Strategic Planning consists of carefully making the project meets the immediate and future needs of a given project, i.e., respond to a specific market need, increase the capacity, renovate and update the facility(ies) etc.. The planning should be made in such a way to not create impenetrable barriers (or penetrable, at a high cost) to future expansions, remodeling or changes in the project focus.

The Strategic Planning, of which a good Master Plan is a component, has a logical but flexible way to be prepared. Usually the steps are:

  • Upper level management meetings to determine the company targets for the short and long terms (market segment, growth rate, quality standards, profitability etc.).
  • Operations Analysis
    • Determine the maximum capacity of the existing facility(ies), if there is any, using operations studies and benchmarking against the competition.
    • Evaluates if there is a real need to build new facilities and, if there is, determines the parameters to be used in designing them.
  • Master Plan
    • Determines the required built area to accommodate the present and future operations.
    • Determines the best geographical location, considering aspects such as logistics, tax incentives, zoning, traffic requirements etc..
  • Financial Feasibility Study (see “FFS”)
    • Determines the investment required to meet the growth needs and the expected Return On Investment (ROI). It is made and remade until the maximum level of reliability and precision is met, and involves the estimate budget, operational costs, income, financial costs, risks etc..