Strategic Planning Is a Disciplined Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

If a startup is being planned, the strengths and weaknesses are related mainly to the promoter(s) - their experience, expertise and management abilities - rather than to the project. The objective is to build up a picture of the outstanding good and bad points, achievements and failures and other critical features within the company.

Threats & Opportunities

The external threats and opportunities confronting a company, can exist or develop in the following areas:

The company's own industry where structural changes may be occurring

(Size and segmentation; growth patterns and maturity; established patterns and relationships, emergence/contraction of niches; international dimensions; relative attractiveness of segments)

The marketplace which may be altering due to economic or social factors (Customers; distribution channels; economic factors, social/demographic issues; political & environmental factors)

Competition which may be creating new threats or opportunities

(Identities, performances, market shares, likely plans, aggressiveness, strengths & weaknesses)

New technologies which may be causing fundamental changes in products, processes, etc. (Substitute products, alternative solutions, shifting channels, cost savings etc.)

Against an uncertain and shifting background, the objective must be to identify and prioritize the key SWOTs in a one-handed manner (Don't say "on the one hand but on the other hand

When using the Strategic Planning Worksheet below, note the following suggestions:

Relate the planning exercise to a specific company or, if diversified, to individual strategic business units.

Ideally the worksheet should be compiled by a multi-discipline management group, or separately by 2/3 groups and then discussed in plenary session if a large business unit is involved.

If working on your own, complete the worksheet and then return to it a few times over the following few days and critically review what you wrote - why, why, why etc. And ask yourself whether you have seen the "wood for trees." completed worksheet should be edited down into a 1-2-page document and reviewed by the group(s). The final form of the document need not follow the worksheet's layout provided all the matters are covered.

All ideas, issues etc. should be internally consistent and realistic.

You need a very good understanding of the market, competitors etc. In order to make a clear assessment of your SWOTs. If you haven't got this insight, suspend work on your strategic plan until you have done this basic research.

Allow enough time as you may find it much more difficult to write a short plan than a long one

F) Criteria to evaluate strategies

Periodic evaluations of strategies, tactics, and action programs are essential to assessing success of the strategic planning process. It is important to measure performance at least annually (but preferably more often), to evaluate the effect of specific actions on long-term results and on the organization's vision and mission (Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1997). The organization should measure current performance against previously set expectations, and consider any changes or events that may have impacted the desired course of actions.

G) Competitive strategies

Unpredicted and unintended events frequently occur that differ from the organization's intended strategies, and the…

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