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The Details of Strategic Planning

Strategic planning identifies the abilities of a company and focuses on its strengths. It is used to set priorities, concentrate resources and energy, utilize operations and establish a clear end-goal.

To begin the process, an organizational team should be assembled, which embodies an appropriate representation of the culture and identity of the company. This team should be made of key implementers, outside facilitators, internal representatives and top-level executives.

The basic system of strategic planning begins with goal-setting through identifying the accomplishments that hoped to be accomplished in a set amount of time.

Goal-setting is followed by an assessment of the organization. The question “Where is the company currently?” must be asked and answered. This may be the hardest and most crucial step as there is a distinct differential between where the company currently is and where people want the company to be. The assessment should include internal and external “temperature” audits.

Strategy formulation or defining the future steps for the organization that focuses on the vision and mission is often the next course of action. Formulation is followed by implementation. Taking the steps that were selected in the third stage of the planning process and putting them to work can be the most time-consuming phase.

Evaluation is the final stage of the planning process. Recalling the goals that were set out in stage one and determining if the goal was reached successfully through the steps that were taken is important to ensuring continued progress.

Progress can be tracked and monitored through the use of the Balanced Scorecard, which targets the growth and improvement from the financial, customer/stakeholder, internal process and organizational capacity viewpoints. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure the extent of effectiveness and operational efficiency that is demonstrated during the implementation stage.

While evaluation is the final step, strategic planning should be cyclical. Whether it be refining the steps to achieve the initial goal or establishing a new goal, the strategic planning process should be a day-to-day focus for overall organizational achievement.

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