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- Created 2012-02-18
's process of defining its
, or direction, and making
on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy.
In order to determine the future direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue particular courses of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:
1. "What do we do?"
2. "For whom do we do it?"
3. "How do we excel?"
Many organizations view strategic planning as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or—more typically—3 to 5 years (long term), although some extend their vision to 20 years.
The Next 100 Years
summarises "the fundamental principle of strategic planning: hope for the best, plan for the worst".
The key components of 'strategic planning' include an understanding of an entity's vision, mission, values and strategies. (In the commercial world a "Vision Statement" and/or a "
" may encapsulate the vision and mission).
outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be (an "idealised" view of the world). It is a long-term view and concentrates on the future. It can be emotive and is a source of inspiration. For example, a charity working with the poor might have a vision statement which reads "A World without Poverty. "
Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its vision. For example, the charity above might have a mission statement as "providing jobs for the homeless and unemployed".
Beliefs that are shared among the
of an organization. Values drive an organization's culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made. For example, "Knowledge and skills are the keys to success" or "give a man bread and feed him for a day, but teach him to farm and feed him for life". These example maxims may set the priorities of self-sufficiency over shelter.
Strategy, narrowly defined, means "the art of the general". - a combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there. A strategy is sometimes called a roadmap - which is the path chosen to plow towards the end vision. The most important part of implementing the strategy is ensuring the company is going in the right direction - defined as towards the end vision.
Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a
. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives. A newly emerging approach is to use a
visual strategic plan
such as is used within planning approaches based on outcomes theory. When using this approach, the first step is to build a visual outcomes model of the high-level outcomes being sought and all of the steps which it is believed are needed to get to them. The vision and mission are then just the top layers of the visual model.
Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement, and sometimes one is simply used as a longer term version of the other. However they are distinct; with the vision being a descriptive picture of a desired future state; and the mission being a statement of a rationale, applicable now as well as in the future. The mission is therefore the means of successfully achieving the vision. This may be in the
For an organization's vision and mission to be effective, they must become assimilated into the organization's culture. They should also be assessed internally and externally. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can provide insight into their effectiveness.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 05 December), licensed under
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