I will be brief in describing steps in strategic planning process. This is because most of Simply Strategic Planning is all about a simple corporate strategic planning process. My aim now is simply to give a helicopter view of the design of the strategic planning steps.
In briefest summary, the steps in strategic planning process consist of-
The first of the steps in strategic planning focuses on data
The amount of data required to play the game governed by the steps in strategic planning process is very small.
You need to collect only three types of data:
That is all!
Just three key areas; leave out any of them and the corporate strategic plan will be defective.
You might think that it was a fairly obvious list of essential items. Yet organizations prepare their strategic plans with one, or even two, of these essential kinds of data missing!
It is especially common for people to do the second two steps in a SWOT analysis and claim they have completed their strategic plan. Not so!
The second of the steps in strategic planning involves deliberation
While the amount of data involved in corporate strategic planning is much less than most people realize, the second of the steps in strategic planning process involves a great deal of discussion and consideration of all sides of a set of issues; it involves the kind of committed thoughtfulness you would expect in the deliberations of a jury! Some of the issues may turn out to be of life or death importance in terms of the future of the organization.
The third of the steps in strategic planning is about decision
Having gathered a small but set of data, and deliberated on it to clarify the most important issues for the organization; it is finally time to take decisions about how to address these major strategic issues. Here we must avoid the danger of going on too long with our deliberations, with our wheels spinning us into analysis paralysis. This final of the steps in strategic planning is where the rubber hits the road! At this stage we commit to taking action!
This all may sound very simple, and therefore very easy.
In practice moving though steps in strategic planning can be very challenging. This is because it is not only the logic of the process that matters. The people involved matter. This includes not only those directly involved in the process of planning; the chief executive led team of senior managers. It also includes those whose lives may be impacted by the decisions taken and acted on after going through the steps in strategic planning.
So in addition to steps in strategic planning that involve gathering vital data, deliberating on it, and coming to decisions ,the strategic planning steps, stages or process tasks must also ensure the engagement and commitment of all relevant parties.
That does not mean that the steps in strategic planning process need to be very complicated or ‘scientific’. The strategic planning steps are few in number. However it is important that they be done in a certain way.All steps in strategic planning process involve many sub steps or tasks that can be grouped into five essential stages
In practice I have found that the actual strategic planning process steps can be organized into five stages as depicted in the following graphic.
While steps in strategic planning process are displayed as a straight-through sequence, in practice there are sure to be discussions among planning team members that result in revising earlier stages, and sometimes possible outcomes of later stages will be anticipated at the earlier steps in strategic planning. Lessons learnt towards the end will frequently cause the planning team to look back and revise what they had previously decided.
More detailed information on all steps in strategic planning is available on this site
Effective strategic planning requires only a handful of procedures.
1. Engage commitment
2. Set long term strategic objectives for improved performance
Material on how to go about this is available at Corporate objectives.
3. Generate strategic options
How to do the strategic analyses required before generating options is set out at SWOT analysis. The variety and scope of possible strategies is covered under Business Strategy and Strategic Planning Nonprofit.
4. Evaluate and decide on strategies
5. Monitor plan implementation against the long term objectives.
This process is explained at Strategic Management Process.