Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning – Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Strategic Planning?
  • Why is Strategic Planning important?
  • What are the essential steps in the Strategic Planning process?
  • What are the critical elements of a Strategic Plan?
  • What are the vital steps of Strategic Planning?
  • What is the Strategic Planning process?
  • What are some strategic planning examples?
  • What are some Strategic Planning models?
  • What is a strategic planning template?
  • What are the five steps in the strategic planning process?

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic Planning is a process of defining a strategy and making decisions on where to invest scarce resources to achieve the strategy. Strategic Planning is an essential aspect of strategic management for large organizations. Strategic Planning helps coordinate the processes of Strategy formulation and implementation.

Strategy has many definitions but generally includes setting strategic goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. Strategy can be planned or can be emergent as the organization adapts to its environment.

Why is Strategic Planning important?

Strategic planning is vital to an organization because it provides direction and outlines goals. Strategic planning is a tool that is essential for guiding day-to-day decisions.

A major cause of business failure is due to not having a considered strategic plan. If an organization has an unclear idea as to where it is headed, it will deviate aimlessly without priorities. Employees will become confused about the purpose of their jobs, in addition, resources and investments will be wasted.

What are the top 5 benefits of Strategic Planning?

  • Organizations become Proactive: A strategic plan allows organizations to prepare for the future. Organizations can anticipate certain scenarios and plan the necessary actions to avoid them. Organizations can be proactive rather than merely reacting to the environment.
  • Define the Direction: A strategic plan helps to define the direction of an organization. It enables the establishment of realistic objectives and goals that are in line with the organization’s vision and mission.
  • Increases Efficiency: A strategic plan guides decision making in determining resource and budget requirements to accomplish objectives.
  • Target Outcomes: The strategic Plan investigates market trends, target segments, as well as offerings to optimize success. An approach that is targeted will be more successful in gaining the required bottom-line outcomes.
  • Increase Sustainability: Constantly changing technologies, industry trends, and world markets can challenge organizations that lack strong foundations, focus, and foresight. Many of today’s leading organizations will not continue to be the leaders in the near future without a robust strategic planning process.

“Hope is not a strategy.”

– Vince Lombardi

What are the Strategic Management Processes?

Strategic planning is a process that has inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. Typical strategic planning efforts include the evaluation of the organization’s mission and strategic issues to strengthen current practices and determine the need for new initiatives.

The formulation of the strategy includes consideration of the following key elements:

  • The Purpose and Values of the organization
  • A diagnosis of the Environment and Competitive Situation
  • A review of the organizational Strengths and Weaknesses
  • The key initiatives and action plans for achieving the guiding policy
Strategic Management Framework

What are the questions that need to be answered in Strategic Planning?

The organization’s leaders have several questions they need to address in formulating the strategy and gathering inputs, such as:

  • What is the organization’s business, purpose, values, and interest?
  • What is considered “value” to the customer or constituency?
  • Which products and services should be included or excluded from the portfolio of offerings?
  • What is the geographic scope of the organization?
  • What differentiates the organization from its competitors in the eyes of customers and other stakeholders?
  • Which skills and resources should be developed within the organization?
  • What is core to the organization?
  • What should be outsourced?

What are the tools and techniques are used in strategic planning?

A variety of tools and techniques are used in strategic planning. These provide a framework for strategic planning. Such tools include:

  • PEST analysis: PEST analysis reviews the organization’s external environment and includes elements such as Political, Economic, Social, and Technological.
  • PESTLE analysis: PESTLE adds Legal and regulatory Environmental to the PEST analysis as per above
  • Scenario Planning: Scenario planning is used to analyze future possibilities or scenarios.
  • Porter Five Forces Analysis: Porter’s five forces analysis, explores industry attractiveness, and rivalry through the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers and the threat of substitute products and new market entrants.
  • SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis is used to review the organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses relative to the organization’s external opportunities and threats.
  • Growth-share Matrix: Growth-share matrix analysis examines the portfolio decisions about which businesses to retain or divest. The study investigates which business segments are profitable in a growth market and which are unprofitable or in a declining market.
  • Balanced Scorecards: Balanced Scorecards is the process of creating a systematic framework for measuring and controlling strategy.
  • Responsive Evaluation: Responsive Evaluation, is an approach to measure the effectiveness of the outcomes, which then supports future strategic planning exercises.

PEST Analysis: Factors to be considered in the Environmental Scan

Strategic Planning FAQs to be covered with our Next Instalment

  • What are the essential steps in the Strategic Planning process?
  • How to conduct a SWOT analysis?
  • What are the key elements of a Strategic Plan?
  • What are the vital steps of Strategic Planning?
  • What is the strategic planning process?
  • What are some strategic planning examples?
  • What are some Strategic Planning models?
  • What is a strategic planning template?
  • What are the five steps in the strategic planning process?
  • Why is strategic planning important in the public sector?
  • What are the challenges of strategic planning?

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

– Sun Tsu

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“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results”

– Sir Winston Churchill

What are the Best Quotes About Strategic Planning?

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” – Michael Porter

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.” – Lee Bolman

“Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions” – Henry Mintzberg

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things” – Miyamoto Musashi

“Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to succeed, but more importantly, what’s your plan to succeed?” – Jim Rohn

“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete – the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.” – Peter Drucker

“Sound strategy starts with having the right goal.” – Michael Porter

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!” – Brian Tracy

“A person who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” – Confucius

“Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Persistence is what makes the impossible possible, the possible likely, and the likely definite” – Robert Half

“Hope is not a strategy.” Vince Lombardi

“You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now.” – Harry S. Truman

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton

“Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.” – Peter Drucker

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

“You have to be fast on your feet and adaptive or else a strategy is useless.” – Charles de Gaulle

“Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long run.” – Seth Godin

“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” – Denis Waitley

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”

― Peter F. Drucker

Books about Strategic Planning

  • Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, by Richard P. Rumelt, 2011
  • Blue Ocean Strategy, by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim, 2004
  • HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy, by Michael Porter, Renée Mauborgne, and W. Chan Kim, 2010
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, by James C. Collins, 2001
  • Strategic Planning: A Practical Guide to Strategy Formulation and Execution, by Byron K. Simerson, 2001
  • The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, by Chris McChesney, Jim Huling, and Sean Covey, 2011
  • 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Planning, by Susan Barksdale and Teri Lund, 2006
  • The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen, 1997
  • Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, by Michael Porter, 1980
  • Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, 2010
  • Strategic Planning: As Simple As A, B, C, by David R. McClean, 2015
  • The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning, by Henry Mintzberg, 1994
  • Strategic Planning for Dummies, by Erica Olsen, 2006
  • Strategic Planning Kit For Dummies, by Erica Olsen, 2011
  • Strategic Planning: An Interactive Process for Leaders, by Dan R. Ebener and Frederick L. Smith, 2015
  • Process-based Strategic Planning, by Rudolf Grünig, 1991
  • Strategic Planning for Public Relations, by Ronald D Smith, 2002
  • Strategic Planning Made Easy: A Practical Guide to Growth and Profitability, by Howard W Olsen, Dr, and Nancy D, Olsen, 2004
  • Strategic Planning: A Practical Guide for Competitive Success, by Stanley Charles Abraham, 2006
  • Thinking Strategically, by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, 1991
  • Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, by Alan G. Lafley and Roger Martin, 2013

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”

― Winston Churchill

Videos about Strategic Planning

What is Strategic Planning, Really?

Martin Reeves: Your Strategy needs a Strategy

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