Strategic planning plays several important roles in an organization. First, it establishes where the organization would be in the next year or several years. Then it outlines how its objectives would be accomplished. Finally, it allows the organization to evaluate whether or not it has achieved its goals. A strategic plan should not be confused with a business plan. The former focuses on the organization as a whole whereas the latter is concerned with a specific program, service, or a particular item (McNamara, © 1997-2007).
Companies develop their strategic plans differently, dictated by their culture, the leadership styles of their management people, and the level of expertise of the people who are involved in the preparation of the plans. There are several models of strategic planning but one of the most favored is the “goals-based strategic plan. ” An organization which adopts this type creates its strategic plan in pursuant of its mission-vision statement.
It assumes certain goals which are aimed at achieving its mission and then develops its strategies to realize these goals. Strategy development is followed by action planning where tasks are distributed and schedules are arranged. Another model of strategic planning is what is referred to as “issues-based. ” Here, the organization first determines the important issues confronting it. Once priority issues are identified, strategy development follows and finally, action planning takes place.
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Strategic plans could cover as short a period as one year or as long as ten years (McNamara, © 1997-2007). Some specific benefits that could be derived from strategic planning are:
- A well-defined organizational purpose, doable goals which are consistent with its mission-vision statement, and a carefully established calendar of activities.
- It serves as a guarantee that the organization’s resources are efficiently and effectively allocated for the purpose of achieving company objectives.
- It is an effective tool for communicating the organization’s goals and objectives to every stakeholder.
- It serves as an instrument that measures the organization’s success in terms of its defined goals and objectives (McNamara, © 1997-2007).
- McNamara, C. (© 1997-2007). Strategic Planning (in nonprofit or for-profit organizations). Retrieved February 3, 2008 from http://www. managementhelp. org/plan_dec/str_plan/str_plan. htm.
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