Strategic planning involves adoption of clear business philosophies by organizations to make them better equipped to meet their goals and objectives. A business policy is a statement highlighting the philosophies that will improve the competitive position of the organization. Situational analysis is a component of the strategic planning process and it focuses on identifying the strategic fit between external opportunities and internal strengths while working around external and internal weaknesses. It is the starting point of any strategic planning team. This is what Rene`e Dye and Olivier Sibony describe as ‘starting with the issue’ in their article ‘How to improve strategic planning’.
Rene`e Dye and Olivier Sibony state that the strategic planning process plays a crucial role in improving the overall success of the strategy process. Although they argue, that conducting the process itself alone is not enough. It is having the ideal method to implement the plan that matters. In this article, the two authors argue that there are five emerging issues that managers can use to make the current strategic plan run better without making any alterations on it. Though they may not necessarily assure success, they at least increase satisfaction with the strategic plan and improve the odds of success. The emerging issues include starting with issues, bringing together the right people, adapting planning cycles to the needs of each business, Implement a strategic-performance-management system and integrating human resource systems into the strategic plan.
Our focus is on the first emerging issue ‘Starting with issues is the first idea’. The CEO will begin by asking the managers of different business units to think of how some specific economic, social and business trends will affect their businesses. It involves each manager identifying the opportunities available, the threats and the counter threats that the trends pose.
After this analysis the managers sit down together to discuss the ideas and findings generated from the task and finally settle into a more typical planning task of forecasting on budget and coming up with new strategic initiatives. While focusing on this issue, the authors suggest that this is one approach towards handling the issue itself where it begins with the managers then to the CEO. This is what the article describes as the Bottom –Up approach. Some businesses will prefer the Top-Down approach where the senior management team assigns each manager an issue to explore and report back in four to six weeks. This top-down approach they suggest is common in organizations where internal consensus building is a key requirement.
Conclusively we note that for any successful strategic plan, it is important that the senior management team identifies the Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that a particular trend may pose to the organization in the process of implementing the plan. It is therefore paramount that the discussions are made so that it becomes possible to determine cost analysis since failure in any single perspective will render the whole strategic plan unworthy.
Dye, Ree`ne, and Olivier Sibony. "How to improve strategic planning." McKinsey & Company | Home Page. McKinsey & Company, 1 Aug. 2007. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.