My answer to What is an effective way to plan content and project releases ahead of time for my company?
Answer by Ken Larson:
The proper term is a strategic plan or long range plan (LRP) The key to such a plan is market research to determine potential client probability, designating projects to market in the selected venues and overlaying the resources required to achieve the projects should they become realities and set them in rough time frames by month.
The plan must then be controlled as a baseline for the year and maintained as developments occur. New, unanticipated projects may occur and need to be added; others may be in the plan and drop out when their schedules releases.
Good small business long range planning focuses the resources on a plan for execution, the schedule, budget and customer requirements baseline and the status of a given effort among other concurrent projects to give visibility into problem solving and management trade offs.
A typical approach would be housed in an excel spreadsheet with milestones for designated projects, parallel resource overlays, a monthly schedule and fields for financial accounting to record budgets, actual cost and estimates to complete.
A good plan will permit solid pricing and competitive analysis in the market.
Regular status efforts (no less than monthly and managing the plan will accumulator solid performance history, pricing validation and a basis for future decisions.