External Information Gathering for Strategy Blueprint
Most of the readers must have been aware of the 'SWOT' (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis. This is the basis of strategy formulation for any enterprise. Any strategy and there-after the business objectives are driven to
- Leverage Strengths and Opportunities.
- Overcome OR mitigate the weaknesses and threats.
Before, we need to undertake a detailed information gathering process where we scan the Environment (industry, government, economic.), Markets (Demographics..) and Competition (Products, Competition Parameters.)
This is all the information related to Industry and wider subjects. It includes the following:
- Industry: This includes Industry benchmarks, Industry outlook, overall challenges faced by the Industry due to regulatory, human resources and Infrastructure.
- Economic Factors: Government fiscal and money policies, overall economic outlook of the markets, investment policies etc.
- Political Factors: Political Stability
This is related to understand the needs and perceptions of the organization's markets.
- The customer segments in the markets, demographic profiles.
- The potential markets and geographies, segments for the organization and its products.
- The needs, perceptions, and service expectations of each market/customer segment.
- The trends of various business parameters in the market in terms of sales, re-purchase.
This set of information attempts to gain all external and internal understanding of competition operations on products, channels, operating structure, financials etc. There is a lot of competition intelligence sources- Like
- Annual reports
- Survey with customers of the competition
- News coverage
- Interviews with the employees hired from the competition
- Interviews with the employees of the competition who have applied for jobs
- Engaging independent industry specialists etc...
Refer Execution-MiHPractice Tool External Information Assessment Report
Internal Information gathering for strategy blueprint
This phase is perhaps the most challenging, when an organization has to honestly list down its strengths, weaknesses, fundamental limitations, critical issues. This includes an assessment of
- How are we doing vis-a-vis industry benchmarks and competition performance on quality, cost, delivery and profitability?
- What are our weaknesses? and what have we done to overcome them and how much have we succeeded?
- What are our strengths? and will be able to sustain that strength?
- What are the critical issues facing the organization OR the risks very much visible on the horizon?
Refer Execution-MiHPractice Tool Internal Information Assessment Report