The Importance Of Strategic Planning

869 Words4 Pages
Strategic planning is an organizational management tool that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, and assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. Effective strategic planning directs not only where an organization is going and the steps required to get there, but also how to measure it`s success. Strategic planning takes a “big picture” approach that blends futuristic thinking, objective analysis, and subjective evaluation of values, goals, and priorities to chart a future direction and courses of action to ensure an organization’s vitality, effectiveness, and ability to add public value (Poister, 2010). Strategic planning in the public sector has undergone many manifestations over the past decade as municipalities continue to utilize tools to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness (Plant 2006). A requirement instituted by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, made all federal departments and agencies periodically develop and update strategic plans. These efforts may well constitute the most thorough and advanced strategic planning activity carried out in the U.S. public sector today (Poister, 2010). Several studies that have been conducted in dealing with an innovation to improve an entity`s efficiency and productivity. The first study, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT), one of the earliest public agencies to engage in strategic planning, has periodically conducted formal strategic planning efforts since 1982 (Poister, 2010). Strategies that resulted from these efforts early on included affirming the top priority of mai... ... middle of paper ... ...eration stage of the planning process as well as in providing feedback on the execution of strategic priorities will address this gap. Strategic planning is not always aimed at improving the performance of ongoing programs (Mankins & Steele, 2005). Often, it redefines performance to meet new challenges, but it should always focus on identifying the kinds of results to be achieved and strategies for achieving them (Poister, 2010). Strategic management must not be seen as a matter of micromanaging to enforce fairness, but rather working to ensure that decisions and actions at all levels are driven by fundamental strategies that are critical to improving efficiency and performance, especially in today`s economical climate. The end result is a stronger alignment between strategic planning and execution, which leads to greater organizational performance and efficiency.
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