Strategy Tools

Mapping Out Your Best Possible Direction

What makes you stand out from the crowd?

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Strategy is the art of working out how you'll "win" in business and in life.

This section of Mind Tools teaches more than 75 individual strategy skills, ranging from simple situational analysis techniques to tools that can help you craft a unique and successful competitive position.

Use the Browse by Category box to target specific strategy models, or skim the list below to explore the full range of techniques. Enjoy using these tools!

What is Strategy?  
The Three Levels of Strategy

Lafley and Martin's Five-Step Strategy Model  
Making Effective Strategic Choices

Core Strategy Tools

The Business Model Canvas  
Understanding Your Business Model

SWOT Analysis  
Discover New Opportunities, Manage and Eliminate Threats

The TOWS Matrix  
Developing Strategic Options from an External-Internal Analysis

Porter's Five Forces Analysis  
Assessing the Balance of Power in a Business Situation

PEST Analysis  
Identifying "Big Picture" Opportunities and Threats

Critical Success Factors  
Focusing Attention on the Things That Are Important

Net Promoter® Score  
Measuring Customer Loyalty With a Single Question

Competitive Advantage

USP Analysis  
The Unique Selling Proposition: Finding Your Competitive Edge

Core Competence Analysis  
Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Porter's Diamond  
Shaping Your Strategy to Reflect National Strengths and Weaknesses

Porter's Four Corners Model  
Predicting Competitor Behavior

Perceptual Mapping  
Understanding Customer Perceptions Also Known as "Positioning Maps"

Kay's Distinctive Capabilities Framework  
Using Relationships to Build Competitive Advantage

The ADL Matrix  
Choosing the Best Strategy for Your Situation

Ohmae's 3C Model  
Bringing Together Different Aspects of Strategic Thinking

VRIO Analysis  
Evaluating Resources

Competitive Intelligence  
Understanding Your Competitive Position

Weisbord's Six-Box Model  
A Starting Point for Diagnosing Organizational Issues

Kotler and Keller's Five Product Levels  
Exceeding Customer Expectations

Strategic Options

Developing Your Strategy  
Finding Your Levers for Success

Porter's Generic Strategies  
Choosing Your Route to Success

Bowman's Strategy Clock  
Making Sense of Eight Competitive Positions

Mintzberg's 5Ps of Strategy  
Improving the Robustness of Your Strategy

Simonson and Rosen's Influence Mix  
Learn What Influences Customer Purchases

Blue Ocean Strategy  
Leaving Your Competition Far Behind

Scenario Analysis  
Exploring Different Futures

Understanding Game Theory  
Using Reason to Predict Future Behavior

The Value Disciplines Model  
Basing Strategy on Value

Value-Based Management  
Managing for the Long Term by Maximizing Value, Not Profit

The Business Motivation Model  
Preparing a Resilient Business Plan

Disruptive Technologies  
Recognize the Impact of New Products

The Hedgehog Concept  
Using the Power of Simplicity to Succeed

Organization Design

Organization Design  
Aligning Organization Structure with Your Business Goals

The McKinsey 7S Framework  
Ensuring That All Parts of Your Organization Work in Harmony

The EPRG Model  
Growing Into a Global Company

Miles and Snow's Organizational Strategies  
Aligning Organizational Structure and Strategy

Mintzberg's Organizational Configurations  
Understanding the Structure of Your Organization

Using the Greiner Curve  
Surviving the Crises of Growth

The Pyramid of Organizational Development  
Managing the Steps of Growth

Strategic Alliances  
Partnering for Mutual Benefit

Diversification  
Reducing Business Risk and Expanding Market Size

Adizes' Corporate Lifecycle  
Identifying the Patterns of Growth and Decline

Deming's Five Diseases of Management  
Achieving Long-Term Success

Strategic Prioritization

The Boston Matrix  
Focusing Effort to Give the Greatest Returns

The GE-McKinsey Matrix  
Determining Investment Priorities

Porter's Value Chain  
Understanding How Value is Created Within Organizations

Value Chain Analysis  
Achieving Excellence in the Things That Really Matter

Mullins' Seven Domains Model  
Analyzing New Business Opportunities

CAGE Distance Framework  
Expanding into the Right Foreign Markets

Executing Strategy

Mission and Vision Statements  
Unleashing the Power of Purpose

Practical Business Planning  
Understanding the Components of Future Success

Pyramid of Purpose  
Concisely Communicating Your Organization's Strategy

VMOST Analysis  
Ensuring That Organizational Activities Deliver Your Vision of the Future

The Hoshin Planning System  
Steering Everyone in the Right Direction

The Balanced Scorecard  
Motivating Employees to Deliver Your Strategy

The Triple Bottom Line  
Measuring Your Organization's Wider Impact

Corporate Governance  
Keeping Organizations Accountable

Employer Branding  
Creating a Worker-Friendly Culture

Turnaround Management  
Rescuing a Struggling Organization

Working With Funders  
Building and Maintaining Positive Partnerships

Sourcing and Purchasing Strategy

The Outsourcing Decision Matrix  
Analyzing the Make-or-Buy Decision

Working with Outsourced Suppliers  
Communication and Clear Expectations are Key

The Kraljic Portfolio Purchasing Model  
Assessing Risk and Maximizing Profits

Procurement Management  
Increasing the Strategic Value of Purchasing

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)  
Managing Suppliers Effectively

10 Cs of Supplier Evaluation  
Evaluating Potential Suppliers

Marketing Strategy

Developing Your Marketing Strategy  
Connecting Products with Customers

The Marketing Mix and 4 Ps  
Understanding How to Position Your Market Offering

The 4S Web Marketing Mix  
Considering Key Online Marketing Elements

Market Sizing - Estimating Product Potential  
Estimating Product Potential

Market Segmentation  
Understanding Different Customer Needs

The Product Life Cycle  
Managing Your Product to Maximize Success

The Product Diffusion Curve  
Targeting Different Clients At Different Stages of a Product's Life

The Ansoff Matrix  
Understanding the Different Risks of Different Options

The Sales Funnel  
Keeping Control of Your Sales Pipeline

Customer Experience Mapping  
Seeing Your Business Through the Eyes of Your Customers

The Brand Pyramid  
Building Customer Loyalty

Keller's Brand Equity Model  
Building a Powerful Brand

Kapferer's Brand Identity Prism  
Identifying Your Brand's Voice

Using Focus Groups  
Using Small Group Meetings to Collect Customer Views

Corporate Social Responsibility  
Benefiting Both Your Business and the Community

The Buy-Sell Hierarchy  
Understanding Customer Relationships

The Marketing Research Mix  
Planning an Effective Research Process

Manufacturing and Operations

Lean Manufacturing  
Working More Efficiently

Kaizen  
Gaining the Benefits of Continuous Improvement

Kanban  
Creating Efficiency in the Workplace

The Product-Process Matrix  
Using the Right Process for the Volume of Work You're Doing

Just In Time (JIT)  
Reducing Inventory, Minimizing Waste, and Responding to Your Customers

The 5S System  
Reducing Waste and Increasing Productivity

Business Process Reengineering  
Using Radical Change To Improve Organizational Performance

Value Stream Mapping  
Making Improvements that Add Value

Achieving Economies of Scale  
Understanding Why Bigger Can Be Better

The Innovation Circle  
A Process for Introducing New Products and Services

The RATER Model  
Five Ways to Measure Service

The Theory of Constraints (TOC)  
Strengthening Your "Weakest Link"

Green Management  
Taking Steps Towards a Greener Brand

Quality Strategy

Zero Defects  
Get It Right First Time

Crosby's 14 Steps for Improvement  
Organizing Long Term Quality Improvement

Total Quality Management (TQM)  
Delivering Quality at Every Level

Deming's 14-Point Philosophy  
A Recipe for Total Quality

Six Sigma  
Improving Quality Systematically

House of Quality  
Building Customer Satisfaction Into New Products

Benchmarking  
Comparing Your Performance With the Best

Critical to Quality (CTQ) Trees  
Translating Broad Needs to Requirements


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