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In today's highly competitive business environment, budget-oriented planning or forecast-based planning methods are insufficient for a large corporation to survive and prosper. The firm must engage in strategic planning that clearly defines objectives and assesses both the internal and external situation to formulate strategy, implement the strategy, evaluate the progress, and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track.

The process is disciplined in that it calls for a certain order and pattern to keep it focused and productive. The process raises a sequence of questions that helps planners examine experience, test assumptions, gather and incorporate information about the present, and anticipate the environment in which the organization will be working in the future. Finally, the process is about fundamental decisions and actions because choices must be made in order to answer the sequence of questions mentioned above. The plan is ultimately no more, and no less, than a set of decisions about what to do, why to do it, and how to do it. Because it is impossible to do everything that needs to be done in this world, strategic planning implies that some organizational decisions and actions are more important than others - and that much of the strategy lies in making the tough decisions about what is most important to achieving organizational success.

Strategic planning methods

Strategic planning methods include a wide variety of analysis and decision making tools and techniques, all of which contribute to an organization designing its future. They are a way of answering the question, "Where should we be going and how will we get there?" Strategic planning, as distinct from other more limited forms of planning, is usually about the big decisions organizations face about their future. It is strategic in that it involves decisions and actions with major consequences that extend over long time periods, and attends to the short and long term environmental factors that may affect events.

There are many approaches to strategic planning but typically a three-step process may be used :-

  1. Situation

    - evaluate the current situation and how it came about.
  2. Target

    - define goals and/or objectives (sometimes called ideal state)
  3. Path

    - map a possible route to the goals/objectives

One alternative approach is called Draw-See-Think :-
  1. Draw

    - what is the ideal image or the desired end state?
  2. See

    - what is today's situation? What is the gap from ideal and why?
  3. Think

    - what specific actions must be taken to close the gap between today's situation and the ideal state?
  4. Plan

    - what resources are required to execute the activities?

An alternative to the Draw-See-Think approach is called See-Think-Draw :-
  1. See

    - what is today's situation?
  2. Think

    - define goals/objectives
  3. Draw

    - map a route to achieving the goals/objectives

In other terms strategic planning can be as follows :-
  1. Vision

    - Define the vision and set a mission statement with hierarchy of goals and objectives
  2. SWOT

    - Analysis conducted according to the desired goals
  3. Formulate

    - Formulate actions and processes to be taken to attain these goals
  4. Implement

    - Implementation of the agreed upon processes
  5. Control

    - Monitor and get feedback from implemented processes to fully control the operation

Vision and Mission Statements

Stakeholder Analysis

  1. Vision and Mission Statements
  2. What is Mission Statement?
  3. How to write Mission Statement?
  4. Mission Statements examples
  5. What is Vision statement?
  6. How to write Vision?
  7. Vision Value
  8. Vision statements examples
  9. Importance of Values statement
  10. Organizational goal setting
  1. What is a Stakeholder?
  2. Stakeholder approach
  3. Stakeholders in Corporate responsibility
  4. Different stakeholders
  5. Identifying stakeholders
  6. Stakeholder mapping
  7. Stakeholder mapping analysis
  8. Why Stakeholder Analysis?
  9. Shareholders vs Stakeholders

Strategic planning

SWOT and PEST analysis

  1. Strategic planning methods
  2. Strategic planning implementation
  3. Corporate planning strategy
  4. What is Situational Analysis?
  5. Planning strategic
  1. Business SWOT analysis
  2. Elements of SWOT analysis
  3. How to do a SWOT analysis?
  4. Use of SWOT analysis
  5. What is PEST analysis?
  6. Elements of PEST analysis
  7. How to write PEST analysis?
  8. Use of PEST analysis
  9. SWOT and PEST analysis
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