If a document needs to be developed that requires input from other disciplines_Finance, HR, Property & Facilities, Marketing, Procurement/Supply Chain_ then most likely you are looking at a team building effort to get the job done. In any event, don't look at the task as only as a roadmap that leads to a profitable product or enterprise. Business plans are a great way to build team buy_in, force a thorough review of options, define objectives, establish benchmarks to judge performance, and help arrive at a plan_of_action. Ultimately, it can lead to a Project Management approach to implementing a plan and that can be as involved and detailed as is necessary.
What are the critical steps needed to achieve a successful business plan? This may come as a surprise to my fellow business consultants, but producing a successful business plan is not as difficult as people often think, so long as they follow a logical sequence. Here is my considered view as to the critical steps. 1. Understand what you are planning and why; 2. Define the activities of your organisation; 3. Outline the current position of the business; 4. Review and discuss the external market conditions, undertake and understand a competitive analysis, and define your market positioning; 5. Define your core objectives; 6. Prepare and articulate the strategy to attain and meet the objectives; 7. Identify and review risks and opportunities; 8. Prepare a strategy to deal with risks and exploit opportunities; 9. Refine the strategies into operational plans; 10. Prepare financial forecasts including revenues, costs, cash_flow, capital expenditure and assumptions adopted; 11. Finalise the plan; 12. Get it approved; 13. Use it; 14. Review it regularly and update as appropriate.