Strategic planning process has been adopted by many firms dating back to the 1970s. This process is used by the topmost executives in any firm to formulate the firm's strategy. The first step in the strategic planning process is identifying the mission.
A company's mission is the core concept that goes into the reason of its establishment. This mission statement speaks about the purpose of the firm to all its employees. The mission also conveys the image of the company to clients and others. The mission also helps to define what the company goals are. It presents a larger picture about the company and the direction in which it is headed. After a mission is identified, the next step in the strategic planning process is defining the 'Objectives'.
The top most management of any firm has to consider objectives as the second phase of its strategic planning process. The objectives indicate the concrete goals for that particular firm or organization. These objectives can be defined by the company to facilitate the entire growth process. A company also has to set is challenges in terms of objectives. Now, the challenges planned should be achievable for the team. The objectives can be related to the growth of the company in terms of revenue. The objectives need to ensure structured and faster growth of the company.
The next stepin the strategic planning process is 'Situation Analysis'.
Once a firm defines its objectives then follows the next step - Situation Analysis. The organization has to then plan the strategy to achieve these objectives. To carry out this step, an organization has to first know about its own capabilities and understand the situation. A situation analysis in this case helps the top management levels to access the complete situation. It generates a lot of information which then makes things easier to manage on a professional level. A company can make an internal analysis to find out relevant details such as:
• The company image
• The company culture
• The brand awareness in the market
• Financial situation
• Operational capacity
The next step in strategic management process is 'Strategy Formulation'.
Once an organization has gained clarity on all the steps mentioned earlier, it can start with the strategy formulation. Every firm can have a different approach about their strategy formulation. An organization or firm can also plan the strategy as per the current situation. Some of the generic strategies that can be considered are cost leadership, focus, growth, etc. The basic things a firm needs to look at for strategy formulation are: performing a situation analysis, setting objectives and a strategic marketing plan. Besides, for these strategies to work there should be a level of consistency in terms of performance in a firm. The marketing action plan should include the distribution of specific tasks and responsibilities to individual teams, include measures to keep a watch on the processes and results and the effectiveness of processes, etc.
The next step in the strategic planning process is 'Implementation'.
The strategies planned now need an effective implementation. The strategies need a lot of detailed policies so that they are understood better at various levels of the organization. The translation of these strategies into functional policies has to highlight different issues and segments. These strategies should be translated into policies for the functional areas as follows: marketing, research and development, production, human resources, etc. These functional areas need to be worked upon to develop the policies required. It also requires the identification of various resources and organizing the required changes in the structure. Once the strategy is implemented, it needs to be measured. These strategies once evaluated can help keep things on track after implementation.
This strategic planning process is a dynamic one. This process is continuous and needs to be worked upon to suit the company goals that need to be achieved. This approach however, is best for those organizations that follow an organized approach. For an organization to be successful, one may need to rework on these processes to ensure a successful structure for an organization.