- January 14, 2020
- Posted by: Bernard Mallia
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Strategic Planning is a process that helps an organisation of any type (public, private or voluntary) to define its goals and objectives. It is a long-term project that should involve all the senior managers of the organisation. Strategic Planning is undertaken to shape the future of the organisation by looking back at its past and looking ahead at what opportunities are available for it to exploit in the future, given how the operating context has changed and is likely to continue to change in the near, not-so-near and distant futures.
Strategic Planning is generally used as an umbrella term for two types of planning: corporate strategic planning (undertaken at the corporate level) and business strategy (undertaken at the business unit level). In addition to government policymaking and corporate strategy, the terms strategic planning and strategic analysis have also been applied to military operations, sports team management, information technology project management and software development. Strategic Planning has become one of the most important functions within an organisation because it focuses on factors like visioning, mission statement creation, investment prioritisation and the like, which help in creating an environment where effort is directed to the areas that matter most and where employees are motivated towards achieving targets through various means.
Strategic Planning is done simultaneously and in parallel to the following:
Corporate Governance – this is a term that refers to the structures, processes, cultures and behaviours of an organisation considered necessary for it to maintain accountability, transparency and responsibility. Corporate governance includes both internal controls (i.e., an organisation’s own internal control systems) and external controls (i.e., external auditors who look at things from the perspective of outside observers). Corporate governance also hinges critically on the system of the relationships between boards, shareholders, management and employees. The goal of corporate governance is to ensure that the system of rules, practices and processes by which the organisation is being directed and controlled is fit for purpose, while protecting minority shareholder interests in organisations with a shareholding structure by ensuring that the organisation is run in the best interest of the organisation itself.
Business Planning – this refers to the process of developing a plan for a business. It involves defining business objectives, strategies, and policies. Business planning also defines the basis to measure how well these goals are achieved or exceeded in future.
IT Planning – this constitutes a structured approach to identifying an organisation’s information technology requirements as they are at present and as they will be in the future, and then implementing projects to meet those needs through IT capabilities that address both the present and future needs of the organisation in such a way that the investments made today can be valid for the future without the need of any major disruptive migrations or transitions. The purpose of IT planning is to deliver value by determining where an organisation should focus on using IT to increase business efficiency rather than focusing on the more traditional and operationally-oriented methods for keeping existing systems up and running thereby ensuring business continuity.
Financial Planning – this refers to activities undertaken by organisations to make sure they have sufficient funds available at all times during their lifecycle when such funds are needed.
Financial Management – this is concerned with managing the costs, revenues, and investment returns from current assets over a defined period, typically several years. It is the process of planning, budgeting, forecasting and controlling resources to achieve financial targets.
Investment Planning – this refers for planning of investment in capital assets like plant and machinery or in intangible assets such as research and development (R&D). It can play a key role in increasing competitiveness. Investment decisions require careful planning based on an understanding of the business environment, organisation capabilities, opportunities available and the appropriate strategy for exploiting them.
Human Resource Planning – this refers to planning relating to all HR areas from headcount to training. It is an area that has grown significantly over recent years due to several factors including: increased labour market competition, increasing labour costs for high-skilled labour, and a changing workforce demographic profile that has reduced average age and increased diversity. These factors affect organisations’ ability to find human talent with specific competencies that are also able to address their future strategic needs within cost constraints while addressing stakeholder expectations.
Strategic Plans are meant to achieve short term objectives and long-term vision and thus they should form the basis for, and also incorporate all other organisational plans. They usually have a lifespan of anywhere between 4 to 10 years, but can be revised at any point in time, if this becomes necessary due to new information that was not available at the time of the conceptualisation of the strategic plan.
- Strategic Planning Framework Development
- Strategic Analysis
- Assessment of the Current State and Market Opportunities Assessment
- Business Process Improvement/Re-engineering
- Organisational capability assessment
- Benchmarking and Gap Analysis against key competitors (primary and emerging)
- Strategies to meet the organisational objectives over the next 4 to 10 years through alignment of business units and continuous improvement.