The Hidden Truth About Strategic Planning
Let us make this clear: strategic planning is a procedure, an ongoing process that takes a long time to manifest itself to a finished result. It involves a lot of tasks, managing different types of resources and tools, and not to mention it takes strategic thinking to actually make it effective.
You might wonder why we are doing strategic planning in the first place; depending on the organization’s goal, it could be for the purpose of short-term or long-term status. Regardless, strategic planning doesn’t become a success overnight.
Understanding the Short-Term and Long-Term Perspective
Since strategic planning is a process, you needs to create a system in making sure the progress and output are in order. You have identified both your short term and long term requirements, this includes focusing on goals and issues at the same time, depending on your organization’s current position, your products and services’ status, clients, and competition. It is by default that you will have to deal with multiple tasks in your strategic planning. This is usually for the product’s end when you are planning how to lure your prospective clients to become consumers of such product or service.
If your intention is to develop or improve the organization a short-term outline may be needed—again, this depends on your organization. Some organizations require long-term strategic planning to help them have a system redo.
Take the Environment Into Account
Both internal and external elements that can influence your strategic planning must be assessed and analyze. Ask yourself if such elements can ruin your strategic planning and your corresponding action. Elements are in the guise of political, social, legal or economic, and technical which, from their respective changes, can be taken advantage or by evaluating their possible uses and factors that can help you strategic planning sturdier. Take into account your marketing environment as well—vendors, clients, and competitors are also elements that can either make or break your strategic planning. Depending on how you take it, competitors also will help you determine you move during the planning process. Take advantage of these changes and find out if it will affect the organization and in what way.
There might be cases of external factors that will greatly influence your plan and organization, but internal elements need attention too. You need to identify your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as well as the threats. Issues encountered during strategic planning need t be addressed and must be resolved as soon as possible to prevent a severe negative impact on your plan and the organization. At this point, you need to manage the resources involved and minimize the risk of disruption.
Steering the Ship
Strategic planning is a process with a direction and a vision. It doesn’t matter if you are vying for short-term or long-term results; an organization that focuses on the future sets objectives for the sake of making sure that they still stand despite the ever growing changes and drawbacks in the business industry. If you know how to push your organization to the right direction, you are creating an opportunity. Numerous ones, which can help that organization, become significant and functional. Strategic planning doesn’t just structure a plan with an objective that states, “we will get more clients”; rather it also focuses on the organization’s fate in the future ahead.
Who Should Be Involved?
It could be anyone, really. Always encourage participation from the staff because nothing beats manpower when it comes to strategic planning. People’ participating will stem engagement and generate ideas that the can contributes to the plan. You can also rely on your Board executives for extra ideas.
Why Strategic Planning?
It’s one of those questions that you need a definite answer. You cannot just answer, “Because it’s necessary.” Necessary in what sense? Is it because your organization is in trouble? Are products not generating sales? Pinpointing specific reasons that you are resorting to strategic planning will help you highlight your core objectives. This also means clear identification of opportunities and threats surrounding your organization or product.
Yes, strategic planning is a necessity. An organization who believes they don’t need one can be shoved into a danger zone. Here are some of the factors that will likely to happen if you have zero strategic planning:
- The organization is not prepared enough to tackle the issues they encounter
- Staff or team members make their own tasks or goals; absence in supervision
- Vague engagement and communication between the organization and stakeholders
- Lack of function and productivity within the organization and its departments
You still have the option not to go with strategic planning after all. You can still be able to maintain your organization’s stance, provided you do your research and always keep abreast of the trends occurring in the market and business industry.
Strategic Planning Requirements
On the other hand, if you have decided to forego strategic planning, there are requirements that you need to be aware of. These requirements are part of the process and some of them still stick around after the plan is implemented. The following must be adhered to.
- Being able to identify trends
- Pinpointing related threats and opportunities
- Seeing the organization’s future
- Coming up with a mission, vision, and values of the organization
- Highlighting the organization’s purpose
- Implement objectives
- Establish a realistic strategic plan and process as well as set measures or regulations for the process
- The factors that will affect the strategic planning
The Strategic Planning Process
Once you identify the requirements, it’s time to look into the strategic planning process. Don’t just take the process at face value—you need to identify and understand the tasks within each stage so you will know what tasks you are going to deploy.
Defining the organization’s mission statement. This is where you identify the threats and opportunities the organization will encounter as well their strength and weaknesses. Strategic plans are usually run by SWOT analysis to narrow down the factors that can help or undermine the organization.
Making the organization’s mission statement. Determining the challenges the organization will later encounter exist in this second stage of the strategic planning process. The challenges or issues are defined in the mission statement, along with the means to combat them.
There are many elements involved at this stage, but the ones that stand out the most are the internal elements such as strengths and weaknesses. The objective can be hard to visualize if you don’t know what your organization have to offer and what are the factors that they need to downplay.
Measuring the objectives. This includes strategies to use to determine the success probability of the tasks within the main goal and the required resources. Don’t embark on a battle without a weapon.
Devising a course of action. This is where you implement strategic planning wherein there should be the need for communicating with people involved with the process. Tasks are assigned to staff members, necessary changes to be made, and meetings need to be facilitated.
After that, you are safe to use strategic planning to its full potential. You still need to ensure that the process is in check and always be on the lookout for the changes and trends happening around your organization. It’s all about being aware of the elements outside the spectrum of your plan while at the same coming up ways to grab them and use them to your organization’s advantage.
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