Strategic planning is a process in which the business organization’s leaders clearly define their vision for the future and identify their organization’s goals and objectives for the coming years. This process includes the sequence in which those goals should be realized so that the organization can reach its target vision.
Strategic planning is creating specific or a detailed plan to achieve our goals and objectives. A committee typically leads the strategic planning process. Planning experts recommend the committee includes representatives from all areas within the enterprise and work openly and transparently where information is documented from start to finish. Strategic planning generally represents mid to long-term goals with a life span of three to five years, however, it can go longer. This planning is different from business planning which generally focuses on short-term tactic goals.
Generally, businesses make the best plans but aren’t able to achieve their goals because they never implement them. It brings strategy implementation into motion which includes the utilization of resources and redirecting efforts towards the goal. Strategic planning activities typically focus on three areas including business, corporate, and functional.
They evaluate the performance or the output of chosen strategy which helps in identifying the areas for improvement and making the strategy better which leads to better results. It also helps in determining whether the strategy needs an update or we need to opt for a new strategy as in this transient world nothing works for a longer time so evaluation helps us to keep ourselves updated with the world.
Strategic planning has lots of benefits as it helps to improve the performance of an individual or a company. While planning we take risks and threats into account which reduces the likelihood of failure by taking some preventive measures. It helps us to channel our energy and resources in the right direction and increase the efficiency of our work. It enhances communication between employee and employer as in strategic planning everyone has to work as one team which needs cooperation and patience. It can be for the long term as well as for the short term. Good strategic planning increases the likelihood of success by 40%.
Steps in the strategic planning process :
- Identify: A strategy planning cycle starts by determining the business’s current strategic position. Here stakeholders use the existing strategic plan including long-term strategic goals and SWOT(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
- Prioritize: In this step, planners set objectives and initiatives that line up with the vision of the company. They prioritize the most important, relevant and urgent ones as per their potential goals.
- Develop: In this step, stakeholders collaborate to formulate the necessary steps to attain a stated strategic objective.
- Implement: Once the strategic plan is developed, it’s time to put it into action. This requires clear communication across the organization to set up responsibilities, make investments, adjust policies and processes, and establish reporting.
- Update: A strategic plan is periodically reviewed and revised to adjust priorities and reevaluate goals as business conditions change and new opportunities knock on the door.