strategic planning



We explain what strategic planning is and what this process consists of. Why it is important and strategic planning models.

Strategic planning seeks the best use of resources to meet a goal.

What is strategic planning?

By strategic planning or strategic planning we usually refer to a process systematic, that is, methodical, implementation of plans to obtain objectives and desired results. It is a type of tactical planning that contemplates which are the best ways to achieve the goals that we have proposed, both within a organization (business, institution, etc.) as in personal life.

Strategic planning is an organizational tool of common use, especially in the military field (military strategy) or in that of the business (business strategy or financial strategy). Likewise, it also applies to a varied set of areas of the life, in which it is necessary to lay the foundations for the achievement of a goal, anticipating possible inconveniences and proceeding according to the most suitable route given the resources available.

The purpose of all this is to find a good strategy, that is, with a good path or a good set of procedures to reach the goal. This translates into:

  • Define and then achieve the objective proposed.
  • Take advantage of competitive advantages to stand out from the rest.
  • Design a methodology appropriate to the resources available, the environment you are in, and the dynamics facing.
  • Achieve a method dynamic, flexible and adaptable to unforeseen events, which allows solving problems Let them surge.
  • Propose a plan that is measurable and correctable in terms of effectiveness.

Good planning lays the foundation for other administrative processes, such as organization, management, address and the control.

Strategic planning process

Once the goals have been established, an analysis of the available resources should be carried out.

Planning is considered the first stage of any production cycle and this always starts from the definition of strategic objectives. This is the name given to the core, central objectives on which the organization is based, that is, the primary goals without which the entire effort is meaningless and which, in turn, allow other subsequent goals to be achieved.

Once the goals have been established, a analysis available resources (material, human, technological, etc.) and environmental variables (challenges, difficulties, competence, etc.). Consideration of these elements is essential for any strategic planning process since strategies for which there are no resources can not be undertaken, nor should it be wasted or ignored the potentialities present in the organization, even at its starting point.

Once the strategic analysis is completed, a basic plan or a minimum strategy should be designed, which may become more complex as the organization's needs require it. To do this, the main plan must be segmented into low-level operations, that is, short-term goals, easy to envision and conceive over time, whose articulation generates the long-term plan. This process of translation into concrete actions is known as strategic execution.

Finally, the process must be controlled and subjected to dynamics of diagnosis and strategic evaluation, to know how close its results are to what was initially projected and where the failures, difficulties or challenges are and how they can be solved to obtain greater efficiency and optimal results.

In summary, the strategic planning process consists of:

  • Define or review values, mission and vision of the organization.
  • Conduct an environmental analysis.
  • (Re) define long-term strategic goals.
  • Develop a strategic action plan to fulfill them.
  • Develop procedures and short-term actions that lead towards the goal.
  • Evaluate the result and re-apply the method.

Importance of strategic planning

Strategic planning makes decisions by evaluating possible risks.

On many occasions in life, the difference between success and failure will depend on the strategy implemented. And in that sense, strategic planning becomes a very important organizational tool.

While no plan is foolproof, the best plans are those that start from an in-depth assessment of the resources available, the challenges you will face, and other factors that play a role. decision making. It is not a matter of foreseeing the future but of taking forecasts: assessing the risk and walking safely so that the journey towards the goal is as productive and efficient as possible. What is the use of investing efforts in a path that does not lead to the desired goal? What is the use of investing resources in foreseeing the impossible, leaving others to risks real?

Strategic planning is imposed, thus, in the financial and business world as the heart of decision-making, as well as of the diagnosis and resolution of problems. That is why many organizations trust third parties (outsourcing) to carry out these types of interventions and receive help to redirect their efforts to obtain more and better results.

Strategic planning models

The strategy map is useful to communicate the strategic plan of the organization.

There are various conceptual models to think about or define strategic planning, each one endowed with ways of representation and more or less didactic procedures. The best known of these models are:

  • Balanced scorecard. Based on four areas of interest, understood as independent but interconnected cards, it allows defining the operation of an organization. These four areas are: the financial perspective, the perspective of the client, the perspective of the processes and the perspective of the learning Y knowledge (control). Each card sets out the rigorous strategic objectives and issues to pay particular attention to. Thus, you have a global view of the organization's strategy.
  • Strategic map. Designed as a Organization chart hierarchical, useful for communicating the strategic plan of the organization, contemplating the same four areas of understanding of the previous example: finances, customer, internal processes and control. From each one emerge the lines of connection that determine in a kind of genealogical tree what comes first and what comes next, and what depends on whom in terms of resources or processes.
  • SWOT analysis. Very commonly used in various areas, its name comes from the acronym for the four elements that it seeks to evaluate in any organization: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The first two relate to the internal and the last two to the external, which draws a fairly didactic grid of the strategic situation of the organization and allows for future design.
  • PEST analysis. Its name comes from the words: politics, economy, sociocultural and technological. These are the four strategic areas that this model proposes to understand any organization. This analysis is ideal for industrial environments and usually represents these four factors using concatenated circles (since they depend on each other in many things).
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