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Strategic Planning is an Organization

Strategic Planning is an Organization

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Published by Mohit Mehra

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Published by: Mohit Mehra on Nov 30, 2010
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Strategic planning
is anorganization's process of defining itsstrategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capitaland people. Various business analysis techniques can be used in strategic planning,including SWOT analysis(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats ),PEST analysis(Political, Economic, Social, and Technological),STEER analysis(Socio- cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors), and EPISTEL(Environment, Political, Informatic, Social, Technological, Economic and Legal).Strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organization's future course. Allstrategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:1."What do we do?"2."For whom do we do it?"3."How do we excel?"In business strategic planning, the third question is better phrased "How can we beat or avoid competition?". (Bradford and Duncan, page 1).In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organizationis going over the next year or - more typically - 3 to 5 years (long term), although someextend their vision to 20 years.In order to determine where it is going, the organization needs to know exactly where itstands, then determine where it wants to go and how it will get there. The resultingdocument is called the "strategic plan."It is also true that strategic planning may be a tool for effectively plotting the direction of a company; however, strategic planning itself cannot foretell exactly how the market willevolve and what issues will surface in the coming days in order to plan your organizational strategy. Therefore, strategic innovation and tinkering with the 'strategic plan' have to be a cornerstone strategy for an organization to survive the turbulent business climate. 
[edit] Vision statements, Mission statements and values
Vision:
Defines the desired or intended future state of an organization or enterprise interms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction. Vision is a long term view,sometimes describing how the organization would like the world in which it operates to be. For example a charity working with the poor might have a vision statement whichread "A world without poverty"
Mission:
Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctlydescribing why it exists and what it does to achieve its Vision.
 
It is sometimes used to set out a 'picture' of the organization in the future. A missionstatement provides details of what is done and answers the question: "What do we do?"For example, the charity might provide "job training for the homeless and unemployed"
Values:
Beliefs that are shared among thestakeholdersof an organization. Values drivean organization's culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions aremade. For example, "Knowledge and skills are the keys to success" or "give a man breadand feed him for a day, but teach him to farm and feed him for life". These examplevalues may set the priorities of self sufficiency over shelter.
Strategy:
Strategy narrowly defined, means "the art of the general" (from Greek stratigos). A combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means(policies) by which it is seeking to get there.Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a 
and/or a
vision statement
. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them toformulate goals and objectives.While the existence of a shared mission is extremely useful, many strategy specialistsquestion the requirement for a written mission statement. However, there are manymodels of strategic planning that start with mission statements, so it is useful to examinethem here.
A
 Mission statement 
tells you the fundamental purpose of the organization. Itdefines the customer and the critical processes. It informs you of the desired levelof performance.
A
Vision statement 
outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wantsthe world in which it operates to be. It concentrates on the future. It is a source of inspiration. It provides clear decision-making criteria.An advantage of having a statement is that it creates value for those who get exposed tothe statement, and those prospects are managers, employees and sometimes evencustomers. Statements create a sense of direction and opportunity. They both are anessential part of the strategy-making process.Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement, and sometimes oneis simply used as a longer term version of the other. The Vision should describe why it isimportant to achieve the Mission. A Vision statement defines the purpose or broader goalfor being in existence or in the business and can remain the same for decades if craftedwell. A Mission statement is more specific to what the enterprise can achieve itself.Vision should describe what will be achieved in the wider sphere if the organization andothers are successful in achieving their individual missions.
 
A mission statement can resemble a vision statement in a few companies, but that can bea grave mistake. It can confuse people. The mission statement can galvanize the people toachieve defined objectives, even if they are stretch objectives, provided it can beelucidated inSMART(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound)terms. A mission statement provides a path to realize the vision in line with its values.These statements have a direct bearing on the bottom line and success of theorganization.Which comes first? The mission statement or the vision statement? That depends. If youhave a new start up business, new program or plan to reengineer your current services,then the vision will guide the mission statement and the rest of the strategic plan. If youhave an established business where the mission is established, then many times, themission guides the vision statement and the rest of the strategic plan. Either way, youneed to know your fundamental purpose - the mission, your current situation in terms of internal resources and capabilities (strengths and/or weaknesses) and external conditions(opportunities and/or threats), and where you want to go - the vision for the future. It'simportant that you keep the end or desired result in sight from the start Features of aneffective vision statement include:
Clarity and lack of ambiguity
Vivid and clear picture
Description of a bright future
Memorable and engaging wording
Realistic aspirations
Alignment with organizational values and cultureTo become really effective, an organizational vision statement must (the theory states) become assimilated into the organization's culture. Leaders have the responsibility of communicating the vision regularly, creating narratives that illustrate the vision, acting asrole-models by embodying the vision, creating short-term objectives compatible with thevision, and encouraging others to craft their own personal vision compatible with theorganization's overall vision. In addition, mission statements need to be subjected to aninternal assessment and an external assessment. The internal assessment should focus onhow members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The externalassessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since itoffers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments cangive insight on the organization's mission statement effectiveness.Another approach to defining Vision and Mission is to pose two questions. Firstly, "Whataspirations does the organization have for the world in which it operates and has someinfluence over?", and following on from this, "What can (and/or does) the organizationdo or contribute to fulfill those aspirations?". The succinct answer to the first question provides the basis of the Vision Statement. The answer to the second question determinesthe Mission Statement.
[edit] Strategic planning outline

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