Strategic Planning for Business the Objective of Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Strategic Planning for Business

The objective of this study is to examine the importance of strategic planning for business. Toward this end, this study will conduct a review of the literature in this area of inquiry.

Zuckerman (nd) writes that the concept of strategy 'has roots in both political and military history, from Sun Tzu to Homer and Euripides. The word 'strategy' comes from the Greek 'stratego', which means to 'plan the destruction of one's enemies through effective use of resources'." (p.5) Many of the terms that are associated with strategic planning including "objective, mission strength and weakness' are reported as having been developed by or used in the military." (Zuckerman, nd, p.5)

The work of Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) state that "strategic planning defines where the organization is going, sometimes where it is not going, and provide focus. The plan sets direction for the organization and -- through a common understanding of the vision and broad strategic goals -- provides a template for everyone in the organization to make consistent decisions that move the organization toward its envisioned future. Strategic planning, in large part, is a decision-making activity." (Zuckerman, nd, p.6)

The work of Beckham (2000) states that true strategy is "a plan for getting from a point in the present to some point in the future in the face of uncertainty and resistance." (Zuckerman, nd, p.6) The work of Evashwick and Evashwick (1988 define strategic planning as "the process for assessing a changing environment to create a vision of the future; determining how the organization fits into the anticipated environment based on its institutional mission, strengths, and weaknesses; and then setting in motion a plan of action to position the organization accordingly." (Zuckerman, nd, p.6)

Zuckerman (nd) writes that strategic planning "has been used in the general business community since the mid-twentieth century. Planning, programming, and budgeting systems were introduced in the late 1940s and early 1950s but used only sparingly by business and government at that time. In the 1960s and 1970s, leading firms such as General Electric practiced strategic planning, promoting the merits of providing a framework beyond the 12-month cycle and a systematic approach to managing business units." (nd, p.6)

According to Zuckerman (nd) competitive strategy, in the twenty-first century "has become a prominent feature in strategic planning practices, along with a notable uptick in plans that call for alliances and mergers. But today's profoundly uncertain times have forced business strategists to acknowledge that strategic planning as usual will not provide the foundation needed to survive tumultuous economic conditions." (p.6)

I. Strategic Planning Process Requirements

Strategic planning serves as a framework for decisions and for securing support and approval and as well provides a basis for more detailed planning and explains the business to others in order to "inform, motivate, and involve." (Planware.org, 2012, p.1) The strategic plan serves to assist benchmarking and performance monitoring" and stimulates change becoming a building block for the next plan. (Planware.org, 2012, p.1)

The strategic plan is different from the business plan in that the strategic plan is generally a short document and the business plan is a longer document with much more in the way of details. The strategic plan serves as the basis and framework for the business plan. The strategic plan can also be differentiated from the operational plan in that the strategic plan is "visionary, conceptual, and directional in contrast to an operational plan which is likely to be shorter term, tactical, focused, implementable, and measurable." (Planware.org, 2012, p.1)

The strategic plan should be "visionary, conceptual, and directional" and can be contrasted to the operational plan, which is generally "shorter term, tactical, focused, implementable, and measurable." (Planware.org, 2012, p.1) The strategic plan is required to be both "realistic and attainable" as it…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Lawler, JE (nd) The Importance of Strategic Planning. Practical Decisions. Retrieved from: http://www.practicaldecisions.com/strategic-planning.pdf

Business Planning Papers: Developing a Strategic Plan (2012) Planware.org. Retrieved from: http://www.planware.org/strategicplan.htm

Zuckerman (nd) Is Strategic Planning Still Relevant? Chapter 1. Retrieved from: http://www.ache.org/pubs/Zuckerman_Ch1.pdf

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