34 Free Strategic Plan Templates | Guide to Perfect Planning

A strategic plan is a management tool that describes the goals of an organization and functions as a comprehensive guideline that details the necessary sequence of events or actions required to accomplish the specified objectives.

A strategic plan provides a clear path for an organization to follow in progressing from a current situation to a desired one over a specified timeline. A strategic plan is necessary to fully actualize an organization’s model by identifying what it hopes to achieve and how to achieve it. 

By the precise specification of objectives and goals, the level of progress towards the desired outcome is effectively measured and qualified by the attainment of set goals. The predefined pathway to a successful outcome specified in a strategic plan provides a strict course, which, if maintained, should result in the attainment of the predefined outcome or an approximation of it.

This article provides you with the steps to make a strategic plan work perfectly, along with free customizable templates. But first, let us get a basic concept of what a strategic plan is and how it can benefit us:

Pre-Designed Templates

Strategic Plan Template - Example

Free Strategic Plan Template - PDF

Editable Strategic Plan Template - Word

Printable Strategic Plan Template - Sample

Strategic Plan Template - Downloadable PDF

Customizable Strategic Plan Template - Free

Strategic Plan Template - Editable - Free Download

Strategic Plan Template - PDF Format

Sample Strategic Plan Template - Free Download

Strategic Plan Template - Printable PDF

Strategic Plan Template - Word Document

Strategic Plan Template - Word Document

Strategic Plan Template - Download Now

Editable Strategic Plan Template - Example

Strategic Plan Template - PDF Sample

Strategic Plan Template - Customizable Format

    Benefits of a Strategic Plan

    The strategic plan serves as an indication of the current success or failure of the organization at any point in time. A measurement of the variation in the strategic position of an organization at any time can be made against the set expectation then, thus indicating a positive or negative variation. This enables early course correction by implementing pre-emptive changes to prevent derailment from the set path.

    A strategic plan is vital as a communication tool between the management of an organization, its stakeholders, and its employees. In a strategic plan, the purpose of the organization is clearly defined, and its expected future is stated. This is integral in decision-making processes, as only decisions, which bring the organization closer to its set goals, will be favored.

    A strategic plan also shows the best resource management techniques to employ at any point in time. By recognizing the organization’s expectations, the necessary resources that are to be focused on each section of the organization become apparent.  Employees to be hired can be determined, and the commitment’s financial resources can be quantified.

    Different Types of Strategic Plan

    A strategic plan is intended for the same purpose in any instance in which it is applied, that is, to serve as a roadmap for achieving set goals. While this is the intention of any organization in using a template of the strategic plan, the great variation in different organization types means that the strategic plan developed for each organization will vary significantly. This can be due to the differences in purpose, size, and complexity of the organizations.

    A strategic plan template contains pre-defined sections for entering information, but due to the differences in the organizations which might use it, only a vague generalization is possible with a one-size-fits-all template. This necessitates the specialization of templates, with each one addressing a specific organization or a generalization of a specific group. Below are different types of template specializations.

    IT Strategic Plan Template - Example

    Strategic Business Plan Template

    The strategic business plan template is a structured model of the components necessary for developing a strategic business plan. This includes sections that cover the company information, the strategic features of the business, the goals, and the available resources. A strategic business plan template is useful for assessing the performance of a business, evaluating the strategic advantages, and creating a strategic business plan for developing the business.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Strategic Plan Template - PDF

    Non-Profit Strategic Plan Template

    The non-profit strategic plan template provides sections for the major focuses of non-profit organizations: the goals of the organization, the section of the society being served, the allocation of available resources, and options for growth.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free HR Strategic Plan Template - PDF

    HR Strategic Plan Template

    The HR strategic plan template creates an avenue for the coordination of human resources. This template deals with the strategic plan for managing employees, including recruitment and project allocation.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Printable IT Strategic Plan Template - Sample

    IT Strategic Planning Template

    The IT strategic planning template provides sections for integrating available technological resources into the overall organizational strategic plan. By making do considerations for the available resources, options for procurement of new assets, and the usage of the assets.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Marketing Strategic Plan Template - Downloadable PDF

    Strategic Marketing Plan Template

    This template is intended to promote a service or product by assessing current market information and combining this with a marketing plan to indicate the most significant opportunities for success.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Customizable Social Media Strategic Plan Template - Free

    Social Media Strategy Plan Template

    Social media is a vital means of reaching an audience and establishing a marketing plan to utilize this resource effectively is essential. Analyzing the current market, the type of content needed to promote an organization, and the best way to promote content online is tracked in this template.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    SWOT Analysis Strategic Plan Template - Editable

    SWOT Analysis Strategy Template

    The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to an organization heavily define its actualization. This template allows for a comparison of the various influences on which its success is so reliant and the development of strategies for minimizing or maximizing either.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    One Page Strategic Plan Template - PDF Format

    One-Page Strategic Planning Template

    The one-page strategic template presents the entirety of a strategic plan on a single page enabling ease of viewing and compression of information into a compact, precise form. This type of template is useful for a quick summary or a presentation of a strategic plan.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Sample Vision Strategic Plan Template - Free Download

    Strategic Vision Template

    The strategic vision template is useful for presenting an organization's vision and the necessary set objectives for realizing it.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    University Strategic Plan Template - Printable PDF

    University Strategic Plan Outline

    Reconciling educational goals, campus development, and the means of achieving them requires a comprehensive strategic plan that covers the institution's long-term goals.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    School Strategic Plan Template - Word Document

    School Strategic Plan Template

    The school strategic plan template is useful to institutions of learning for attaining establishment objectives.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Departmental Strategic Plan Template - Free Sample

    Departmental Strategic Plan Template

    The departmental strategic plan template provides the roadmap for the units of an organization in terms of what to achieve, when, and how.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Project Strategic Plan Template - Download Now

    Project Strategic Plan Template

    The project strategic plan template follows the expectation in terms of the realization of a project. This template provides sections for the definition of project expectations, deadlines, and possible limiting factors.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Editable 5-year Strategic Plan Template - Example

    5-Year Strategic Plan Template

    The 5-year strategic plan template is designed for projects or enterprises to be completed within a 5-year duration. This template provides a means of tracking the progress of the project over this time and ensures the desired conclusion at the termination of the period.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    3-Year Strategic Plan Template - Easy to Use

    3-Year Strategic Plan Template

    The 3-year template is like the 5-year template but spans over a period of 3 years. This type of template is particularly useful in a dynamic environment, in which significant changes can happen in a short period of time. The shorter outlook time also make this template ideal for running tests on the viability of either a new product, or a new company.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

      Steps To Make A Strategic Plan Work

      A strategic plan is a carefully planned document, as its influence is intended to be very significant and usually far-reaching. A strategic plan works by providing an avenue to set goals, identify relevant information, and recognize how the information identified can be used to achieve the set goals. Thus, developing a strategic plan template requires a precisely structured, procedural means of reconciling these three crucial actions.

      Step 1: Determine your strategic position

      A key feature that defines the potential success of any organization is the strategic edge it possesses relative to its competitors. The strategic position of an organization is what sets it apart from other organizations that offer similar services to it.

      A strategic position is influenced by factors that can either be positive or negative. Positive factors such as the uniqueness of the service offered, the influence of the organization in the market it serves, or the ownership of revolutionary technology boosts the survivability and potential for success of an organization.

      Negative factors such as a poor public image, terrible sitting location, or product inferiority damage a company’s strategic position, but also indicate where changes can be made to improve the chances for success. A determination of this combination of factors indicates the current strategic position of an organization which will be integral in developing a strategic plan.

      Identify key strategic issues

      The organization’s current position with respect to its competitors, the state of the market in which it exists, and its current strategic advantages have to be identified. Clear identification of the current situation of an organization gives a concise starting point and indicates the variation from a new desired position.

      Identify opportunities and threat

      Opportunities and threats are factors external to an organization that is both competing influences on its potential success or failure. Opportunities to an organization are possible avenues for attaining success, while threats can stymie, retard, or halt the progress of an organization. Identifying opportunities and threats present a means of recognizing the influences that can affect the progression of an organization to its desired outcome.

      Assess current and future demands

      The changes in the market that an organization serves determine the strategic position of the organization at any point in time. By studying the behaviour of the market, an assessment of the current demand and potential changes in the future can be established. Thus, resources can be reallocated at certain times to cope with changes, or opportunities can be exploited as the market changes to ensure a good strategic position is continually maintained.

      Synthesize data

      Data relevant to the organization that can be used to alter its course at any point in time should be synthesized. This includes a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and a PEST (political, economic, social, and technological) analysis. These analysis methods are means of assessing the internal and external factors that can influence the position of the organization in the market in which it exists.

      Step 2: Prioritize your objectives

      A strategic plan specifies what an organization hopes to achieve. This is expressly stated as long-term goals and short-term objectives which contribute to achieving the overall goals. The specification of the organization’s goals provides a clear destination that is to be reached to qualify as a success. Objectives should be prioritized to determine which are to be accomplished at specific times and in what sequence. Objectives can be prioritized using one or more established objective-setting models.

      Identify short SMART goals

      Goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) should be stated in the strategic plan to give a clear definition of what is expected. By contrasting the set goals, prioritization of which is expected at certain times can be made.

      Key performance indicators (KPIs)

      Key performance indicators are used to track and measure the success or failure of an organization in achieving its set goals. KPIs are certain criteria integral to an organization’s success. This can include the total monthly sales or the number of clients engaged in a fiscal year. By the monitoring of these criteria, the progress of an organization towards its set goals can be quantified.

      Department goals

       A multi-sectional organization may be made up of several departments, with each geared towards a particular function. The reconciliation of the function of each department determines the attainment of the set goals of the overall establishment. The goal for each department to reach to ensure a contribution to the overall organizational goals should be set in a strategic plan.

      Team member goals

      The efforts of each individual in the organization should be towards the achievement of its set goals. Specifying goals for each team member ensures an adequate designation of roles and responsibilities that, when considered in collaboration with others, serve the general purpose.

      Long-term objectives

      Long-term objectives are outcomes that are desired at the expiration of a long duration of time. Thus, long-term objectives provide a constant indicator of where the organization wishes to end up after a prolonged period.

      Step 3: Develop a strategy

      Events, occurrences, and actions that must be realized for the objectives of the organization to be attained must be established. This provides a key set of points of what must be done to produce the desired outcome. The typical sets of standards by which such achievements are established include the following:

      The vision statement

      The vision statement represents the core values of an organization and how those values translate to realizable achievements. The vision statement contains a statement or a number of statements that explain why the organization exists.

      The mission statement

      The mission statement of an organization specifies the short-term achievements necessary for obtaining the long-term achievements specified in the vision statement. In addition, the mission statement details the working strategy of approaching a favorable situation that brings the organization closer to its long-term goals.

      A problem statement

      The problem statement identifies what the organization seeks to solve or a role it seeks to fill.

      Step 4: Build a plan

      A plan is the means of executing a strategy. A plan states the actions or sequence of actions that should be implemented at certain periods to bring about the desired result. A plan gives the specifics about how a defined strategy will be employed to accomplish a set of objectives. The plan should include a comprehensive itemization of what is needed to implement a strategy.

      An elevator pitch or company description

      The elevator pitch is a short, concise description of an organization that quickly helps others identify and understand what an organization is about, does, and hopes to achieve.

      Organizational structure

      The organizational structure gives an overview of the various departments and units that make up the organization. In addition, the organizational structure highlights the function of each unit and its contribution to the overall organizational objectives.

      Target customers

      An organization provides a service to a select group of people, and identifying those groups of people, and how to reach them, is instrumental in any plan.

      Competitive and advantage analysis

      The competitive and advantage analysis reviews the organization’s stance in relation to others offering a competing service.

      Marketing plan

      The marketing plan covers the means of ensuring that the service or product provided by an organization reaches its target customers and enough profit is made in the process.


      The team section of the plan relates the utilization of human resources in the planning model. This section details the type of people needed in the organization to fulfill one or more roles.

      Operations plan

      The operations plan illustrates the means of executing individual set-pieces which contribute to the overall organizational goal. The operations plan outlines how each project should start, what is to be done, and when it should be completed.

      Financial projections

      The financial projections indicate the financial viability of a particular enterprise. This requires the use of predictive models to anticipate the financial returns that can be potentially gained from a particular pursuit.

      Executive summary

      The executive summary is a recap of all the other sections of a plan itemized above. This is a brief consideration of each aspect of the plan to provide an easily understandable conclusion of the entire plan model. This will be useful for providing a quick description of the intended plan for an organization to relevant parties such as stakeholders.

      Step 5: Execute and manage the project

      This final section of the strategic plan tracks the performance of the organization in relation to the specified standards in the developed strategic plan. Using strategic measures and metrics, criteria that describe the progress of the organization can be specified and monitored to satisfy congruency between the actual and expected results.

      Free Downloads

      Free Strategic Plan Template - Printable

      Strategic Plan Template - Editable Word

      Strategic Plan Template - PDF Example

      Strategic Plan Template - Fillable Form

      Blank Strategic Plan Template - Sample Format

      Strategic Plan Template - Sample Format

      Downloadable Strategic Plan Template - Free

      Strategic Plan Template - Print-ready PDF

      Strategic Plan Template - Word Sample

      Strategic Plan Template - Free Download

      Editable Strategic Plan Template - Customizable

      Strategic Plan Template - Printable Example

      Strategic Plan Template - User-friendly

      Strategic Plan Template - Free Sample Download

        Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

        What are the four types of planning and the three levels of strategic planning?

        The four types of planning are based on the variance in the set of objectives and the means of achieving them at each tier of management. This includes strategic planning at the top-tier, tactical planning at the middle tier, operational planning at the low-tier, and contingency planning at all tiers.
        Strategic planning is focused on the distinct aspect of the operations of an organization. This creates levels of strategic planning which handle each aspect. This includes corporate-level strategic planning, business-level strategic planning, and functional-level strategic planning.

        What are the elements of strategic planning?

        The elements of strategic planning are the key components that make up any strategic plan. This includes the mission and vision of the organization, the strategic assumptions of the competing influences on the organization and their impact, and the strategic plan design, which outlines the actions to be executed to achieve the goals of the organization.

        What are the key terms in strategic planning?

        The key terms in strategic planning are words used to describe the most vital aspects of a strategic plan. This includes mission, vision, goal, objectives, action plan, measures, and metrics.

        How to design a strategic planning system

        A strategic planning system is a structured process by which the various levels of management coordinate planning activities. A strategic planning system is specific to each organization and must be tailored to fit each one. A strategic planning system can be designed by reconciling the communication of corporate-performance goals and the goal-setting process among an organization’s various tiers of management.

        What is a strategic action plan?

        A strategic action plan details the exact actions or sequences of actions by which an outlined strategy will be realized. The action plan specifies how the set goals and objectives will be achieved in a strategic plan.

        What are strategic measures and metrics?

        Strategic measures are observable values used to monitor an organization’s performance, while metrics quantify the selected measures.

        About This Article

        Michael R. Lewis
        Authored by:
        Business Writing | BBA, Industrial Management
        Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor based in Texas. With over 40 years of experience in business and finance, he has gained valuable insights and expertise in the field. Michael served as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, where he played a pivotal role in driving organizational success and growth. Known for his exceptional business writing skills, he has become an authority in effectively communicating complex concepts to diverse audiences. His extensive knowledge and experience make him a sought-after advisor for businesses seeking guidance in strategic decision-making, financial planning, and overall business operations. Michael holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Industrial Management from the prestigious University of Texas at Austin.

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