The ‘ONE’ Page Strategic Business Plan

There has been much written about Verne Harnish’s One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP), with many variants freely available on the internet. Described as a ‘…planning process providing a proven method for management teams to undertake and execute planning’ the OPSP has become widely used by those in the know.

Why has it been such a success, well I think it has a lot to do with its simplicity? The OPSP is fairly easy to create, tailor to your business need, update and share. This just wasn’t possible with the old style ‘large’ business plans used of old.

In business, I have always found that clear, concise and structured communication can massively increase the performance of the organisation; however, this can be time consuming and problematic, as getting complex messages to employees and shareholders isn’t always that simple. But without this alignment organisations become stranded ‘doing what it thinks is the right thing‘, which isn’t necessarily the case. Working with the management team the creation of an OPSP empowers, engages and focuses the management on what is required and important to the organisations success.

I have used the one page strategic plan over several years with great success, but I would like to share with you my slant on the Verne’s superb OPSP. The versatility of the OPSP allows you to create something which is unique to your organisation, allows measurement of the drivers important to you and can easily be changed to reflect the demands of trading.

In my opinion the concept of the OPSP addresses top level alignment of the organisation, its core objectives and requirements including high-level strategic goals, vision, mission, purpose, elevator pitch, trading threats, commercial and responsibilities for the next three to five years; I also find it useful to include some historical financial information, if appropriate, to maintain perspective.

Ok, so what happens when all the strategic planning is done? This is where a ‘One Page Operational Plan’ comes into play? If the One Page Strategic Plan is the high-level reason for the organisations existence, then the One Page Operational Plan is the tactics and objectives of the operational business, designed to deliver upon the Strategic Plan.

Example of Operational One Pager Plan

This plan should look no further than 12 months ahead and contain clear objectives, observations and the actions necessary to achieve the agreed strategic plan. This is a living document updated at an agreed period; it can be monthly or quarterly dependant on the desire of the organisations leader. However frequent, this document should be owned by, and a focus of, the management board. It should be critically reviewed regularly with the organisations performance actively measured against it. In some organisations this performance is published for the whole business to see demonstrating transparency to the workforce.

With both of the one page plans an organisation can be made more effective in a relatively short period of time. I have been involved in a loss making Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME) which was turned around in 6 months to €1 million net profit through alignment, focus, increased communication and the identification of new opportunities not considered, by the management team, prior to creating these plans. With this type of reference, can you afford ‘NOT’ to have an OPSP or something similar?

A link to Verne Harnish’s One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) can be found at:

Nigel Stone – November 2015

*All comments are based on my personal experiences and given freely. That said, you need to make your own choices. I can’t and won’t accept liability for you employing any recommendations. Business is all about risk. It’s your choice.

Nigel stone has, over the last fifteen years, started, led, consulted and nurtured both UK and European businesses to achieve quite outstanding results.


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