Strategy by Stage

Developing organizational strategy can be a mind boggling proposition for many organizations. There are so many moving parts that strategy sessions often become confusing messes with no clear direction emerging afterwards. Determining the vision, or strategic objectives, is the first step. The second is organizing the tactics to accomplish that vision, in such a way that the strategy becomes actionable. This template helps with that second step. By allowing you to organize the steps that need to be taken to reach the vision, you can more effectively manage the strategic initiative. Delegation, monitoring, etc. all become more efficient with this strategy by stage template.

Below we have a blank 3 column strategy by stage template which can be found at

In addition you can find a blank 5 column strategy by stage template at


How to Use:

  1. Once you have determined the strategic objectives or vision that you wish to reach as a result of the strategic initiative, you can begin to organize and input actionable items that work to accomplish those strategic objectives. Start with those items that need to be completed first. These are your stage 1 items. For the purposes of this tutorial we are going to look at a grocery store that is developing a strategy that would result in a change to it’s business model. The change would take it from a conventional grocery store to a membership only store, with lower prices for high quality products. Four items have been identified for stage 1. The store will introduce discount memberships, it will roll out a marketing program, it will introduce additional perks for members, and it will end couponing. Picture19
  2. Now organize the rest of the items into either stage 2 or stage 3, remembering that stage 3 represents the conclusion of the strategic initiative. In other words the strategic objectives should be successfully met when stage 3 items have been completed. Picture20
  3. Use color codes to signify or present additional information to viewers. In the example below the color green represents an item that has been successfully completed. Yellow represents an item that has hit some hurdles and will take a bit longer then expected. Red represents items that have hit significant roadblocks and will require some form of modification or other attention in order to complete successfully. In the example you can see that introducing additional perks for members has been a bit more difficult then anticipated. To end couponing has proved very difficult and the company may have to modify or eliminate this item in order to move forward.Picture21
  4. Use the information panel as needed to expand upon any of the items on the template. Information panels allow you to provide additional text, upload files for viewers to download, and/or provide website links that connect items with external websites.    Picture22

You can find this finished strategy by stage template at

Organizing a strategic plan into a number of stages can help you to develop actionable steps that would make accomplishing the strategic objectives more efficient. By breaking down a complex strategy into actionable items, you are allowing for the more effective delegation, monitoring, and overall management of those items. This template provides you with a easy to use resource that makes it possible to lay out the steps of a strategy by stage. Being easy to update and share allows the template to become a comprehensive strategy management tool. As such this template can be a powerful addition to your management toolkit.

You can find more information about strategy by stages using the following links.
1. Bridgespan “One of the best resources on strategy implementation I have seen.”
3. Reference for Business “Excellent!!!”

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