Basic Approach to Strategic Planning

A critical review of past performance by the owners and management of a business and the preparation of a plan beyond normal budgetary horizons require a certain attitude of mind and predisposition. Some essential points which should to be observed during the review and planning process include the following:

* Relate to the medium term i.e. 2/4 years
* Be undertaken by owners/directors
* Focus on matters of strategic importance
* Be separated from day-to-day work
* Be realistic, detached and critical
* Distinguish between cause and effect
* Be reviewed periodically
* Be written down.

As the precursor to developing a strategic plan, it is desirable to clearly identify the current status, objectives and strategies of an existing business or the latest thinking in respect of a new venture. Correctly defined, these can be used as the basis for a critical examination to probe existing or perceived Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities. This then leads to strategy development covering the following issues discussed in more detail below:

* Vision
* Mission
* Values
* Objectives
* Strategies
* Goals
* Programs