Define strategic planning
A process for an organization to define its strategy or direction, and to make decisions about allocating its resources to pursue that strategy. It may also extend to control mechanisms to guide the implementation of the strategy.
Strategy has many definitions, but it generally includes defining goals, defining actions to achieve goals, and mobilizing resources to carry out actions.
The strategy describes how the objectives will be achieved with the resources.
The top leadership of the organization is generally tasked with defining the strategy. The strategy includes the processes of formulation and implementation.
The formation of the strategy depends on finding the points and connecting these points through strategic thinking.
You can’t ignore the necessity of setting standards for an effective strategic planning process for your organization. Failure to do so means that there is nothing specific to focus on and makes the future horizon blurry.
Have you ever been part of a strategic planning process and that plan ended up achieving nothing? Or did the employees’ preoccupation with conflicts and opposite ideas cause the decision to be absent ?
Why would we allocate time, effort and money to something that will not produce a practical result and its content is not verified in part on the ground?
How can you develop effective strategic planning for your organization?
Before getting started, you will need to use a practical strategic plan with defined parameters, and you will need to build a complete picture to understand the desired goal and desired outcomes within the organization.
Here are 5 essential steps for effective strategic planning:
- Determine your strategic position.
- Prioritize your objectives.
- Develop a strategic plan.
- Execute and manage your plan.
- Review and revise the plan.
Allocate enough time to develop the strategic plan
Develop a general plan for the mechanism through which the strategic plan will be implemented, in accordance with the recognized best practices or the so-called ( Best Practices ).
The practices represented are determined by professionals and academic institutions. Find out what these practices are based on before you start developing a plan.
Do a thorough search
Effective strategic planning depends on the stage of comprehensive research, which objectively clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of the organization (assets, knowledge, processes…), as well as threats and opportunities in the external environment outside the organization (competition, suppliers, market demand…).
Gather as much information and statistics as possible before proceeding to discussions and analysis.
Evaluate alternative options
Don’t rush to the first solution, which seems the most obvious. Take the time to analyze a range of options available, and don’t expect to be able to finish them all within two hours! Especially if a group of people is planning.
You may need to divide the tasks into small tasks distributed among the group members, each according to his specialization, and you are likely to find yourself needing to conduct more investigation and research in a particular field and get answers to some questions from an expert. Don’t make assumptions or leave potential problems for executives to solve later.
Explain how to implement the plan
Don’t quit once you have found the solutions! A successful strategic plan should include an action plan that states what needs to be implemented, when, by whom, and how it will be evaluated.
Make sure to involve those responsible for carrying out the most important tasks and procedures, as their involvement in the strategic planning process in its various stages will ensure that they understand the importance and reasons for what they will be asked to implement later.
Continuous monitoring and evaluation
Strategic planning is not just a document of a fixed plan that does not change and should be left on the shelves.
Create a schedule to ensure that the strategic plan is reviewed periodically.
Meetings can be held every three months to monitor progress, identify problems, and make adjustments if necessary.
Strategic planning stages
strategic planning cycle
It should be recalled the importance of strategic planning training by giving them courses in strategic planning, not only for those who lead the planning process, but also for the people responsible for implementing the plan on the ground.
You will reap the benefits of this investment (training) in the long run when you are in a position that requires you to develop an effective strategic plan or implement parts of it to make the organization work and achieve its desired goals .