Strategic Planning Notes

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Strategic Planning


• Strategy is the action that allows realization of long-term vision and goals

• Planning is a process that attempts to coordinate the deployment of resources over time

• Planning horizon is a key differentiation between strategic, tactical, and operational planning

Role of Network Services in Strategic Planning

• For some organizations, network technology will be central to the core mission

• Network equipment or services company

• Common carrier or ISP

• Organization focusing on network-based deliver of products and services

• For some organizations, network technology will be a utility service

• The number of organizations for which networking is strategic is increasing

Corporate strategic planning was popularized in the 1960s

• Outgrowth of Frederick Taylor's Scientific Management

• The goal is to find the one best strategy

• Profession of strategic planner assumes that planning can be coordinated independent of content

• Assumes that the thorough analysis of hard data leads to insights

• The planning process is highly structured

Classical strategic planning has not been as successful as originally envisioned

• It ignores the central role of vision

• It is too analytical and formalized

• The structured process often results in the exclusion of important players

• It is based on principles of statistical forecasting that are often unreliable

• It is based on "hard" data and ignores "soft" data that is difficult to quantify

• strategic planning, strategic thinking, and strategy making are not synonymous

Information Technology Planning: Is it strategic?

• IT is increasingly a key competitive differentiator

• IT touches everyone within an organization in some fashion (i.e., everyone is a stake holder)

• IT projects are often extremely complex

• IT projects require dedication of immense resources

Perspective A: Strategic IT Planning is Essential

• Need to link IT strategy to organizational strategy

• Corporate goals are increasingly tied to IT

• Inadequate consideration of IT can doom projects

• Need to make rational resource allocation decisions

• Lack of skilled staff requires establishment of planning priorities

• Rapid technology change requires inclusive approach to planning

• Need to integrate systems requires planning and coordination

Perspective B: Strategic IT Planning is largely a Waste of Time

• Strategic IT planning is a resource drain and takes too much time

• Strategic IT planning leads to lowest-common denominator solutions resulting from political compromise

• Strategic IT planning often leads to increased centralization because efficiency is often valued highly

• Strategic planning processes make it difficult to adapt to new technologies

• It is impossible to involve the most important people because they are too busy doing "essential" work

Tactical Planning


• Tactical planning deals primarily with the implementation phase of the planning process
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