The Incredible Agile Tools for Business Plans

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There are several important elements for the success of a business. A good idea and entrepreneurial spirit are some of the most remembered; however, planning is also critical, even in the early stages.

The business plan is a necessary instrument to give identity and vision about a company, to establish its performance and objectives, and it brings a series of the necessary information that will dictate the steps of the entrepreneur, as well as his team. It is also an important tool in raising funds and investments.

Many companies do not even come out of the embryonic stage or their first years of operation due to a lack of planning. This already indicates the need for the business plan, even in a more traditional and described approach.

In this article, you will understand what a business plan is and learn about some tools that can help you develop it.

How to make a business plan?

A company needs a purpose, a definite point where it wants to go. Otherwise, how can you go through a development journey?

A business plan is a detailed document that contains all the essential information of the company, such as start-up capital, products or services, vision, mission, values, competition, contingencies and challenges, segmentation, clientele, resources, partners, suppliers, stages, etc.

This plan works like a map that guides the entrepreneur when making major decisions. In this way, it is possible to maintain greater assertiveness in management.

However, this is not the only advantage of a business plan. The elaboration process can reveal whether a business idea is unfeasible. Thus, the entrepreneur avoids wasting time and resources with the construction of a business that, after a few months, may reveal structural problems and will not have the potential to generate profit.

Business Plan x Business Models

There are differences between business models and business plans. While the business plan is more detailed and has the format of a document, which follows very specific steps, the business models allow you to visualize the business more easily and in a summarized way, focusing on what matters and also allowing you to place proposals in action in an agile way.

The business plan is unique and can be changed, but this happens less often and depends on several factors. The business plan is more flexible, it can adapt to different company processes and also according to the context.

In short, the business plan allows us to understand what the company is and what must be done. And the business model is in the dimension of how this should happen. It is not always necessary to consult a document as specific as the business plan daily. Therefore, a tip is to work with both tools, for faster and more promising results.

Main innovative business models

You can use management models and methodology before or after the creation of the business plan, and at any time in the company. There are many types of business models to choose by the type of company and identification with its methodology. Also, you can use several software on the market to apply these agile models.

Here are some useful tools in this function:

Scrum

Scrum is one of the most used agile methodologies, see some important points of this approach:

Product Owner: responsible for knowing exactly the needs and desires of users about what is being developed.

Backlog: the product owner defines a series of tasks necessary to correctly meet the needs and desires of customers.

Scrum Master: A leader who helps move the process along and organizes the activities to follow.

Sprint: a specified amount of time during which some backlog tasks must be completed.

Daily meetings: Everyday team members get together to give each other feedback on what’s going on.

Retrospective: at the end of each sprint, the group meets, talks about the difficulties and learnings of the project and how to improve the next one.

Business Model Canvas

a simple framework for the identification and action of the business, read in full this article already released here on the OSP Contabilidade Blog. It’s a visual map with nine easy-to-understand and fill-in blocks that can boost your Business Plan.

Kanban

it is divided into columns, which are steps a task goes through until it is delivered. That is, 1) To be done; 2. Doing; 3. Delivered. And you still have the flexibility to enter additional steps if you need to.

Lean

The aim is to create a prototype of what needs to be done (MVP – see more in this article) in which a new product, process, or demand is being improved. The lean cycle also focuses on continuous improvements, like other management models, with premises such as Build, Measure, and Learn.

There are many other management models and it is important to align them with your business plan so that the strategy is even more comprehensive. Another tip is to mix and adapt the different methodologies.

Business Plan tools

However, much has evolved in recent years in terms of how to build and develop projects, processes, and also entire businesses, in a more agile, more dynamic, collaborative, profitable, productive, and leaner perspective.

There are many business models, either in conjunction with the business plan or to provide a more direct view of what needs application. And many of these models emerged in areas such as information technology are part of adaptation.

SWOT

SWOT analysis is a tool that allows you to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the business.

By carrying out a SWOT analysis, it is possible to include in the business plan a forecast of the main internal and external difficulties that the company may face and, thus, plan in advance how to deal with them.

In addition, it is also possible to include a forecast of the positive situations that the company can explore to gain competitive advantages and obtain better results.

MAT

MAT is a form of simplified business plan. It focuses on three issues: the goals, the actions needed to achieve the goals, and the tasks.

It is important to note that the MAT has limitations and does not replace the traditional business plan, which is more complete and detailed. However, it can be a good starting point, especially for individual early-career entrepreneurs.

Why be agile, and functional?

Once you define your business plan, it is possible to be even more daring, agile, and functional, using easily replicable. In addition, lean models and also methodologies involve all the people around.

And it is necessary to be more dynamic when you have in mind a fast-paced market, crisis contexts, and in which the consumer experience is a premise. In addition, more dynamic business models offer a better quality of life in the workplace, greater engagement and productivity, without high costs.

Agile Process Management

Agile process management is a form of process management whose main objective is to produce more efficient and faster results. Several agile methodologies adopt different techniques. However, they all share core characteristics, such as the flexibility to adapt to sudden changes.

Agile process management is a useful tool for preparing the business plan because this plan cannot be static. It needs to be constantly revisited and remodeled as the company progresses through its various stages of development.

Over time, goals change needs adjustments. With agile process management, it becomes easier to make the plan more flexible so that it can keep up with these changes.

In this way, at each stage of the process, the team exchanges feedback, and, more than that, there is a person especially responsible for defending the interests of the end customer and finding out if it is of value to them.

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Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.