Strategic planning is defined as organizational administration activity that is used to focus energy and resources, make sure that the staff and other stakeholder are working toward a common goal, strengthen operations within the organization, assess and adjust the organization’s direction of response to changing surroundings, establish agreement around intended results, and set priorities (Hans, Hulshof, Houdenhoven, & Erwin ,2012, p. 316). Strategic planning is a closely controlled effort that aims at producing fundamental actions and decisions that guide and shape what an organization truly is, its customers, its operations, and why it operates continuously focusing on the future of the organization (Hans et al., 2012, p. 320). A strategic plan is a manuscript that is useful in communicating with the organization about the goals of the organization, actions that are needed to realize those goals and all the other important elements that were formulated in the planning exercise. Strategic implementation process turns strategies and plans that were developed into actions so that the goals and objectives of the strategic plan can be realized. (Senge & Peter, 2014). Strategic plan development and the implementation process are important for any organization that needs to realize its hidden and unexploited potential.
They may vary in sizes and shapes, but all strategic plans have the same components. The strategic plan should have a communication lay-out strategy that is important for the success of the development and execution of any strategic plan. Communication is important and is used in assigning of employees to roles that are needed in the planning process (Swayne, Erwin, Duncan & Ginter, 2012). For a successful undertaking in the establishment of a strategic plan, a Strategic Planning Task Force made up of organization leaders should be formed. The task force should meet regularly and come up with clear and defined deliverables in every meeting. Organization objectives should be specific, realistic, action-oriented, measurable, and time-bound. Objectives are important in realizing the organization’s goals and vision. Tasks should also be assigned to departments or individuals to achieve the goals of the organization in case of a specific actionable event. Tasks should be specific, realistic, action-oriented, measurable, and time-bound too (Grigoroudis, Orfanoudaki & Zopounidis, 2012, p 112). Implementation strategy should also be the most important element of a strategy plan. Aligning of resources and prioritizing initiatives should be included in a tactical strategy as soon as the strategic plan has been put in place. The implementation process is aimed at pulling all the pieces of the strategic plan together to ensure collectively that the plan is feasible and that no pieces are missing. It is important to monitor the challenges and the success of planning initiatives and assumptions of the strategic plan during the implementation process. When monitoring the success of the strategic plan, measurement criteria defined in the objectives and goals must be looked into. Monitoring is important because it may be essential to review the plan and its suppositions if elements of the strategic plan are not balancing. Also, every organization must have a short and concise vision statement that answers the question of what the organization will look like in the future. A mission is also included and should be a definition of what the organization is. A strategic plan should also have a guiding principle and core beliefs that are passionate, distinctive and enduring and consist of accepted rules in the organization (Grigoroudis et al., 2012, p. 106).
Many methodologies exist for strategic management and planning development, and most of them follow a similar pattern.
- First, assessment or analysis is conducted; an understanding is developed on the current external and internal environments.
- Secondly, strategy formulation where an effective formulation of strategic management and an essential organization level strategic plan is accepted.
- Thirdly, strategy execution is employed, and the strategic plan becomes operational.
- Lastly, sustainment or evaluation management phase is implemented where monitoring of culture, performance, data reporting, communication, and other strategic administration issues are anticipated to occur.
Having a good strategy management framework provides any organization with sustainable competitive advantage (Grigoroudis et al., 2012, p. 108). Strategic management will aid organizations in making wise decisions because the organization has a vision that it wants to achieve and a mission for doing it. Having an objective and a goal to achieve is a clear indication that the organization knows what it wants to do and who it needs to get there and will focus on limited finances, resources, and people (Rennke et al., 2013). A targeted and a contentful approach to opportunities and markets guide the sales and marketing efforts, business decisions, and distributions ultimately mean more profit to the bottom line and a stronger market position.
The job of an organization leader is to make sure that a successful implementation of a strategic plan (Rennke et al., 2013). An organization leader must be committed to implementing the plan that will move the company forward. Strategic plan demands a lot from an organization such as, identifying internal processes that will drive the plan forward, committing resources, money, and enough time needed to sustain the plan and to using readily accessible resources and attaining maximum outcomes with them. Strategy planning, strategy management, and implementation process are important for any organization that needs to grow. It is important to understand that strategy management is a process not an event and should be given time to take effect and a meaningful process can then be noted.
Swayne, Linda E., W. Jack Duncan, and Peter M. Ginter. Strategic management of health care organizations. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
Senge, Peter M. The fifth discipline fieldbook: Strategies and tools for building a learning organization. Crown Business, 2014.
Grigoroudis, E., E. Orfanoudaki, and C. Zopounidis. “Strategic performance measurement in a healthcare organisation: A multiple criteria approach based on balanced scorecard.” Omega 40.1 (2012): 104-119.
Hans, Erwin W., Mark Van Houdenhoven, and Peter JH Hulshof. “A framework for healthcare planning and control.” Handbook of healthcare system scheduling. Springer US, 2012. 303-320.
Rennke, Stephanie, et al. “Hospital-initiated transitional care interventions as a patient safety strategy: a systematic review.” Annals of internal medicine 158.5_Part_2 (2013): 433- 440.