By strategic planning or strategic planning we usually refer to a systematic, methodical, process of implementing plans to obtain objectives and desired results. It is a type of tactical planning that considers the best ways to achieve the goals we have set ourselves, both within an organization (company, institution, etc.) and in our personal lives.
Strategic planning is a commonly used organizational tool, especially in business (business strategy or financial strategy). It also applies to a wide range of areas of life, in which it is necessary to lay the foundations for the achievement of a goal, foreseeing possible drawbacks and proceeding according to the most suitable route given the resources available.
The task of all this is to come up with a good strategy, that is, with a good path or a good set of procedures to reach the goal. This translates into:
– Defining and then achieving the proposed objective.
– Taking advantage of competitive advantages to stand out from the rest.
– Designing a methodology appropriate to the resources available, the environment in which it is located and the dynamics it faces.
– Achieve a dynamic, flexible and adaptable method to unforeseen events, which allows solving the problems that arise.
– Come up with an effective plan that takes all of this into account
Good planning establishes the basis for the other administrative processes, such as organization, direction and control.
The Process Of Strategic Planning
Planning is considered the first stage of any production cycle and always starts with the definition of strategic objectives. This is the name given to the core, central objectives on which the organization is based, i.e., the primary goals without which all the effort is meaningless and which, in turn, make it possible to achieve other subsequent goals.
Once the goals have been established, an analysis must be made of the available resources (material, human, technological, etc.) and of the environmental variables (challenges, difficulties, competition, etc.). Consideration of these elements is essential to any strategic planning process, since strategies cannot be undertaken without resources, nor should the potentialities present in the organization, even at its starting point, be wasted or ignored.
Once the strategic analysis has been completed, a basic plan or minimum strategy should be designed, which can be made more complex as required by the organization’s needs. To this end, the main plan should be segmented into low-level operations, i.e., short-term goals that are easy to envision and conceive over time, the articulation of which generates the long-term plan. This process of translation into concrete actions is known as strategic execution.
Finally, the process must be monitored and subjected to diagnostic and strategic evaluation dynamics, in order to know how close the results are to what was initially projected and where the failures, difficulties or challenges are and how they can be solved to obtain greater efficiency and optimal results.