio, inventory turnover, return on sales/profit margin) gives a clearer picture of the financial health of an organization. Once this has been achieved, it is time to define the problems reflected in the financials.

IV. Strategy
a. Utilize SMART goals to develop a strategy to move the firm in a new direction, based on the TOWS analysis and the financial assessment
b. Develop a plan to improve performance by defining profitability goals
c. Identify key employees will play a part in the implementation of the strategy (human resources, operations, accounting, executive, etc.) and describe how they are affected

One of the most effective ways to construct a strategy is by using SMART goals. SMART goals are (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, (R)elevant, and (T)ime-bound. These goals should be formed based on the TOWS analysis and financial assessment. Once the SMART goals are established, they can be used to develop a plan to improve performance and profitability. The last component is identifying key employees and how the plan affects each department.

V. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
a. Choose KPIs that will be effective in measuring the success of the strategy and explain how they align with the strategy, as well as the company’s mission, vision, and values
b. Identify at least one or two KPIs for each profitability goal identified in the strategy.

KPIs are used to gauge how effectively the strategy is working. Each KPI should align with the strategy in a way that is cohesive with upholding the organization’s mission, vision, and values.

VI. Summary
a. Recommendations
b. Mitigation Strategies

The summary should sum up recommendations, along with establishing mitigation strategies that will be executed in case issues arise.

VII. References

It is necessary to include a reference page when writing a strategy and change management plan if the author(s) has/have included citations from outside sources in the document.

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