Strategic Planning for Business
The objective of this study is to examine the importance of strategic planning for business. Toward this end, this study will conduct a review of the literature in this area of inquiry.
Zuckerman (nd) writes that the concept of strategy ‘has roots in both political and military history, from Sun Tzu to Homer and Euripides. The word ‘strategy’ comes from the Greek ‘stratego’, which means to ‘plan the destruction of one’s enemies through effective use of resources’.” (p.5) Many of the terms that are associated with strategic planning including “objective, mission strength and weakness’ are reported as having been developed by or used in the military.” (Zuckerman, nd, p.5)
The work of Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) state that “strategic planning defines where the organization is going, sometimes where it is not going, and provide focus. The plan sets direction for the organization and — through a common understanding of the vision and broad strategic goals — provides a template for everyone in the organization to make consistent decisions that move the organization toward its envisioned future. Strategic planning, in large part, is a decision-making activity.” (Zuckerman, nd, p.6)
The work of Beckham (2000) states that true strategy is “a plan for getting from a point in the present to some point in the future in the face of uncertainty and resistance.” (Zuckerman, nd, p.6) The work of Evashwick and Evashwick (1988 define strategic planning as “the process for assessing a changing environment to create a vision of the future; determining how the organization fits into the anticipated environment based on its institutional mission, strengths, and weaknesses; and then setting in motion a plan of action to position the organization accordingly.” (Zuckerman, nd, p.6)
Zuckerman (nd) writes that strategic planning “has been used in the general business community since the mid-twentieth century. Planning, programming, and budgeting systems were introduced in the late 1940s and early 1950s but used only sparingly by business and government at that time. In the 1960s and 1970s, leading firms such as General Electric practiced strategic planning, promoting the merits of providing a framework beyond the 12-month cycle and a systematic approach to managing business units.” (nd, p.6)
According to Zuckerman (nd) competitive strategy, in the twenty-first century “has become a prominent feature in strategic planning practices, along with a notable uptick in plans that call for alliances and mergers. But today’s profoundly uncertain times have forced business strategists to acknowledge that strategic planning as usual will not provide the foundation needed to survive tumultuous economic conditions.” (p.6)
I. Strategic Planning Process Requirements
Strategic planning serves as a framework for decisions and for securing support and approval and as well provides a basis for more detailed planning and explains the business to others in order to “inform, motivate, and involve.” (Planware.org, 2012, p.1) The strategic plan serves to assist benchmarking and performance monitoring” and stimulates change becoming a building block for the next plan. (Planware.org, 2012, p.1)
The strategic plan is different from the business plan in that the strategic plan is generally a short document and the business plan is a longer document with much more in the way of details. The strategic plan serves as the basis and framework for the business plan. The strategic plan can also be differentiated from the operational plan in that the strategic plan is “visionary, conceptual, and directional in contrast to an operational plan which is likely to be shorter term, tactical, focused, implementable, and measurable.” (Planware.org, 2012, p.1)
The strategic plan should be “visionary, conceptual, and directional” and can be contrasted to the operational plan, which is generally “shorter term, tactical, focused, implementable, and measurable.” (Planware.org, 2012, p.1) The strategic plan is required to be both “realistic and attainable” as it enables managers to “think strategically and act operationally.” (Planware.org, 2012, p.1) The review and planning process involved in strategic planning is stated to include the following:
(1) Relate to the medium term i.e. 2/4 years
(2) Be undertaken by owners/directors
(3) Focus on matters of strategic importance
(4) Be separated from day-to-day work
(5) Be realistic, detached and critical
(6) Distinguish between cause and effect
(7) Be reviewed periodically
(8) Be written down. ( Planware.org, 2012, p.1)
II. Precursor to Strategic Planning
It is reported that prior to developing the strategic plan a SWOT should be conducted. A SWOT measures the company’s ‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities’. The strategy development process follows and addresses the following issues in detail:
(6) Goals; and (7) Programs (Planware.org, 2012, p.1)
III. Benefits of Strategic Planning
The work of Lawler (nd) reports that there are benefits to strategic planning and that some of these benefits specifically include:
(1) Better Decisions – Information communicated through vision and strategy allows people to make the best decisions (hiring and rewarding the right people, adopting and developing the right systems, making the right investments, etc…);
(2) Increased Energy — Resulting from rallying behind a cause, and elimination of conflict and confusion of priorities.
(3) Increased Capacity — People are focused on what is important and less concerned about what isn’t.
(4) Improved Customer Satisfaction — A true test of value and leads to higher retention and growth.
(5) Competitive Advantage — Doing what you do better than others.
(6) Better Solutions — Uncovering the enormous intellectual and creative capacity of an organization that collectively works toward solutions rather than a relying on select few.
(7) Market Recognition — Over time you can “own” a position and space in the marketplace. Greatly enhances the chance of success! (Lawler, nd, p.2)
IV. Key Ingredients to Strategic Planning
Lawler writes that key ingredients to strategic planning include the following:
(1) Creating Vision and Direction that is Simple and Clear — a strategy may be fairly complicated at the highest level but the closer it gets to the front line and the marketplace, the simpler it has to be.
(2) A Good Plan — is well thought out, challenges assumptions, and is created with input from sources inside and outside the organization.
(3) Great Execution — requires commitment from the very top. This commitment must be demonstrated through behavior, investment, communication, and accountability. The plan is a living document that must become part of the culture and updated to reflect changes in the environment.
(4) Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate! — continuously using different medium and in terms that connect individuals and their roles to the vision and success. Too often communication is done half way. We tell, but don’t test for understanding. To close the loop, build in ways to test for employee, at every level an area within an organization, understanding of the vision and strategy. (Lawler, nd, p.2)
Summary and Conclusion
Strategic planning has been used throughout the history of mankind and is a process that sets out the direction that the organization will take in the short- and long-term. The strategic planning process is visionary, conceptual, and directional in nature and serves as the building block or framework for the business plan of the organization. benefits of the business plan include such as better decisions, increased energy, increased capacity, improved customer satisfaction, competitive advantage, better solutions, and market recognition. Key ingredients to strategic planning includes the creation of vision and direction that is both simple and clear, a good plan, great execution, and communication of the plan.
Lawler, JE (nd) The Importance of Strategic Planning. Practical Decisions. Retrieved from: http://www.practicaldecisions.com/strategic-planning.pdf
Business Planning Papers: Developing a Strategic Plan (2012) Planware.org. Retrieved from: http://www.planware.org/strategicplan.htm
Zuckerman (nd) Is Strategic Planning Still Relevant? Chapter 1. Retrieved from: http://www.ache.org/pubs/Zuckerman_Ch1.pdf
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more