Strategic Planning Skills List and Examples

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Strategic planning is the process of setting a vision for a company and then realizing that vision through small, achievable goals. People who work in strategic planning help set goals, decide what actions need to be taken by employees, and help employees achieve those goals.

Strategic planning is an important skill for a number of jobs. While some people hold the specific job title of “strategic planner” (or “strategic planning associate” or “strategic planning manager”), there are other jobs that require strategic planning skills. For example, employees who need strategic planning skills include management consultants, business developers, corporate developers, strategic cost analysts, and operations analysts.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use the skills lists below throughout your job search process in various ways. First, you can use these skill words in your resume by dropping these keywords when describing your work history.

Second, you can use these words/terms in your cover letter. In the body of your cover letter, you try to mention one or two of these skills and give specific examples of how you have demonstrated those skills in the workplace.

Last but not least, you can use these skill words in an interview. Make sure you have at least one example of a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Top 5 Strategic Planning Skills

Strategic planners need to be the following:

1. Analytical: People working in strategic planning need to be able to analyze and evaluate a company’s business plan. They have to be skilled in market analysis, feasibility analysis, and more. Only through an analytical eye can strategic planners decide what steps need to be taken by a company.

  • Attention to detail
  • Calculating costs for implementation
  • Critical thinking
  • Defining mechanisms for input for various levels of participants
  • Defining strategies for reaching goals
  • Defining the purpose of the strategic planning process
  • Developing a plan for implementing strategies
  • Logical thinking
  • Questioning the connection between new initiatives and the strategic plan
  • Setting meeting agendas
  • Systematic thinking

2. Communicative: A large part of a strategic planner’s job is communicating a business plan to employers and employees. They have to explain (by both speaking and writing) the steps employees need to take to achieve company goals. Strategic planners also need to be active listeners. They have to listen to the needs of the employers before devising a plan of action. They also need to listen to the concerns and ideas of the employees.

3. Decisive: Strategic planning involves lots of quick decision making. Strategic planners must select a course of action to help a company achieve its goals without waffling. They need to be able to examine all of the information available to them and then decisively make a thoughtful decision.

  • Designating the participants in the process
  • Drawing consensus around goals and strategies
  • Establishing measurable objectives for each goal
  • Organizing a timeline for the planning process
  • Prioritizing
  • Setting goals

4. Strong Leaders: A strategic planner has to lead employees towards a common goal. This takes strong leadership skills. He or she has to inspire, motivate, and ensure all employees remain accountable.

  • Energetic
  • Establishing incentives for implementation
  • Charisma
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Management skills
  • Motivational skills
  • Recognizing the contributions of key players
  • Resourcefulness

5. Problem Solvers: Often, strategic planners are there to solve a problem. Perhaps a company is not meeting its financial goals, or its processes are running inefficiently. A strategic planner analyzes data related to the problem and then offers a solution. 

  • Aligning business practices with emerging strategy
  • Assessing the impact of strategies after implementation
  • Brainstorming
  • Creativity
  • Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the organization
  • Identifying obstacles to implementation
  • Identifying threats to an organization
  • Multitasking
  • Revising the mission statement for the organization
  • Securing release time for participants to engage in the process
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