Strategic planning is an activity undertaken by organizational leaders to determine their vision for the future as well as identify key goals and objectives for the organization. The ultimate purpose is to develop a specific plan that would guide the organization towards accomplishing its vision and mission.
Strategic planning is a step-by-step exercise that ultimately determines the desired results of an organization and how those results will be achieved. The process includes assessing and adjusting the organization’s direction, setting priorities, allocating resources, strengthening operations, and setting goals. The strategic planning process results in a strategic plan. The plan documents the proposed steps to take to achieve the stated organizational objectives. The plan is then monitored and modified through strategic management activities.
Strategic Planning Process
Strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next few years and how it’s going to get there. The process begins by assessing the organization’s vision as well as elements of both the external and internal environments. A high level strategy is then formulated. After which, a strategic plan is then created to outline the steps needed to achieve the organization’s objectives. The plan establishes the sequence for the goals so that the organization is enabled to reach its stated vision. Finally, strategic management activities are employed to monitor, evaluate, and adjust the plan as needed.
A Strategic Plan
A strategic plan is a document derived from the activities of the strategic planning process. The plan communicates with the entire organization both the decisions made about the organization’s goals and the ways in which the organization will achieve those goals. It is derived from the analysis of the organizations internal and external environment, and results in the formulation and implementation of strategic objectives designed to achieve the organization’s vision and mission.
The strategic plan is intended to guide the organization’s leaders in their decision making as circumstances change. Since many elements in the future are unknown, the plan and the organization must be flexible. Therefore, a strategic plan should not be viewed as a fixed roadmap, but rather a malleable document that needs to be revisited and revised on a regular basis.
The strategic management process helps ensure that the organization’s employees, processes, and resources support the vision established in the strategic plan. It also helps organizations effectively align their ongoing actions with their strategic plan. Additionally, it enables the strategic plan to evolve and grow as circumstances change.
Strategic Management Defined
Strategic management is the comprehensive collection of activities that organizations conduct to systematically coordinate and align resources and actions with their mission. It involves the implementation, administration, monitoring and adjustment of the organization’s strategy.