Steps to Nirvana – an actionable Strategy planning workshop

23 Sep 2021 | Inception Activities

Expert workshop facilitator, Paulo Caroli, shares activities and tips on running a strategy workshop to build an actionable plan.

>> Get the Mural template for this workshop



Strategy is the path to make the vision happen.


Unfortunately, many times teams are not clear about the vision and are not aligned on the actionable steps to get there.


The following strategy workshop template helps organising and facilitating a one day (or a few hours) workshop to get a group of people aligned on a strategic plan.


Steps to Nirvana – Actionable Strategy Planning Workshop


Steps  to Nirvana is a strategy planning collaborative workshop that will help a group of people understand, align and plan the path towards their ultimate goal, their nirvana. This workshop establishes a common understanding of what the Nirvana is, what are the all the activities that are to be worked on the different horizons, and how to plan those.


This sequence of activities will also help to build up context of your business strategy and focus on the first steps to get started.


Activity: Defining the Nirvana


With a clear vision, alignment and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!

Let´s participate in a collaborative activity to understand what good looks like.  The Nirvana is the ultimate goal, that magic and desirable place we would love to get to.


Activity: Three-horizon


Let´s share what requires immediate attention as well as the long-term goals and strategy


Three-horizon, or 3Hs for short,  is a futurespective activity to help a team articulate how to manage for current performance, while maximising future growth opportunities. This activity is especially useful for teams going through strategic conversations. Many teams have a hard time balancing urgent from important actions, especially when they relate to future options.

sample result


Activity: Objectives and Key Results


Objectives (Where do we want to go?) and Key Results (How do we know if we are getting there?)


Let’s understand the business scope of this engagement and align about its qualitative and quantitative metrics. The Objectives align with qualitative goals towards the vision. The Key Results are quantitative measurable outcomes working towards the Objectives.

sample result


Activity: Technical, Business and UX Review

The colors and markings will assist the team in subsequent activities to prioritise, estimate and plan.


This review aims to discuss how the team feels about technical, business and UX understanding for each item on the Three Horizon. From this activity, new clarifications will happen and the disagreements and doubts will become more apparent.

sample result


Activity: Sequencer

When everything is priority, nothing is.

The Sequencer assists in organising and viewing the itens in the order in which we will work on them. It helps the group focus the work, decide on priorities and plan the iterations.

Wrap up


Closing conversation and decision about the next steps.


>> You find this workshop template as well as each of its activity in the article: How to plan an inception (or similar workshops)


Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books about Lean Strategy and Delivery). He's also the creator of , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here .
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