When to use Strategic Analysis
Strategic planning is the process of developing a shared vision of your organization’s future and deciding upon the major steps you will take to move the organization in that direction. A strategic analysis is one of the key phases and requirements to the development of any strategic plan.
The strategic planning process determines:
(1) what your organization wants to achieve, usually expressed as strategic objectives and
(2) how you will direct the organization and its resources towards achieving these objectives over the next several years, usually expressed as strategic actions.
Such planning usually requires that decisions have been or are taken about:
- Your organization’s Vision and Mission.
- Whom you will serve – your so-called target customer or client group.
- Your organization’s “added value” (what marketing people might call your USP or Unique Selling Point).
- The kind of programmes, services or products you will develop and offer.
- The resources needed to deliver successfully – people, money, expertise, relationships, facilities, etc. and a realistic assessment of how much resource will be available over time.
How you can best combine these resources, programmes and relationships to accomplish your Mission in general and your new strategic objectives specifically.
Is strategic planning and analysis only appropriate for whole organization planning?
Strategic planning can be used effectively by whole organizations, by divisions or departments within an organization or by a number of organizations working together on one initiative. Whatever the scale of the plan, it is the Master Plan from which day to day operational plans are derived. having an appropriate analysis of “where we are now” out of an analysis process is critical.
Why have a strategy?
Having a strategic plan helps to ensure not only that you have long term direction but that your organization’s programmes, projects and day-to-day decisions fit in with these long term interests of your organization. A strategic plan also encourages people to work together towards common aims and to recognise what their organization is all about and how their own efforts – however small – contribute to achievements at the highest level.