Strategic Planning Process | 4 mins read

6 Keys Steps in the Strategic Planning Process

6 keys steps in the strategic planning process
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

The 6 Steps in the Strategic Planning Process

The strategic planning process is an extensive management activity. Common objectives of strategic planning include better decision making and long term business goals accomplished. Various businesses attempt to predict the upcoming 2 to 3 years through their strategic planning process. Alternatively, many organizations create strategic plans each year.

Business professionals are increasingly realizing both the short term and long term benefits of strategic planning. Benefits a proper strategic planning process can offer a business range from optimized project management to increased market share control. Whether at a small business or large corporation, every business professional contributes to the strategic planning process in some way. As such, every business professional benefits from learning to create strategic plans. 6 steps in the strategic planning process include-

1. Identify

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The first step of the strategic planning process is for business professionals to generate a clear vision. If a business does not know what they want to accomplish it is impossible to measure progress or create an action plan correctly. Both short term and long term goals are defined during this step.

Once short term and long term goals are established businesses decide which steps are required in order to accomplish them. If a business is struggling to set realistic and measurable organizational goals a mission statement may be referenced. Additionally, corporate values and work culture are great to review during these decision making processes.

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2. Collect

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Once a strategic position is identified the resources necessary to complete the strategic planning process must be assembled. Resources required for the strategic planning process range from human resources to business plan data.

In fact, relevant and accurate data is absolutely crucial to the strategic planning process and its overall success. If data is not accurate, decision making will also be inaccurate. When decision making is inaccurate, the entire strategic planning process may fail. As such, businesses must make sure that data accuracy is focal throughout the complete strategic planning process.

Human resources utilized for the strategic planning process should also be a top priority concern. Every business should place extensive thought and intention into which employees are involved in the strategic planning process. Larger corporations may have strategic management professionals available to utilize for their strategic planning process. Alternatively, a small business may decide to contract a third party strategic management professional.

3. Analyze

A SWOT analysis is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is an amazing tool for the strategic planning process. Performing a SWOT analysis is helpful to create strategic goals and make sure a business is on the right track. Remember, every business can benefit from better understanding itself.

Too often, businesses focus on their strengths but turn a blind eye towards their weaknesses. However, successful businesses that secure a competitive advantage and market share presence know that weaknesses are crucial to evaluate.

Similarly, a small business may be overly concentrated on long term opportunities available and underestimate short term threats. The SWOT analysis allows businesses to make sure that they are prepared for both short term and long term possibilities. SWOT analysis supplies abundant time for businesses to prepare for potential future events and even potentially avoid them.

4. Formulate

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At this step of the strategic planning process, businesses should have established short term and long term goals. These strategic goals should align with the mission statement and vision statement of the business. The formulation step of the strategic planning process is where the strategic plan is actually developed. Extensive preparation executed and an identified strategic position promotes the likelihood of strategic planning process success.

During strategic plan development, businesses must make sure to prioritize correctly. Identifying which steps strategic professionals should focus on is helpful. Additionally, close attention should be paid towards which initiatives will most optimize market share position.

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5. Implement

With an action plan clearly established and outlined strategic plan execution can begin. At this step of the strategic planning process, every business professional involved must be aware of the business strategy authorized. Task distribution decision making must make sure that deligation is fair.

No one person or one department should feel overwhelmed or at risk of burnout. Part of proper delegation is also facilitating frequent check ins with every business professional assigned tasks. In the case of objectives not being met during check ins, strategic goals or strategic plans may require changes.

6. Monitor

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Properly monitoring and measuring a strategic plan is essential to its success. Consistent performance management and monitoring of the strategic planning process can avoid short term issues from becoming long term problems. Without proper monitoring and corrective action, a long term problem can tank the success of the entire strategic planning process.

As a result, frequent adjustments may be necessary to keep the strategic plan running smoothly. Strategic management professionals must also make sure they are checking in with every business employee involved in the process. Making sure that tasks are being completed correctly and in a timely matter is essential to overall strategic planning process success.

Conclusion- Strategic Planning Process

Strategic plans are helpful for everything from decision making to project management capabilities.
A strategic planning process is made up of 6 steps including identifying, collecting, analyzing, formulating, implementing, and monitoring.

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