Challenge-based strategy formulation 

(by Richard Rumelt)

This template helps you formulate your strategy by turning the focus on the most critical challenges your organization is facing and how they could be solved.

Challenge-based strategy formulation is a comprehensive workshop that helps you formulate your strategy by identifying your organization’s most critical challenges and coming up with policies and concrete actions to solve them. This workshop fits best for situations where you need to ideate new content for your strategy and you can spare more than a few minutes to conduct thorough analysis.

This workshop starts with a comprehensive analysis of recent and expected changes in the organization’s competitive landscape. Both changes and their impact is identified to provide better view on the situation. After identifying external factors, the workshop continues with identifying organization’s successful and unsuccessful projects and the positive and negative factors that potentially affected their outcome.

After identifying and analyzing these external and internal factors, you are better equipped to start identifying the critical challenges that your organization needs to solve. After prioritizing these critical challenges, you will finish by planning both policies and concrete actions on how to solve them. These policies and actions can then serve as a structure for your strategy and/or roadmap.

Workshop flow

  1. Identify past changes in competitive landscape (5 years) 
  2. Identify the impact these changes in competitive landscape had
  3. Identify expected changes in near future (3-5 years) 
  4. Identify the impact these expected changes would have
  5. Identify successful programs/projects, the difficulties they faced and factors that helped you overcome
  6. Identify unsuccessful projects, the difficulties they faced and what could have been done differently
  7. Identify critical challenges 
  8. Prioritize critical challenges
  9. Identify main difficulties resolving critical challenges
  10. Prioritize identified critical challenges
  11. Formulate strategy by identifying policies and activities that help you overcome the critical challenges