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this strategy, including its capital and 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 (Sociocultural, 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. All strategic 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 organization is going over the next year or - more typically - 3 to 5 years (long term), although some extend their vision to 20 years. In order to determine where it is going, the organization needs to know exactly where it stands, then determine where it wants to go and how it will get there. The resulting document 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 will evolve 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.
 Vision statements, Mission statements and values
Vision: Defines the desired or intended future state of an organization or enterprise in terms 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 which read "A world without poverty" Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctly describing 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 mission statement 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 the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organization's culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made. For example, "Knowledge and skills are the keys to success" or "give a man bread and feed him for a day, but teach him to farm and feed him for life". These example values 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 mission statement and/or a vision statement. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives. While the existence of a shared mission is extremely useful, many strategy specialists question the requirement for a written mission statement. However, there are many models of strategic planning that start with mission statements, so it is useful to examine them here.
A Mission statement tells you the fundamental purpose of the organization. It defines the customer and the critical processes. It informs you of the desired level of performance. A Vision statement outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wants the 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 to the statement, and those prospects are managers, employees and sometimes even customers. Statements create a sense of direction and opportunity. They both are an essential part of the strategy-making process. Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement, and sometimes one is simply used as a longer term version of the other. The Vision should describe why it is important to achieve the Mission. A Vision statement defines the purpose or broader goal for being in existence or in the business and can remain the same for decades if crafted well. 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 and others are successful in achieving their individual missions.
A mission statement can resemble a vision statement in a few companies, but that can be a grave mistake. It can confuse people. The mission statement can galvanize the people to achieve defined objectives, even if they are stretch objectives, provided it can be elucidated in SMART (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 the organization. Which comes first? The mission statement or the vision statement? That depends. If you have 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 you have an established business where the mission is established, then many times, the mission guides the vision statement and the rest of the strategic plan. Either way, you need 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's important that you keep the end or desired result in sight from the start Features of an effective 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 culture
To 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 as role-models by embodying the vision, creating short-term objectives compatible with the vision, and encouraging others to craft their own personal vision compatible with the organization's overall vision. In addition, mission statements need to be subjected to an internal assessment and an external assessment. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can give insight on the organization's mission statement effectiveness. Another approach to defining Vision and Mission is to pose two questions. Firstly, "What aspirations does the organization have for the world in which it operates and has some influence over?", and following on from this, "What can (and/or does) the organization do 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 determines the Mission Statement.
 Strategic planning outline
The preparatory phase of a business plan relies on planning. The first chapters of a business plan include Analysis of the Current Situation and Marketing Plan Strategy and Objectives. Analysis of the current situation - past year
• • • • • • • •
Business trends analysis Market analysis Competitive analysis Market segmentation Marketing-mix SWOT analysis Positioning - analyzing perceptions Sources of information
Marketing plan strategy & objectives - next year
• • • • • •
Marketing strategy Desired market segmentation Desired marketing-mix TOWS-based objectives as a result of the SWOT Position & perceptual gaps Yearly sales forecast
According to Arieu, "there is strategic consistency when the actions of an organisation are consistent with the expectations of management, and these in turn are with the market and the context" (S.K. Sharman in Human Resource Management: A Strategic Approach to Employment)
There are many approaches to strategic planning but typically a three-step process may be used:
• • •
Situation - evaluate the current situation and how it came about. Target - define goals and/or objectives (sometimes called ideal state) Path - map a possible route to the goals/objectives
One alternative approach is called Draw-See-Think
• • •
Draw - what is the ideal image or the desired end state? See - what is today's situation? What is the gap from ideal and why? Think - what specific actions must be taken to close the gap between today's situation and the ideal state?
Plan - what resources are required to execute the activities?
An alternative to the Draw-See-Think approach is called See-Think-Draw
• • •
See - what is today's situation? Think - define goals/objectives Draw - map a route to achieving the goals/objectives
In other terms strategic planning can be as follows:
• • • • •
Vision - Define the vision and set a mission statement with hierarchy of goals and objectives SWOT - Analysis conducted according to the desired goals Formulate - Formulate actions and processes to be taken to attain these goals Implement - Implementation of the agreed upon processes Control - Monitor and get feedback from implemented processes to fully control the operation
 Situational analysis
When developing strategies, analysis of the organization and its environment as it is at the moment and how it may develop in the future, is important. The analysis has to be executed at an internal level as well as an external level to identify all opportunities and threats of the external environment as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organizations. There are several factors to assess in the external situation analysis: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Markets (customers) Competition Technology Supplier markets Labor markets The economy The regulatory environment
It is rare to find all seven of these factors having critical importance. It is also uncommon to find that the first two - markets and competition - are not of critical importance. (Bradford "External Situation - What to Consider") Analysis of the external environment normally focuses on the customer. Management should be visionary in formulating customer strategy, and should do so by thinking about market environment shifts, how these could impact customer sets, and whether those customer sets are the ones the company wishes to serve.
Analysis of the competitive environment is also performed, many times based on the framework suggested by Michael Porter.
 Goals, objectives and targets
Strategic planning is a very important business activity. It is also important in the public sector areas such as education. It is practiced widely informally and formally. Strategic planning and decision processes should end with objectives and a roadmap of ways to achieve them. One of the core goals when drafting a strategic plan is to develop it in a way that is easily translatable into action plans. Most strategic plans address high level initiatives and overarching goals, but don’t get articulated (translated) into day-to-day projects and tasks that will be required to achieve the plan. Terminology or word choice, as well as the level a plan is written, are both examples of easy ways to fail at translating your strategic plan in a way that makes sense and is executable to others. Often, plans are filled with conceptual terms which don’t tie into day-to-day realities for the staff expected to carry out the plan. The following terms have been used in strategic planning: desired end states, plans, policies, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and actions. Definitions vary, overlap and fail to achieve clarity. The most common of these concepts are specific, time bound statements of intended future results and general and continuing statements of intended future results, which most models refer to as either goals or objectives (sometimes interchangeably). One model of organizing objectives uses hierarchies. The items listed above may be organized in a hierarchy of means and ends and numbered as follows: Top Rank Objective (TRO), Second Rank Objective, Third Rank Objective, etc. From any rank, the objective in a lower rank answers to the question "How?" and the objective in a higher rank answers to the question "Why?" The exception is the Top Rank Objective (TRO): there is no answer to the "Why?" question. That is how the TRO is defined. People typically have several goals at the same time. "Goal congruency" refers to how well the goals combine with each other. Does goal A appear compatible with goal B? Do they fit together to form a unified strategy? "Goal hierarchy" consists of the nesting of one or more goals within other goal(s). One approach recommends having short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals. In this model, one can expect to attain short-term goals fairly easily: they stand just slightly above one's reach. At the other extreme, long-term goals appear very difficult, almost impossible to attain. Strategic management jargon sometimes refers to "Big Hairy Audacious Goals" (BHAGs) in this context. Using one goal as a stepping-stone to the next involves goal sequencing. A person or group starts by attaining the easy short-term goals, then steps up to the medium-term, then to the long-term goals. Goal sequencing can create a "goal stairway". In an organizational setting, the organization may co-
ordinate goals so that they do not conflict with each other. The goals of one part of the organization should mesh compatibly with those of other parts of the organization.
1. ^ στρατηγικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library 2. ^ στρατηγός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library 3. ^ ἀγός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library 4. ^ ἄγω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
The Strategic Planning Process
In the 1970's, many large firms adopted a formalized top-down strategic planning model. Under this model, strategic planning became a deliberate process in which top executives periodically would formulate the firm's strategy, then communicate it down the organization for implementation. The following is a flowchart model of this process:
The Strategic Planning Process
Mission | V Objectives | V Situation Analysis | V Strategy Formulation | V
Implementation | V Control This process is most applicable to strategic management at the business unit level of the organization. For large corporations, strategy at the corporate level is more concerned with managing a portfolio of businesses. For example, corporate level strategy involves decisions about which business units to grow, resource allocation among the business units, taking advantage of synergies among the business units, and mergers and acquisitions. In the process outlined here, "company" or "firm" will be used to denote a single-business firm or a single business unit of a diversified firm.
A company's mission is its reason for being. The mission often is expressed in the form of a mission statement, which conveys a sense of purpose to employees and projects a company image to customers. In the strategy formulation process, the mission statement sets the mood of where the company should go.
Objectives are concrete goals that the organization seeks to reach, for example, an earnings growth target. The objectives should be challenging but achievable. They also should be measurable so that the company can monitor its progress and make corrections as needed.
Once the firm has specified its objectives, it begins with its current situation to devise a strategic plan to reach those objectives. Changes in the external environment often present new opportunities and new ways to reach the objectives. An environmental scan is performed to identify the available opportunities. The firm also must know its own capabilities and limitations in order to select the opportunities that it can pursue with a higher probability of success. The situation analysis therefore involves an analysis of both the external and internal environment. The external environment has two aspects: the macro-environment that affects all firms and a micro-environment that affects only the firms in a particular industry. The macroenvironmental analysis includes political, economic, social, and technological factors and sometimes is referred to as a PEST analysis. An important aspect of the micro-environmental analysis is the industry in which the firm operates or is considering operating. Michael Porter devised a five forces framework that
is useful for industry analysis. Porter's 5 forces include barriers to entry, customers, suppliers, substitute products, and rivalry among competing firms. The internal analysis considers the situation within the firm itself, such as:
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
Company culture Company image Organizational structure Key staff Access to natural resources Position on the experience curve Operational efficiency Operational capacity Brand awareness Market share Financial resources Exclusive contracts Patents and trade secrets
A situation analysis can generate a large amount of information, much of which is not particularly relevant to strategy formulation. To make the information more manageable, it sometimes is useful to categorize the internal factors of the firm as strengths and weaknesses, and the external environmental factors as opportunities and threats. Such an analysis often is referred to as a SWOT analysis.
Once a clear picture of the firm and its environment is in hand, specific strategic alternatives can be developed. While different firms have different alternatives depending on their situation, there also exist generic strategies that can be applied across a wide range of firms. Michael Porter identified cost leadership, differentiation, and focus as three generic strategies that may be considered when defining strategic alternatives. Porter advised against implementing a combination of these strategies for a given product; rather, he argued that only one of the generic strategy alternatives should be pursued.
The strategy likely will be expressed in high-level conceptual terms and priorities. For effective implementation, it needs to be translated into more detailed policies that can be understood at the functional level of the organization. The expression of the strategy in terms of functional policies also serves to highlight any practical issues that might not have been visible at a higher level. The strategy should be translated into specific policies for functional areas such as:
• • • • •
Research and development Procurement Production Human resources Information systems
In addition to developing functional policies, the implementation phase involves identifying the required resources and putting into place the necessary organizational changes.
Once implemented, the results of the strategy need to be measured and evaluated, with changes made as required to keep the plan on track. Control systems should be developed and implemented to facilitate this monitoring. Standards of performance are set, the actual performance measured, and appropriate action taken to ensure success.
Dynamic and Continuous Process
The strategic management process is dynamic and continuous. A change in one component can necessitate a change in the entire strategy. As such, the process must be repeated frequently in order to adapt the strategy to environmental changes. Throughout the process the firm may need to cycle back to a previous stage and make adjustments.
Drawbacks of this Process
The strategic planning process outlined above is only one approach to strategic management. It is best suited for stable environments. A drawback of this top-down approach is that it may not be responsive enough for rapidly changing competitive environments. In times of change, some of the more successful strategies emerge informally from lower levels of the organization, where managers are closer to customers on a day-to-day basis. Another drawback is that this strategic planning model assumes fairly accurate forecasting and does not take into account unexpected events. In an uncertain world, long-term forecasts cannot be relied upon with a high level of confidence. In this respect, many firms have turned to scenario planning as a tool for dealing with multiple contingencies.
The Purpose of Planning
Strategic planning is intended to accomplish three important tasks:
to clarify the outcomes that an organization wishes to achieve; to select the broad strategies that will enable the organization to achieve those outcomes;
to identify ways to measure progress
In addition, many organizations use the process to affirm their links to important stakeholders by involving them in the creation of the plan.
corporate strategic planning
Systematic process of determining goals to be achieved in the foreseeable future. It consists of: (1) Management's fundamental assumptions about the future economic, technological, and competitive environments. (2) Setting of goals to be achieved within a specified timeframe. (3) Performance of SWOT analysis. (4) Selecting main and alternative strategies to achieve the goals. (5) Formulating, implementing, and monitoring the operational or tactical plans to achieve interim objectives.
Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/corporate-strategicplanning.html#ixzz11VB7wbwP
corporate strategic plan looks into the future over a three to five year period. It incorporates the annual plan, including a summarized version of the marketing plan as the working document for the coming year. Every area of the business needs to be covered. A realistic wish list is developed by every department based on the parameters of the
strategic plan. Analysis and recommended approaches (broad strategies) from the second year on are developed similar to that of a marketing plan. However, corporate strategic planning involves . . . input from individual managers at all levels with each progressive layer of management adding to the process including:
• • • • • • • •
Human Resource Needs New Products and Markets Diversification Approaches Working Capital Needs Orderly Transition of Power Capital Equipment Needs Facility Expansion Needs Retrenchment and/or Redirection
Budgets/Financial Statements . . . are developed for each year of the strategic plan with increasing generalization the further the need, desire, or idea is from the first year. Since the first year of a corporate strategic plan is the annual plan . . . the strategic planning process matures every year. It rolls-over . . . being used as a blueprint for the next five years.
And while the annual plan may closely resemble the second year of the previous year, variables may significantly impact the remaining four years. Developed and Implemented Properly . . . strategic planning unites all levels of management to achieve a common set of goals beyond the annual marketing plan and budget. FOCUS Associates . . . is ready to help you implement the strategic planning process! FOCUS will work with you to visualize your company's future goals.
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