The Key Factors of Strategic Planning
There are a number of key factors to consider with any planning. The areas are as follows:
Focus refers to concentrating limited resources in the areas that will reap the most rewards.
Goals are what we are aiming to achieve from our efforts and investment. All too often that is simply equated with money and does not consider other, more important factors.
Competitive Advantage refers to the fact that we are operating in a competitive environment. If we are not aware of the fact that there are other players competing with us for the same client’s money, then we are likely to lose.
Superior Performance. What is important for the organisation, is to plan a position which takes into account all of the players. Firstly the strategist must achieve superior performance to the competitor. At the same time the strategy must be in line with the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation and must also meet the needs of the market. A successful strategy is one which gives a stronger matching of organisational strengths with market needs than that provided by the competition.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA), which suggests that there are many possible good ideas, but which one will remain yours (that the competitors cannot take away) and work for the longest time?
Creativity and Innovation. What gives a strategy its competitive impact is the creative element and the will of the mind that conceived it to make it work.
Flexibility – The best strategies are flexible and allow for innovation. They are based on information, which gives us a series of probabilities to work with. Strategy is vulnerable to reality. One cannot totally predict the future. All business decisions are probabilistic. There is always a chance of the plan failing.
Basic Conceptual Simplicity – Complicated, long range plans rarely work and require constant adaptation and change – usually into another detailed long range plan. We must remember that any strategic plan is based partly on historic information and partly on future prediction. Once written it also becomes part of history.
The Ability to be Implemented. A wonderfully conceived and crafted strategy is meaningless unless it can be implemented to achieve the Mission and Goals of the organisation