In addition to building technology-marketing execution plans, I have a lot of experience in technology and business planning. No two projects are the same. There are however some common themes that I find that I help companies with, and I outline them here:
Software Development Plans
If you are developing software, or managing a team, you need a good vision for the software and the goals. It can be almost impossible to deliver on a software on time and on budget if you don't. Software plans help your team focus and get organized, as well as helping to plan out the things that should be done now - to help the business sell - and things that can be done later. There are many different software development methodologies as well as tools to help manage. If you think your software is not on track, or your team is struggling to prioritize, maybe its we review of your software development plan.
Information Technology Plans
If you are in charge of an information technology group, you know that there are two things that stand out to be successful - having the right projects identified and managed, and having the right people on them. I've worked with many companies, particularly many banks, in the recent years, who have highly critical workloads both on their technology and personnel. Getting the right projects is a cross-business exercise, involving the priorities of both the different business departments, as well as the needs of IT (are you still waiting on upgrading that Exchange Server?) I work with companies to help lay out a 3 year technology plan, and often help in identifying requirements for key technologies and negotiating with vendors.
Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plans (IT DR/BCP)
Over the last 10 years there has been a huge emphasis, and quite correctly, on the importance of IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans. Often joined together, it is however important to have a very detailed and well thought IT DR plan, especially as most companies would literally not survive more than a week if their IT failed for a period of time. A business continuity plan helps to ensure that a business knows how to a) React and b) Recover from any business interruption event, be it an earthquake, flood, or other event. A lot of companies think that they have good plans, but its' all about testing. When did you last test your BCP?
Strategy and Innovation Plans
Having a compelling and innovative product/company strategic vision drives everything, and everyone. I find that the best strategic plans start with an intense collaboration session- a kick-off if you will, that helps all the team members participate with their ideas, and where I then work with a few key top management people to really bounce off and develop these ideas. This funnel approach requires the top management team to be continuously involved throughout the process. The end result, that can often be accomplished within a few weeks, is a strategic plan that lays out the new vision, positioning and value proposition, combining the company ideas and customer feedback into a new vision of the future that can then be implemented. Does your company or product vision need updating?