It is a systematic process, that is, methodical, of implementing plans to obtain the objectives and expected results. In a form of tactical planning that contemplates which are the best ways to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves, as well as in an organization (institution, companies, etc.) and in personal life.
Strategic planning is an organizational method , and even more so in the military field (military strategy) or in the business field (financial or business strategy), in the same way, it also applies to a varied set of areas of life, it is what is essential is to lay the foundations to reach a goal, anticipating possible conflicts and advancing according to the most suitable route given the resources available.
The main idea is to propose a good strategy, that is, with a good transformation or with a good set of procedures to achieve a goal, this translates into:
- Design a methodology that is at the level of the available resources, in the environment in which it is located and the dynamics that it faces.
- Define and then achieve the proposed objective.
- Obtain a flexible, dynamic and adaptable method to unforeseen events, which allows solving the problems that arise.
- Make the most of competitive advantages to stand out from the rest.
- Come up with a plan that is measurable and correctable in terms of effectiveness.
Good planning lays the foundation for other administrative processes, organization, control, and direction.
Importance of strategic planning
In many life situations, success and failure will depend solely on the established strategy , and in this sense strategic planning becomes a fundamental organizational role.
The best strategies are those that start from an in-depth evaluation of your available resources, the tests you will face, and other factors that influence decision-making. It is not based on foreseeing the future, but on taking forecasts: analyzing the risk and walking safely in order to make the journey to the goal as productive and efficient as possible.
Thus, strategic planning is established in the financial and business environment as the heart of decision-making, as well as diagnosing and solving problems. For this, many companies rely on third parties (outsourcing) to carry out this type of intervention and receive support to redirect their efforts to acquire more and better results.
Examples of strategic planning models
- Strategic map: structured as a hierarchical organization chart, it serves to inform the organization’s strategic plan, contemplating the four areas of understanding: clients, finances, control and internal processes.
- Balanced scorecard: starting from four areas of great interest, which are understood as independent but interconnected cards, it helps to define the functioning of an organization. These areas are: the financial perspective, the customer perspective, the learning perspective, the process perspective and knowledge (control). Each card establishes the rigorous strategic objectives and the subjects to which special attention is paid.
- PEST analysis: its acronym comes from the words: political, economic, sociocultural and technological. These are the four strategic areas that this model establishes to understand any organization.
- SWOT analysis : from daily uses in different areas, its name comes from the acronyms of the four elements that help to analyze any organization: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It should be noted that the first two belong to the internal and the last two to the external, which draws a fairly didactic grid of the company’s strategic situation and allows them to design the future.
Strategic planning processes
Planning is classified as the first stage of the production cycle and it always starts from the definition of strategic objectives. This is the name given to the core, central objectives on which the organization rests, that is, the basic goals, and without these all effort is meaningless.
After setting the goals , an analysis of the available resources (material, technological, human) and the environmental variables (challenges, difficulties and competition) is carried out.
Once the strategic analysis is finished , a basic plan or a minimum strategy is designed, which can gradually become more complex according to the organization’s requirements. For this, the basic plan should be divided into low-level operations, that is, short-term goals, with the ease of envisioning and acquiring on time, the articulation of which forges the long-term plan.
To finalize the project, it must be managed and subjected to dynamics of strategic diagnosis and evaluation, to be aware of how close its results are to what was initially projected and where it presents failures, problems or challenges and how they can be solved to achieve greater efficiency and optimal results.