Business Plan Model > A Business Plan Model for Teams and Departments

Francis Miller 2001

Increasingly departments and teams are being asked to produce their own business plans. This can lead to difficulties as there are few resources available at the moment that are helpful.

For the sake of brevity, when I write 'teams' I mean 'teams and departments'.

Step 1 - Develop the Team Identity

Your team identity defines who you are as a team and what you do. There are three key components.

Vision - what the team wants to achieve in the future and what future tasks have been assigned to it?

Mission - what does the team do and why does it exist?

Values - what is important about what the team wants to achieve and how it wants to achieve it?

These obviously cannot be considered separately outside of the team's role within your business or organisation. Therefore you will need to be clear about the team's role and also align the team's vision, mission and values with those of the whole business.

Step 2 - Analyse the External Environment

The external environment comprises two distinct areas for teams. The first area is the conventional external environment outside the business, which includes groups such as customers, competitors and suppliers.

The second area of the external environment is groups and individuals within the company but outside the team. This could include:

  • the person who the team reports to and who is responsible for it

  • the team's customers ie. those who it provides goods and/or services to within the company

  • other stakeholders ie. individuals, departments or other teams that the team interacts with and who have an influence on its work. This could include the Finance Director, who decides on the team's budget or the IT Department which provides computer services

It is important to find out what is going on in both these areas and how the team needs to react?

Step 3 - Analyse the Internal Environment

The internal analysis is concerned both with the past and the future. On the one hand, it looks at how the team has performed in the past and what its strengths and weaknesses are.

On the other hand, the analysis takes the team's vision and its assigned tasks and begins to work out how exactly these are going to be achieved. Very important here is the identification of key success factors, which define what needs to happen in order to achieve the team's objectives.

Step 4 - Develop the Action Plan

The team's business plan is nothing without an action plan because, if there isn't an action plan, little is going to get done. The action plan will describe who needs to do what by when and what resources are needed?

Step 5 - Implement the Business Plan

Implementation ensures, not just that everyone knows what they have to do, but also that they actually do it.

Step 6 - Assess Progress and Adjust the Plans

The whole purpose of the internal business plan is to get results. The aim of Step 6 is to check that the team is getting the results it wants or whether there's a need to adjust plans.

Step 7 - Review the Plan

Every six or twelve months, lots will have changed both internally and externally and the team's existing plan may have become out-of-date. There will be a need to review it and probably start writing another one.




© Francis Miller 2001-2008