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Strategic Planning Definition

Strategic planning is a broad organizational management action, which aims at shaping the basic functionality of an organization, with a focused vision on the future. This umbrella term covers just about every process carried out in an organization including setting priorities, placing specific goals and working towards them, fortifying operations and ensuring that employees and stakeholders work towards a common goal. It is an iterative approach, but overall continual; even after results are obtained, the work continues. For instance, the process of establishing agreements occurs after obtaining the results, following which evaluating the outcomes and adjusting the direction of flow if need be, takes place. An organization must consider not only the direction in which they are headed and the required activities to do so, but also predicting if they will be victorious.

There is no perfect framework or precise guidelines to follow during strategic planning, but most organizations tend to stick to a common outline with 4 precise stages. The first is the analysis step, which includes a generic study of the internal and external environments of the organization. The second stage involves a strategic formulation, wherein the basic strategic plan is documented. The third and fourth stages include executing the plan and evaluating the outcomes, following which reinforcements can be applied to enhance results in the future.

The organizational goals set by the executive level employees are documented by means of a strategic plan, which is circulated within the organization as a means of communication, dictating the actions needed to be performed to meet these targets. The inclusive collection of all these activities that the organizations use to synchronize and harmonize their actions is known as strategic management.

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