Strategic planning is the process of coming up with a plan that will steer the organization toward success. Any organization that has a solid strategic plan is always set for success and it ensures that the organization does not make any impediments to necessary change. The business environment is always volatile and thus the firm has to always be ready to deal with changes. The only way that the organization can continue making the necessary changes is by having a solid working plan. That ensures that the business continues to make the right advances towards the required changes that will steer it to success. Below is a ten step process that will enable any business be it a large corporation or a small corporation to steer its way to success amid the turbulent business environment (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Initiating and agreeing on a strategic planning process:
The first and the most important part of the strategic planning process is to initiate and agree on a strategic planning process. Here is where the members of a firm sit down and decide that they are going to come up with an organization. In most cases, the people who sit down do not have anything only a rough idea about a firm (APUS Lessons, 2020). They usually have a leader who looks into the future of the organization and sees what is it that they can do about the organization. Then after some time, the people sit down and decide that it is prudent to come up with an organization that can visualize their ideal dream of the future (APUS Lessons, 2020).
For example, a team might decide to come up with a digital merchandize store where all the goods are sold online. After coming up with the idea, the team will sit down and determine what the ideal vision of the organization is. Perhaps, the goal might be to digitize the process of purchasing merchandizes to give customers an online feel. Therefore, the team might have a rough figure of where they would want the organization to be in the future. However, it is not solid yet unto what needs to be done so that the organization can achieve the set vision (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Identifying organizational mandates:
At this point, the organization has already decided on the idea of coming up with an online merchandise store. The team members have also decided to come together and start on the process of the strategic planning. Now it is time to come up with the organizational mandates where the members decide to write down what they wish to achieve. At this stage, there could be meetings where the team discusses what it wants to do in order to achieve its vision. Having a vision without a written down mandate about how to achieve the dream is not appropriate (APUS Lessons, 2020).
That is why it is important that the members of the organization sit down and decide what they want to do with their organization. At this stage, the members can write am official document about some of the activities that the firm will be undertaking. Here members brainstorm on all the ideas that they think are viable to make the vision a success. A secretary writes down these ideas with the aim of one day coming up with a solid plan about how to implement them. At this level, it can also be important to give the members roles such as the person who is going to be the chairman of the organization. The mandates stage is all about official and non-official communications that set up a solid foundation for the business (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Clarifying mission values:
After identifying the organizational mandates another important element of the strategic plan is to clarify the mission values. The mission values are those elements of an organization that make it become on course and not to become lost. They are similar to the organizational behaviors that are expected by members of the organization. That is why it is important to involve the rest of the employees when it comes to making the mission values. For example, the firm that is being established now can have mission values such as being powered by innovation and technology (APUS Lessons, 2020).
That means that the organization is mainly made up of young people who are enthusiastic about the changes that are happening in the world of technology. There are many values that can be instilled in the organization including honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, timeliness, patience, and perseverance. These are important guides to the employees since it allows them to know what they are expected to do when it comes to behaving with each other and with the rest of the customers. It also makes sure that an employee does not address another employee in a suggestive manner. This is because they have already been cultured according to how they are expected to behave (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Assessing internal environments:
Once the mission values have been laid down and the employees have a rough figure of how they are expected to behave, it is important to conduct a SWOT analysis. This is usually an analysis of both the external and the internal environment of the business. Here we are mainly looking at the opportunities, challenges, threats, strengths ad weaknesses of the organization. There are those external factors that the organization has no control over and there are those internal factors that can be solved internally. It is important that as a part of the strategic management team I come up with all these factors (APUS Lessons, 2020).
The advantage of doing this is that it will help us as an organization to know what is best to focus on. It will also allow us to know which are our core competencies and what we should capitalize on. Most importantly, it will allow us as an organization to know our strategic position of the business and the environment. Thus, it will be effective for the management to know which areas the business has control over and those areas that the business does not have control over. All of these are important elements of the organization and it is effective to continue making the right decisions that are needed to continue seeing that the organization makes the important strides that it needs to achieve (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Identifying strategic issues:
Once we have identified the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the next step is to identify the strategic issues. The fifth step is usually similar to the fourth step because it aligns with the previously stated issue. Here it becomes possible to continue facing the issues that are present on a head on especially those that would be likely to breed conflict in the organization. Any conflicts of interests that are likely to arise in the management of the organization are discussed. If the role of the CEO is not officially known then at this point it is important especially for a startup (APUS Lessons, 2020).
In other words, this stage is an important stage in that it makes sure that all the necessary steps are laid down in the right manner. When the conflicts arise then it is important to refer to this section since they are going to indicate which one should be given priority over the other. When an organization goes ahead to make the right steps that are meant to achieving the goal, then it is important to avoid a situation where conflict might arise. Conflicts arise when there is not enough emphasis that has been paid prior to the situation taking place. That means that it is always important to see a conflict happening before it has happened in order to mitigate the risk in the right manner (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Once we have effectively identified the strategic issues then the next step is to formulate the strategies. An important part of formulating the strategies is deciding the approach that will be followed to come up with an effective strategy. The first approach is known as action-oriented strategy and the second approach is known as five-part strategy development and the process and the action oriented strategy mapping process. Whichever that we are going to choose on the end results are what matter and the nature of our organization. That is why it is always important that we consider to take the strategy that best suits our organization (APUS Lessons, 2020).
The strategies that we are going to be formulating here are important because they are going to see our organization go to the future in the right manner. When we decide to use the wrong strategies then our organization will be adversely affected. That is why it is important that we come up with the best strategies that ensure that our organization is always making the right strides. Coming up with an organization that is the size of Apple, is not an easy process. It requires that all the members who are going to be involved in the process are brought aboard. That way it becomes easier to come up with a strategy that will spearhead the organization towards the success that it requires (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Reviewing and adopting a plan:
At this point there are important people that I need to consult in order to make sure that I adopt the best plan for the organization. When it comes to working with a plan there are important people who are concerned and these are the stakeholders. The stakeholders of the organization are important people in the organization. They determine whether the plan that has been adopted is likely to work with their concerns. That means that if the plan has been developed in a manner that does not work well for the rest of the organization then it is not adopted. However, if the plan is likely to work well with the rest of the organization then the plan is not adopted (APUS Lessons, 2020).
That is why the people who are working towards achieving a common plan need to develop the right strategies. The strategies are based on the agreed mission values that were outlined in the beginning part of the strategic planning process. That means that if the plans that are outlined are not given the weight that they do not deserve then the people are given the right measures. However, if the people are given the right plans that they deserve then the plan will go ahead to work well for the organization. That is why at this stage it is very crucial that all the members of the board are present to ensure that the working plans suits the needs of the organization (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Establishing a vision:
A vision is an important part of the business, because it presents where the organization needs to be in the future. A vision has to be consolidated in a vision statement and written down so that employees can always visit from time to time. A vision has to motivate employees to behave in a particular kind of way so that they can achieve it. So it is basically a way of guiding the employees on what the future of the business will be like. That means that every step that is taken on a daily basis should be channeled towards achieving the greater vision of the company in the future (APUS Lessons, 2020).
A vision is what the leader of the organization sees in the business and what he foresees the future of the business to be like. The vision need to be communicated in the right manner if the company is to achieve any level of success in achieving the vision. That is why most organizations are always making the right decisions of investing in a proper vision making team. The team will sit down and come up with a statement that can be easy to remember by the rest of the team members. That way it becomes possible to have everybody working towards achieving a common vision (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Developing implementation process:
The implementation process comes after developing a vision that works for the organization in a great manner. There are times when an organization does lack the necessary skills that are required to have a strategic implementation process. Also, there are times when the organization does not make the necessary features that are required for the organization to continue making the right strides. That is why it is imperative that the organization takes a team that will guide in the process of decision making. The organization will make the right steps that are needed for the plan to start effect and also see to the end (APUS Lessons, 2020).
A team that will work on ensuring that the strategic plan is implemented should not be the same as the team that makes the strategic plan. The strategic planners only act as the oversight committee, while the rest of the team makes sure that the team is well implemented. That ensures that there is always some people who are working towards making sure that the teams are well focused towards the end goal. Then it ensures that there are people who are working towards implementing the plan as well as a team working towards overseeing the implementation process (APUS Lessons, 2020).
Reassessing the strategies:
It is important that after the process of strategy making is over and the implementation phase is over that the oversight team sits down and revisits some of the strategies. At this stage, the strategies that are not working are terminated and those that are working are maintained. It is also important to note which areas that the business might not do as well as it ought to do in the future. At this point, the people who are responsible for the process of making the right strategies are always visited from time to time. After some time, it becomes evident to the rest of the team on which strategies work and which one do not (APUS Lessons, 2020).
This is a step that is important for the business that I intend on starting, because it will tell me the areas that I over ambitious. It will also give me a vivid picture of my SWOT analysis especially those areas that are weaknesses and those areas that are threats. It also ensures that I make the right strides in knowing areas that could present real potential. These are areas that might make it possible for the organization to keep on moving to even greater heights. That way my business will always be set up for success no matter what decisions that I make in regards to the day to day operations of the business (APUS Lessons, 2020).
There are important phases of the business strategy development phase that are core to any business owner. This paper comes up with a ten step process of the strategic decision making process that makes it easy to come up with a strategic plan. All the same, it is important that a business conducts all the necessary steps so that it continues to make the right plans for the entire business. A good business makes plans that ensure that it is always ready for the success that is needed by the organization. If the strategic plan does not steer the business towards success then it becomes irrelevant. That is why it is always imperative to have a strategic plan that will steer the organization towards success.
APUS Lessons, (2020) MGMT414 | Lesson 2 The Strategy Change Cycle Plan. Retrieved from https://apus.brightspace.com/shared/elf/mgmt414/lesson2/index.html