Resource: Strategic Plan located on the student website
Organize Parts I through III for your strategic plan as follows:
- Reason for your strategic plan
- Part I: Organizational Structure
- Part II: Environmental Analysis and Setting Strategic Goals
- Part III: Financial Plan
Complete Parts IV and V of your strategic plan and add them to Parts I through III.
- Part IV: Implementation
- Similar to your Learning Team assignment last week, describe how you plan to implement your strategic plan. In 700 to 1,050 words, address the following:
- The potential barriers you anticipate and how you plan on overcoming them
- How you will communicate your plan to all the organization’s employees
- Your market entry strategy and the procedure you plan on using to implement your strategic plan
- Part V: Evaluation and Control
- In 700 to 1,050 words, answer the following questions:
- What measurement guidelines should be used to verify strategy effectiveness?
- If your strategy does not go according to plan, at what point would you consider altering the strategic plan you have suggested?
- What tolerance range should be in place that would call for corrective action if exceeded?
- What corrective action would you need to make if the organization’s performance fell outside the tolerance range?
- Submit the assignment as a complete plan, including Parts I through V.
- Cite at least five sources to support your information.
- Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.
Present a completed strategic plan to the board of directors or funding source of your organization for approval.
- Outline your strategic plan in a 12- to 15-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation with extensive speaker notes and references.
- Describe why the organization needs a plan and walk the audience through every step in the strategic management process. Include the following:
- How the plan fits with the company’s current mission, vision, and values
- Environmental scanning for competitive advantages
- Setting strategic goals
- Internal dynamic and resource considerations for strategy implementation, including key budget information
- Measurement guidelines
- What feedback considerations the organization should put into place to ensure the success of the company
- Keep your audience in mind and make your strategic plan convincing.
Strategic Planning Process
The strategic planning process requires considerable thought and planning on the part of a company’s upper-level management. Before settling on a plan of action and then determining how to strategically implement it, executives may consider many possible options. In the end, a company’s management will, hopefully, settle on a strategy that is most likely to produce positive results (usually defined as improving the company’s bottom line) and that can be executed in a cost-efficient manner with a high likelihood of success, while avoiding undue financial risk.
The development and execution of strategic planning are typically viewed as consisting of being performed in three critical steps:
1. Strategy Formulation
In the process of formulating a strategy, a company will first assess its current situation by performing an internal and external audit. The purpose of this is to help identify the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats (). As a result of the analysis, managers decide on which plans or markets they should focus on or abandon, how to best allocate the company’s resources, and whether to take actions such as expanding operations through or merger.
Business strategies have long-term effects on organizational success. Only upper management executives are usually authorized to assign the resources necessary for their implementation.
2. Strategy Implementation
After a strategy is formulated, the company needs to establish specific targets or goals related to putting the strategy into action, and allocate resources for the strategy’s execution. The success of the implementation stage is often determined by how good a job upper management does in regard to clearly communicating the chosen strategy throughout the company and getting all of its employees to “buy into” the desire to put the strategy into action.
Effective strategy implementation involves developing a solid structure, or framework, for implementing the strategy, maximizing the utilization of relevant resources, and redirecting marketing efforts in line with the strategy’s goals and objectives.
3. Strategy Evaluation
Any savvy business person knows that success today does not guarantee success tomorrow. As such, it is important for managers to evaluate the performance of a chosen strategy after the implementation phase.
Strategy evaluation involves three crucial activities: reviewing the internal and external factors affecting the implementation of the strategy, measuring performance, and taking corrective steps to make the strategy more effective. For example, after implementing a strategy to improve customer service, a company may discover that it needs to adopt a new customer relationship management (CRM) software program in order to attain the desired improvements in customer relations.
All three steps in strategic planning occur within three hierarchical levels: upper management, middle management, and operational levels. Thus, it is imperative to foster communication and interaction among employees and managers at all levels, so as to help the firm to operate as a more functional and effective team.
Benefits of Strategic Planning
The volatility of the business environment causes many firms to adopt reactive strategies rather than proactive ones. However, reactive strategies are typically only viable for the short-term, even though they may require spending a significant amount of resources and time to execute. Strategic planning helps firms prepare proactively and address issues with a more long-term view. They enable a company to initiate influence instead of just responding to situations.
Among the primary benefits derived from strategic planning are the following:
1. Helps formulate better strategies using a logical, systematic approach
This is often the most important benefit. Some studies show that the strategic planning process itself makes a significant contribution to improving a company’s overall performance, regardless of the success of a specific strategy.
2. Enhanced communication between employers and employees
Communication is crucial to the success of the strategic planning process. It is initiated through participation and dialogue among the managers and employees, which shows their commitment to achieving organizational goals.
Strategic planning also helps managers and employees show commitment to the organization’s goals. This is because they know what the company is doing and the reasons behind it. Strategic planning makes organizational goals and objectives real, and employees can more readily understand the relationship between their performance, the company’s success, and compensation. As a result, both employees and managers tend to become more innovative and creative, which fosters further growth of the company.
3. Empowers individuals working in the organization
The increased dialogue and communication across all stages of the process strengthens employees’ sense of effectiveness and importance in the company’s overall success. For this reason, it is important for companies to decentralize the strategic planning process by involving lower-level managers and employees throughout the organization. A good example is that of the Walt Disney Co., which dissolved its separate strategic planning department, in favor of assigning the planning roles to individual Disney business divisions