Learn the strategic planning process covering mission and objectives, scan, strategy, implementation and monitoring necessary for business success.
The Strategic Planning Process
We all have plans, dreams, visions, ambitions or projects that we have set out to achieve. So too we need strategic plans and a map to help us realize our desired objectives. This is why such a plan is necessary.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, certain aspects such as budget planning are insufficient for a large company to survive and prosper. To guarantee survival, the company must engage in proper strategic planning. To do this, they must develop a plan by following the strategic process. It involves a series of clearly outlined steps. Below are the steps involved in the process:
1. Mission and Objectives
This is the first step in a strategic plan. The firm must clearly outline its mission statement, vision and objectives. It must state what it really wants to achieve through it operations. It must have a clear vision of where it wants to be in the future. Guided by the business vision and mission, the firm’s leaders can define measurable financial and strategic objectives.
2. Environmental Scan
The company should conduct a thorough environmental scan. By this is mean conducting an internal analysis of the firm, an analysis of the firm’s industry and external macro environment. By conducting the environmental scan the company will be able to identify the strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats otherwise known as SWOT analysis.
3. Formulation of the Strategy
After gathering lots of information from both the internal and external analyses, the firm should match its strengths to the opportunities that it has identified, while addressing its weaknesses and external threats. This is necessary for any large or small business.
4. Implementation of Strategies
After the formulation of the strategic plan, the company can have it implemented by means of programs, budgets, and special procedures. Implementation involves gathering of the firm’s resources, setting up a special committee to oversee its implementation and motivation of the staff to achieve the stipulated objectives. The success or failure of the company will solely lay on how the plan will be executed. Decision making on matters in the strategic plan will be critical at this point.
5. Monitoring and Evaluation
The implementation of the strategy must be monitored and adjustments made accordingly. It is crucial to monitor the progress of the plan to know what is happening and what is not happening. Has the company achieved the desired market share, for example. What about the long term and short term goals? Have they been achieved? Such monitoring is necessary to ensure business is moving in the right direction. For this the business needs to have the right human resources in place. It must also implement strong Management of risks.
More in the Process of Strategic Planning
Financial experts define a strategic plan as simply being a road map or avenue to grow a business or company so as to realize the targeted objectives in a specified period of time. It involves having clear objectives for a mission and laying down a workable plan of action.
Strategic planning can be defined as a set of management techniques that are used to set priorities, focus energy and resources of the company, including the company’s employees and stakeholders into achieving the intended objectives. Additionally, it helps to assess and adjust the company’s direction and ways of doing things to match the ever dynamic business needs.
With proper planning, the organization is able to clearly define its objectives, values, responsibilities, mission and vision. In addition, the organization will be able to do a quick analysis of its progress to know its current position and how far they are still to go.
In order to develop a strong strategic plan you will need to incorporate strong planning tools. Some of the basic strategic tools that can be used in the planning process include; Visioning, metrics/charts, a strategic SWOT analysis, affinity diagrams and inter-relationship digraphs.
Planning is a very essential aspect of our lives. It will determine if you attain success and greatness or if you will fall flat on your belly. Any wrong planning will have a deleterious effect on the company’s future.