Strategic Planning and Management

explanatory Essay
1995 words
1995 words

Strategic Planning and Management What is Strategic Management? Strategic planning is a process to provide direction and meaning to day-to-day activities. It examines an organization's values, current status, and environment, and relates those factors to the organization's desired future state, usually expressed in five- to ten-year time periods. The organization may be a program, school, school district, public or private agency, or any other institution that wishes to control its future. If the organization existed in a static environment in which no change was necessary or desired, there would be no need for strategic planning. But, our environment is changing -demographically, economically, and culturally. Thus, strategic planning is both a reaction to, and a tool for adapting to, those changes and creating an organization's future within the context of change. McCune describes strategic planning as a process for organizational renewal and transformation. She identifies another difference between long-range planning and strategic planning: in long-range planning, goals and projections are based on the assumption of organizational stability, while in strategic planning; the role of the organization is examined within the context of its environment. Strategic planning provides the means for an organization to adapt its services and activities to meet changing needs in its environment. It provides a framework not only for the improvement of programs but also for the restructuring of programs, management, and collaborations, and for evaluation of the organization's progress in these efforts. (1) What Does It Involve? As a process, strategic planning involves an orderly sequence of activities, each vital to the success of the whole. Strategic planning activities include: 1. Assessing the external environment. 2. Assessing internal capacity. 3. Developing goals and objectives. 4. Implementing the plan. 5. Measuring progress and revising the plan.(1) The planning process depends on a formal information system. The external and internal assessments provide a reality base on which to build future plans. The vision or mission identifies the organization's purpose and its desired future state. The process of internal assessment and future visioning may uncover, with in an organization, differing views of its purpose, its curren... ... middle of paper ... ...eloping a strategic plan to ensure an adequate base for further development. Additionally, the environment is not static during the development of a strategic plan. Revisions may be necessitated by changing events or changes in personnel, funding patterns, or needs. Summary Some groups of people, or inspired leaders, have a natural ability to respond quickly and effectively to new challenges and opportunities, making strategic planning superfluous. However, for most organizations and most organization members, strategic planning provides a powerful framework. Developing a strategic plan can be expensive, especially in terms of personnel time and energy. This cost must be considered in relation to the expected benefits. For some organizations or units within an organization, strategic planning is a burden imposed by a higher authority - a funding source or an umbrella organization. If there is no internal commitment to the plan, and no intent to implement it, strategic planning is a waste of time and energy. In sum, strategic planning is for those who are willing to be honest, who want to focus on revitalization, and who are committed to influencing and creating their future.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that strategic planning involves an orderly sequence of activities vital to the success of the whole.
  • Explains that the question of whether to develop a strategic plan may be based on answers to the following questions.
  • Explains that some groups of people, or inspired leaders, have a natural ability to respond quickly and effectively to new challenges and opportunities, making strategic planning superfluous.
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