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Definition of Strategic Planning

What is the Definition of Strategic Planning?

The strategic planning process facilitates a strategy, a road map to where and how an organization is going to go in the future. The ultimate outcome of this process is the strategic plan itself. The strategic plan is an excellent tool that helps managers, leaders and employees to link the current activities with the big picture, make better decisions, monitor and evaluate the path chosen on frequent basis.   

 The strategic planning process begins with an assessment and a thorough scanning of the current situation of an organization and it involves many questions. Where are we now? What are our strengths, our core competencies, what makes us unique? What are our challenges, our competitors? Often times a SWOT Analyses is used to structure the process. Appreciative Enquiry is another angle to scan the present situation of your organization. Knowing where you are and who you are, is going to determine where you are going and how you will get there.

The second step of the strategic planning process is to define the direction and the strategy.

The direction is about where do we want to go? Where do we see ourselves in five years?

The strategy is about answering questions such as; how do we get there? What resources do we need? What is our target group? What are our benchmarks?

The main goal of this process is to ensure that the direction is thoroughly thought out, that it is realistic and contextual. The process focuses not only on defining the direction and the strategy, but also on the implementation aspect. It develops an action plan with clear activities, timelines, responsibilities, resources, expectations etc.

Three main components are identified during this stage; the mission statement, goals, and objectives.

The way the process of identifying these components is facilitated, is crucial to the outcomes and the quality of the strategic plan. Your mission, goals and objectives cannot be just a few sentences presented at a staff meeting, or shared via email. These elements provide the framework through which decisions are made in the future, the way employees are engaged, the way activities are implemented and the way managers oversee their projects and employees.  

The strategic planning process is the core process that allows your employees to participate, have a say, contribute to the future of the organization and set the overall culture of it.

As lengthy as the process may seem, you need to take the time to do right, as it’s going to save you a lot of headaches along the road. Inviting an outside facilitator, may be an option you need to consider, as well.

Definition of Strategic Planning - Considerations!

Do not consider the strategic planning process as a unique event.

Ensure that there is a monitoring and evaluation system in place, in order for you and your employees to measure success and achievements.

The strategic plan is a living document that guides your organization and it needs to be revised and updated on regular basis, without, of course, not compromising the end result. 

Have a question on the definition of strategic planning? Contact us and we will answer your question!


Definition of Strategic Planning - Related Articles:

Strategic Management Model

What is Strategic Management

Return from to What is Strategic Management from Definition of Strategic Planning

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