How To Become A Strategic Thinker


One of the roles I play as a project manager is to ensure that our projects make a contribution to the goals of our company.  Prior to starting each project we complete a review of the project and identify what company goal to align the project.   This is a form of Strategic thinking.  My information is from a collection of articles that I have read over the years but the core of the information is from a book by John Maxwell titled “How Successful People Think”.   The reflective thinking entries will be the following:

Steps to Become a Strategic Thinker

The following steps can be used to become a better strategic thinker:

  • Break Down The Issue – the goal of this step is to break down the problem into manageable pieces.  The problem may be broken down in several ways including by function, time, purpose or responsibility.
  • Ask Why Before How – it is critical to know why you are doing something rather than trying to address how you will do it.  It will help you identify the depth or scope of the problem.  It will help identify the resources or talent that is needed.  The ‘whys’ will help you avoid potential issues or problems.
  • Identify the Real Issues and Objectives – be sure to understand the real issue to ensure you are solving the right problem.  Ask probing questions to get to the real issue.  Be aware to remove any emotional attachment that may be contained in the problem.
  • Review Your Resources – be sure to review the effort that will be needed and assess that against your resources.  The resources to take into consideration include the labor, materials, costs, and supplies that are needed for the effort.
  • Develop Your Plan – this is the task of writing down the steps that need to be taken to complete the project.  Be aware that this is the list of the fundamental steps needed for the project.
  • Put The Right People in The Right Place – while planning make sure that you identify the skill and timing that is needed for the tasks.  Then be sure that you select the people with the right talent rather than people that you like.  It is important that the team has the right talent and then that you put them in the right place or order to complete the project.
  • Keep Repeating The Process – it is necessary to put in place a process that includes strategic thinking.  The benefits of the strategic planning will help ensure success in future projects.


I hope this entry provides you with some concrete steps to become a better Strategic Thinker.  Please keep in mind to continue to strategically plan.  This strategic plan will help to provide the direction and increase your potential in the future.