Innovative strategic planning can help your company visualize where you wish to go, and how you plan to get there. In the past, businesses usually referred to this process as “long-range planning”, but modern managers now use the term “strategic planning” to take strategic dynamics into account. The planning process typically spans either the entire organization, or a specific function or department. In the highly competitive contemporary business environment, firms must engage in strategic preparation that clearly identifies goals and analyzes both internal and external remedies. A basic planning process includes evaluation, implementation, and monitoring.
Modern managers generally look beyond simple techniques, and integrate several significant actions or steps in the procedure. An innovative planning process should include the following:
1. Mission Analysis
Analyzing a company’s mission can involve evaluating the company’s corporate culture and business environment. The early stages of a strategic planning process also often include analyses of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, or SWOT. Doing so effectively can help managers set appropriate goals for the organization.
Strengths: features of the enterprise that separate it from competitors
Weaknesses/Limitations: any roadblocks to business success
Opportunities: new opportunities to realize efficiency or profitability improvements
Threats: complications in the company’s external environment that can create problems
2. Establishing the Company’s Ideal Direction
Strategic planners must take the SWOT analysis into account when setting realistic goals and attempting to point the company in the right direction. Goal targets should be designed to be ambitious, specific, and obtainable. These three components can be critical as a manager will need buy-in from everyone involved in the process.
An insightful evaluation will require a planner to ask the following questions:
“What do we do?”
“For whom do we do it?”
“How do we excel?”
Once a new direction has been established, managers should attempt to redefine the company’s mission or philosophy, and officially rewrite the corporate mission statement.
The implementation of the strategy is often referred to as action planning. While previous steps have included high-level, birds-eye views of the organization, action planning gets down to the nitty gritty, and assigns specific goals to each specific goal.
Each objective is often associated with a mandatory technique, which must be followed to reach a goal or hit a target. Action planning also ties the goals to timeframes, and tasks and techniques to specific employees. The implementation step also includes cost-benefit analyses, budgeting, and forecasting, and draw the overall strategic plan to strategic reality.