Strategic Planning 101
Have you ever wondered what ingredient has made businesses so successful? Well, the answer is pretty simple and it is strategic planning. What is strategic planning then? Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining strategy or direction, and making decisions on allocating resources to pursue a strategy. It is utilized to point out priorities, focus energy and resources, create stronger operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward similar goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes, and evaluate and alter the organization's direction in response to a fluctuating environment. In other words, it is just a disciplined effort that yields basic decisions and actions that form and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a particular focus on the future. However, effective strategic planning points out not only the destination of an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will be able to evaluate its success. An assortment of views, models and approaches are used in strategic planning. Different planning models also exist such as the goals-based planning which is probably the most common and it starts with focus on the organization's mission, goals to work toward the mission, strategies to achieve the goals, and action planning. Then thereâ€™s the issues-based strategic planning which oftentimes begin by examination of the issues facing the organization, strategies to address those issues and action plans. Last but not
the least is the organic strategic planning which starts off by articulating the organization's vision and values, and then action plans to achieve the vision while adhering to those values. Aside from the planning models, there are also many different processes and methodologies for strategic planning and management. While there is no absolute rules regarding the right process, most follow a similar pattern. The following is the process of strategic planning regardless of the type of model used. The first step in this process is referred to as analysis or assessment. What happens here is that there is a creation of an understanding of the current internal and external environments. Then a high level strategy is developed and a basic organization level strategic plan is documented and this stage is called strategy formulation. Third is strategy execution, which is described as the step where the high level plan is converted into more operational planning and action items. The whole process then ends with the evaluation, sustainment or management phase where on-going improvement and evaluation of performance, culture, communications, data reporting, quality management software utilized and other strategic management issues happens. So, thatâ€™s just everything you basically need to know to be familiar about strategic planning and the process.