The Difference Between a Plan and a Strategy

These two terms, often used interchangeably are far from the same … Each is a completely different concept.

The Plan

A plan is usually a list of steps taken to accomplish a goal. A plan tackles questions like how, when, where, who, and what? A plan is a good thing to have. In fact, it is vital to the success of almost any effort. However developing a plan should not be the first step in addressing a task.

The Strategy

A strategy is bigger than a plan. Strategy tackles the question of why? It has a large scope and looks at the end result as well as the many paths to the desired outcome. A strategy looks at every possible influencing factor, both seen and unforeseen and comes to terms with the whole situation, not just one end result.

Plan vs. Strategy

A plan says, “Here are the steps,” while a strategy says, “Here are the best steps.” Strategy speaks to the reasons why, while the plan is focused on how.

In a perfect world the strategy always comes before a plan and shapes the details of the plan. A strategy is the overarching wisdom that coordinates all of the plans in order to effectively reach the goals.

The Take Away

Remember, having a plan is essential, but developing a strategy should always come first. And whatever you do, don’t try to fit a strategy around existing plans. Rather, develop the right strategy and create the appropriate plans around the strategy.

Strategy drives the plan toward the goal. A plan alone wanders aimlessly.

Infinity Concepts can help better define your strategy and put your plan into action. Let’s talk today!

George Konetes

Director of Digital Media at Infinity Concepts
George manages the development of projects and comprehensive marketing campaigns.
George Konetes

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