Many entities engage in strategic planning, a structured process designed to produce strategic decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does with a focus on the future. Strategic planning should be thought of as a necessary element in every organization and the importance of strategic planning cannot be overstated. Properly designed and implemented, strategic planning is a proactive process of envisioning the future and developing the necessary strategic actions to bring that vision to fruition. Most important, it is a process of defining and setting priorities, focusing energy and resources, building consensus around expected outcomes and results, and ensuring an organization’s staff and stakeholders are working toward a common goal—strategy and making the decisions on allocating its resources, including capital and people to achieve winning outcomes.
Strategic planning moves organizations from reactionary modes to proactive modes by assessing and adjusting an organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. Strategic plans not only articulate where an organization is going, but also how it will know if it is successful by connecting goals, strategies, performance measures, and action plans to an overall resource allocation process. To have a successful strategic plan, you need both the strategic plan and a way to measure the progress of strategic plan implementation. Organizations that link these elements through the planning process are much more likely to achieve identified goals and enhance their overall organizational effectiveness.
MGT’s strategic planning process includes the following key elements:
- Consensus on Mission, Vision, Values
- Assessment of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- Identification of external trends, events, and factors
- Identification of strategic priorities
- Goals and objectives with measureable time-framed targets
- Implementation plan