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Strategic Planning

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Fail to plan is a plan to fail. We always read or heard this statement either in books, articles, billboards or while attending any forums or seminars. Why planning plays a vital role before executing any projects? Why do we need to plan? The popularity of strategic planning continues even though the link between its use and organizational performance has yet to show consistent signs of significance1. The logical explanation behind it is lack of understanding of the important factors that may cause modifications in the planning systems itself. Normally, managers are given a standard strategic planning “package” and are asked to implement it.

What will be the impact to a company if the strategist of that company forget to plan or to be precise do what we call a strategic planning? Perhaps they think that planning is not important in running their business? Among the reasons for poor or no strategic planning are as follows2:-

- poor reward structures

- fire fighting

- waste of time

- too expensive

- laziness

- content with success

- fear of failure

- overconfidence

- prior bad experience

- self-interest

- fear of unknown

- honest difference of opinion

- suspicion


For some people planning is an art. Others will just follow through as it is one of the process to get things done. Planning or strategic planning is an art. Not many people have this talent. There are certain guildelines need to be followed to get whatever we have plan. The guidelines that need to be followed are3:-

Guideline A : Give adequate attention to all dimensions of strategic planning (rational, political and educational)

Guideline B : Balance specialized and fragmented planning inputs with overall qualitative analysis and judgments

Guideline C : Integrate strategic planning with complementary organizational systems

Guideline D : Maintain and upgrade the strategic planning

The above guidelines serves as a guideline to any company to follow but they are not meant to be followed blindly. They can adjust to suit their company. Most important part is to choose the right strategist. Although there will be only one strategist but the planning process itself must involves all levels of staffs. The problem may arise if the one and only strategist do the planning without any involvement of other employees.

More than a few strategic planning efforts have run aground because they were based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what a strategic plan is. Sometimes strategic planning is confused with other planning modalities, each valid in its own right but geared toward a different end result. To put it simply, not every plan is a strategic plan.


There are many tools that the company can used in strategic planning. The popular tool is the balance scorecard approach4. Using this approach, the company will measure their company's performance from four different perspectives which are financial, customer, business process and learning and growth. Managers used this to plan and communicate to their subordinates which will also serve as their vision direction.

Strategically, these perspectives will enable the managers and other employees to plan better as they have better understanding on what they should do to achieve their short or long term planning. These angles will also help the lower level employees to plan their futures with the company and move them from the dark.

The bedrock of any successful strategic plan is a warts-and-all consideration of capabilities and strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Information, both objective and subjective, must be gathered from a wide array of sources, including staff and board members, clients, community leaders, funders and partner organizations. The planning process is important and the right tool is needed to help the company to kick start their journey. But it is important to get a simple yet usable tool so that the tool can be used to its fullest. Any obstacle arrive

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