THEVALUE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
THEVALUE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
In the secular world
Definitions in the secular context
What strategic planning is not
Value of strategic planning
What is strategic planning is
"Strategic planning is about understanding the organisational challenges, trends and
issues; understanding who are the key beneficiaries or clients and what they need;
and determining the most effective and efficient way possible to achieve the mandate.A
good strategy drives focus, accountability,and results. "- (UN, 2010, Strategic planning
Basics for Managers)
"Strategic planning is an essential process in preparing to carry out your organisation’s mission.
An effective strategic planning process provides a framework to make decisions on how to
allocate organisational resources, address challenges and take advantage of opportunities
that arise along the way. "- (Paul Yelder, 1999,The Enterprise Foundation)
WHAT STRATEGIC PLANNING IS NOT
"Strategic planning should not be confused with other planning processes
such as business planning, program planning or community planning, also
referred to as neighbourhood planning. Although closely related, strategic
planning focuses on establishing your organisational direction, setting
priorities and identifying obstacles and opportunities that may limit or
enable you to carry out your mission."- (Paul Yelder, 1999, The Enterprise
VALUE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
• "Strategic planning helps the organisation focuson establishing your organisational direction,setting priorities and identifying obstacles and opportunities
that may limit or enable you to carry out your mission."-(PaulYelder,1999,The Enterprise Foundation)
• It can be argued that, traditional planning is like a waterfall model,while strategic planning is the agile methodology.
• It’s also about the organisation proactivenessin how it addressesthe unexpected,instead of waiting for problemsto arise, then thinking of how
to resolve them.Strategic planning help anticipate and resolve them before they even happen.Reactive vs proactive
• It results in a strategic plan that the organisation can use as a framework for implementing their goals and objectives
• It helps the organisation become more efficient,sustainable and sets up a sense of direction
• Useful for long-term implementation,unlike traditional planning that requiresshort-term implementation
PLANNING TO PLAN
• Are we ready to engage into this process?
• How committed is the organisation to this costly (time, energy, resources, etc.) process?
• Do we have the people required to carry out the tasks?What are the roles to involve in the planning team?
• How and when should the process initiate?
• How should those indirectly involved in the planning process be informed about the process?
• What is the timeframe to carry out this process?
• What is the team that will directly be involved in the process?
• One of the crucial part of this phase is selecting the planning team, that is,those who will be extensively involved in the strategic planning process.
Prior to any planning work,answersto a set number of key questions need to find:
VALUES AND CULTURE
Here, values’ scan on the organisation’s decision makers’ is conducted in order to move from the individual or small group focus to a broader assessment
of the organisation’s values. This looks at the role of these values in helping implement a sustainable culture for the organisation. This is one of the most
difficult parts of the process that requireshighly-skilled strategic planning consultants.The following questions can be asked:
• What are the currentvalues of the organisation?
• What is the organisational philosophy?
• What is the desired culture?
• What business are we in?
• What customer needs are we meeting?
• Who are our customers, both now and in the future?
• How do we intend to go about meeting our customers’ needs and wants?
• Why do we exist?
• What values and basic societal needs are we fulfilling?
Once the clear organisational values have been identified,the strategic planning team gathers to start developing a coordinated and shared future state of
the organisation.In general,mission formulation answersthe following questions are answered:
The five elements of a SMART Business goal are considered in this phase (Specific,Measurable,Attainable,Relevant,Time-based).
STRATEGIC BUSINESS MODELLING
• how the outcomes or deliverables are measured?
• what should be done to reach the desired goals?
• how the organisational structure and personnel get affected by the process?
This phase is considered as the next step in the strategic planning process, in which the planning team meets to develop specifics, detailed and the
procedures to lead the organisation from its current state to the future desired state. The mission formulation is reviewed in order to ensure that the
inputs from the previous phase are carried out effetely in the Business modelling phase. The Strategic Business Modelling phase, focuses on defining the
clear vision of the ideal future tangibles and measurable tools. It will also specify what the organisation gets involved in,by answering some of the following
In order words, the strategic business model phase is a detailed and unambiguous plan to how the organisation will achieve its desired goals and how its
mission is fulfilled.It is also a crucial phase in which the strategic planning team works towardsa clear description of the ideal organisational future.
• SWOT (strengths,weaknesses,opportunities,threats) analysis
• Scenario planning
• PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental)
• Porter's Five Forces framework
At this stage, the planning team have identified and articulated the desired future state as well as how this would be achieved. Now, the focus is to be
turned towards a detailed examination of the organisational current state. This is where comes the need to conduct an objective and clear performance
audit of the organisation. Business analysis tools become useful in helping the organisation understand its organisational environment and also do a
brainstorming activity about the organisation. There are several business analysis tools, but the following are the frequently used ones:
SWOT analysis is one of the most commonly used strategic analysis tools. After conducting a SWOT analysis, the organisation can now analyse how to
capitalise on the organisational strengths, minimise the impact of weaknesses, make good use of the opportunities and finally reducing the impact of any
potential threat proactively.Carrying out a SWOT analysis gives a better internal and external picture of the organisation environment.It should be noted
that, SWOT analysis, doesn’t necessarily focus on prioritising on outcomes, which in turn leads to a better strategic planning.
GAP ANALYSIS AND CLOSURE
The Gap analysis helps in understanding both the current organisational
resources and the future desired state. Following questions can be
considered: How important is the Gap between the current state of the
art in the organisation and the desired future state? It also asks whether
the desired organisational goals are achievable considering the current
organisation state? What it will take to close the gap and how this can be
done? After identifying the Gap size, a decision can then be made on
whether the organisational desired goals can be met or it’s an impossible
A strategic planning will often include
several action plans from the planning
process, depending on the organisational size.
These must be thoroughly reviewed by the
team involved in this phase. The team will
consider whether the integration is still in
line with the Mission formulation in phase 2.
Two aspects of the contingency planning are the probability
and the impact of events. The assumption made here is that, the
actions plans from the planning phase, have a higher probability
of implementation success. This is the phase that looks at risks
and unplanned scenarios.
This will be the process of strategic planning when the
organisation implements its strategic plan.
Many organisations have used this strategic planning
approach as suggested by Goodstein et al. (1993) to
adapt to their needs. Most firms would use basics
steps of strategic planning as follows:
Preparing to plan
Defining and reviewing organisational vision, mission, and values
Performing the value scan (SWOT and others)
Identifying strategic issues
Developing strategic goals and objectives
Monitoring and evaluation
The below model is also based on the work of Goodstein et al. (1993,Applied Strategic Planning:How to Develop a Plan that ReallyWorks)and on the
second edition of the same book
Goodstein, L., Nolan,T., & Pfeifer,J.W. (1993). Applied strategic planning: How to develop a plan that really works.NY:
Goodstein, L., Nolan,T., & Pfeifer,J.W. (2008). Applied Strategic Planning:An Introduction,2nd Edition. NY: McGraw-Hill,
Paul Yelder,1999,‘The Enterprise Foundation.’ Available at: http://my2.ewb.ca/site_media/static/library/files/403/the-
Peters,Tom. (1987) Thriving on chaos. NewYork: Harper & Row
United Nations, 2010,‘Strategic planning Basics for Managers.’Available
at: https://hr.un.org/sites/hr.un.org/files/184.108.40.206_Strategic Planning Guide_0.pdf