Strategic Tools

There are a number of processes in developing a strategy:

  • Analyzing what you are doing and the context in which you are doing it
  • Identifying strategic options.
  • Engaging with people to improve strategic capacity and capability
  • Evaluating and selecting the best options
  • Implementing chosen strategic option(s)

This section reviews some useful tools that can help you develop your strategy. Click on the title of the tool to take you to a full explanation with tips on how to use it.

Analyzing your context

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a simple and effective tool in helping you to analyze your school according to what you do well and where you have weaknesses. It helps to identify the opportunities open to you as well as potential threats you face.

USP Analysis

Your unique selling point (USP) is that which distinguishes you from others. It is your brand. It is what makes you competitive. This tool will help you articulate your USP. Your USP should be closely aligned to your vision and mission.

PESTLE Analysis

PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, Technological, Legal and Environmental. The PESTLE tool helps you analyze trends and key issues in the larger environment. In developing your strategy you need to take account of what is happening in your operating environment - your town, region, country and even global trends.You need to identify big picture opportunities and threats.

Porter's Five Forces Analysis

Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter provides this tool as a way of understanding your school as a business within a competitive market. Your competition might be local, national or international. Porter's Five Forces helps you understand both the strength of your current competitive position as well as the strength of a position you are considering moving into. 

EFQM Excellence Model

The EFQM Excellence Model helps schools to analyze where they are on the path to excellence - helping them to understand the gaps and then stimulating solutions. EFQM was previously known as European Foundation for Quality Management.

Identifying strategic options

Scenario Analysis

Scenario analysis, also called scenario planning or thinking, helps you explore alternative visions of the future.The act of creating future scenarios forces you to challenge your assumptions about the future and provides you with strategic options that are flexible ensuring that your decisions are sound even if circumstances change. Check out Living in the Futures for background information.

Risk Analysis

Risk Analysis is a process by which you identify possible problems and threats you face in carrying out your strategy. It helps you to estimate the likelihood that these threats will materialize.

Implementing your strategy 

MedTrend Planning Model

MedTrend is a consulting group specializing in providing strategic planning and analysis for the healthcare industry. Their planning model involves “diagnosing” the needs of the organization, and identifying the right set of planning tools that will meet the job.

Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic performance measurement model. It is a tool for improving the performance of a whole organization by helping you translate your vision and mission into actions and improve performance in an integrated way through looking at your strategy through four different lenses.

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