Strategic Planning Is a Disciplined Effort Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2030 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. The scheduling for the strategic planning process depends on the nature and needs of the organization and the its immediate external environment. The four phases of strategic management will be as follows:

Environmental Scan: Defining who we are as an organization

Vision Formulation: Determining who we want to be.

Plan Development: Discovering how we will achieve our goals

Plan Implementation: Evaluating our achievements

Having built up a picture of the company's past aims and achievements, the all-important SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis can commence. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakenesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strategic planning serves a variety of purposes in organizations, including the following:

Clearly defines the purpose of the organization Communicates those goals and objectives to the organization's constituents.

Develops a sense of ownership of the plan.

Ensures the most effective use is made of the organization's resources by focusing the resources on the key priorities.

Provides a base from which progress can be measured and establishes a mechanism for informed change when needed.

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Brings together of everyone's best and most reasoned efforts have important value in building a consensus about where an organization is going.

Provides clearer focus of organization, producing more efficiency and effectiveness

Produces great satisfaction among planners around a common vision

Increases productivity from increased efficiency and effectiveness

Term Paper on Strategic Planning Is a Disciplined Effort to Assignment

However, the strategic planning process has its problem areas. Problem areas include 1) ensuring commitment at the top, because in some ways, strategic planning reduces executive decision-making power; 2) planning might inhibit creativity; 3) strategic planning, if misused, might become a tool for gaining control over decisions, strategies, present, future, actions, management, employees, markets, and customers; and 4) Strategic planning dismisses intuition and favors readily available, interpretable "hard" data and assumes that all goals are "reconcilable in a single statement of objectives."

Introduction

Strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. (Adapted from Bryson's Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations).The scheduling for the strategic planning process depends on the nature and needs of the organization and the its immediate external environment. For example, planning should be carried out frequently in an organization whose products and services are in an industry that is changing rapidly. In this situation, planning might be carried out once or even twice a year and done in a very comprehensive and detailed fashion (that is, with attention to mission, vision, values, environmental scan, issues, goals, strategies, objectives, responsibilities, time lines, budgets, etc.). On the other hand, if the organization has been around for many years and is in a fairly stable marketplace, then planning might be carried out once a year and only certain parts of the planning process, for example, action planning (objectives, responsibilities, time lines, budgets, etc.) are updated each year. Consider the following guidelines

1. Strategic planning should be done when an organization is just getting started. (The strategic plan is usually part of an overall business plan, along with a marketing plan, financial plan and operational/management plan.)

2. Strategic planning should also be done in preparation for a new major venture, for example, developing a new department, division, major new product or line of products, etc.

3. Strategic planning should also be conducted at least once a year in order to be ready for the coming fiscal year (the financial management of an organization is usually based on a year-to-year, or fiscal year, basis). In this case, strategic planning should be conducted in time to identify the organizational goals to be achieved at least over the coming fiscal year, resources needed to achieve those goals, and funded needed to obtain the resources. These funds are included in budget planning for the coming fiscal year. However, not all phases of strategic planning need be fully completed each year. http://planning.mala.bc.ca/primer/img/forward.gif str_plan/str_plan.htm#anchor4293674666>)

The full strategic planning process should be conducted at least once every three years. As noted above, these activities should be conducted every year if the organization is experiencing tremendous change.

4. Each year, action plans should be updated.

5. Note that, during implementation of the plan, the progress of the implementation should be reviewed at least on a quarterly basis by the board. Again, the frequency of review depends on the extent of the rate of change in and around the organization.

C) Who Should Be Involved in Strategic Planning?

Is a vision and strategic plan something you should worry about? Alternatively, is this something only for an executive team or the top leaders of your organization? You can answer these questions yourself.

You need to have a vision and strategic plan for your organization if one of the following is true:

You have embarked on an initiative to produce breakthrough results for your organization, and you are on the team or the leader of the initiative.

Your organization is performing poorly in critical areas for business success (operating costs, customer satisfaction, quality of goods or services, etc.), and you have been ask to help work this issue.

You need to prioritize a limited amount of investment dollars between a variety of improvement initiatives (the organization can't do everything).

You have been asked to set short- and long-term goals for your organization in key performance areas.

D) Four Phases of Strategic Management

The four phases of strategic management will be as follows: (http://www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/str_plan.htm#anchor4293674666)

1. Environmental Scan: Defining who we are as an organization. Once the vision and mission are clearly identified, the organization must analyze its external and internal environment. The environmental scan, performed within the frameworks of the Five Forces Model and SWOT, analyzes information about organization's external environment (economic, social, demographic, political, legal, technological, and international factors), the industry, and internal organizational factors. The labor market projections provided on this site are most valuable for the environmental scan. Please refer to the brief description of the Basic Models.

2. Vision Formulation: Determining who we want to be. Identification of the organization's vision and mission is the first step of any strategic planning process. The organization's vision sets out the reasons for organization's existence and the "ideal" state that the organization aims to achieve; the mission identifies major goals and performance objectives. Both are defined within the framework of the organization's philosophy, and are used as a context for development and evaluation of intended and emergent strategies. One can not overemphasize the importance of a clear vision and mission; none of the subsequent steps will matter if the organization is not certain where it is headed.

3. Plan Development: Discovering how we will achieve our goals. Organizations evaluate the difference between their current position and desired future through gap analysis. As a result, an organization can develop specific strategies and allocate resources to close the gap (CSUN strategic planning leadership retreat, April 1997), and achieve its desired state. Measuring and comparing the organization's operations, practices, and performance against others is useful for identifying "best" practices. Through an ongoing systematic benchmarking process campuses find a reference point for setting their own goals and targets.

4. Plan Implementation: Evaluating our achievements. After assessing the progress of the strategic planning process, the organization needs to review the strategic plan, make necessary changes, and adjust its course based on these evaluations. The revised plan must take into consideration emergent strategies, and changes affecting the organization's intended course. Organization determines its strategic issues based on (and consistent with) its vision and mission, within the framework of environmental and other analyses. Strategic issues are the fundamental issues the organization has to address to achieve its mission and move towards its desired future.

To address strategic issues and develop deliberate strategies for achieving their mission, organizations set strategic goals, action plans, and tactics during the strategic programming stage

Strategic goals are the milestones the campus aims to achieve that evolve from the strategic issues. The SMART goals model is essential to setting meaningful goals. Smart goals are specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time/cost bound

Action plans... define how we get to where we want to go," the steps required to reach our strategic goals.

Tactics are specific actions used to achieve the strategic goals and implement the strategic plans.

E) Strategic Planning Worksheet

Having built up a picture of the company's past aims and achievements, the all-important SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis can commence. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakenesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses are essentially internal to the organization and relate to matters concerning resources, programs and organization in key areas. These include:

Sales - marketing - distribution - promotion - support;

Management - systems - expertise - resources;

Operations - efficiency - capacity - processes;

Products - services - quality - pricing -… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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