What is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is an organisational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organisation is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organisation is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.
It is imperative to any business that owners and managers take time to focus and plan the strategic direction of the business and set key objectives to achieve the overall ambition. At Sturdy Consulting we can assist you in this process via facilitation of discussion groups and one to one meetings to help you clearly define your aspirations.
We can help you define the right goals for your company and develop the strategies to achieve them, while ensuring that you have the right capabilities and resources in place to make it all happen.
Strategic planning will help you:
Strengthen the culture of strategic thinking in your company;
Update your current strategic plan, or develop a new one;
Align your management team behind a single vision; and
Allocate the resources you need to achieve goals.
What Are the Steps in Strategic Planning & Management?
There are many different frameworks and methodologies for strategic planning and management. While there are no absolute rules regarding the right framework, most follow a similar pattern and have common attributes. Many frameworks cycle through some variation on some very basic phases:
Analysis or assessment, where an understanding of the current internal and external environments is developed.
Strategy formulation, where high level strategy is developed and a basic organization level strategic plan is documented.
Strategy execution, where the high level plan is translated into more operational planning and action items.
Evaluation or sustainment / management phase, where ongoing refinement and evaluation of performance, culture, communications, data reporting, and other strategic management issues occurs.
Difference between Strategic plan and Business plan
Both strategic and business plan documents are essential planning tools for your business. However, depending on your business stage and goals, one may be more useful than the other.
A strategic plan is for a 3-5 year period and sets out the tasks, the milestones and the steps needed to drive your business forward.
A business plan focuses on a shorter term, usually no more than a year, and serves a specific goal - eg starting a business, getting funding, or directing operations.