Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Strategic Planning

Description Strategic Planning is a comprehensive process for determining what a business should become and how it can best achieve that goal. It appraises the full potential of a business and explicitly links the business’s objectives to the actions and resources required to achieve them. Strategic Planning offers a systematic process to ask and answer the most critical questions confronting a management team—especially large, irrevocable resource commitment decisions.Methodology A successful Strategic Planning process should:
Describe the organization’s mission, vision and fundamental values;
Target potential business arenas and explore each market for emerging threats and opportunities;
Understand the current and future priorities of targeted customer segments;
Analyze the company’s strengths and weaknesses relative to competitors and determine which elements of the value chain the company should make versus buy;
Identify and evaluate alternative strategies;
Develop an advantageous business model that will profitably differentiate the company from its competitors;
Define stakeholder expectations and establish clear and compelling objectives for the business;
Prepare programs, policies, and plans to implement the strategy;
Establish supportive organizational structures, decision processes, information and control systems, and hiring and training systems;
Allocate resources to develop critical capabilities;
Plan for and respond to contingencies or environmental changes;
Monitor performance. Common Uses Strategic Planning processes are often implemented to:
Change the direction and performance of a business;
Encourage fact-based discussions of politically sensitive issues;
Create a common framework for decision making in the organization;
Set a proper context for budget decisions and performance evaluations;
Train managers to develop better information to make better decisions;
Increase confidence in the business’s direction.

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