Importance of Strategic Planning in Organizations

In the face of a changing environment, risk, and uncertainty, widely used extrapolation methods based on past trends are only suitable for a stable economy. Therefore, companies and organizations need a strategic approach to be successful. Grünig et al. (2018) note that strategic planning is a set of decisions and actions required to determine an organization’s strategic goals and objectives and how to achieve them. The purpose of strategic planning is to determine the desired position in the industry and the most promising areas of activity that will ensure the growth and prosperity of the business in the face of changing external factors.

In this regard, the main functions of strategic planning are resource allocation, adaptation to the external environment, internal coordination and regulation, and organizational changes. Thus, strategic planning is designed to expand the horizons of anticipating the development of the market situation and enables the company to build its policy for the future, considering the likely changes that will occur in the external environment.

Strategic planning has many benefits, so organizations should pay attention to this type of activity. First of all, strategic planning improves the decision-making process. According to Dess et al. (2016), it is crucial as at least half of all strategic decisions fail due to poor decision-making processes.

Moreover, strategic planning helps to improve the efficiency of the organization. Good governance is a process that mobilizes resources to produce results that indicate organizational performance and trigger the resource flows the organization needs to sustain itself and continue to create social value in the future. Through strategic planning, the firm can maximize its competitive advantage and mitigate its weaknesses, track new trends using them in your work, and take timely protective measures against risks.

The ABC’s of strategic planning is a framework for achieving strategic goals and answers the questions that arise before an organization in its activities. A shows the company’s starting position; B finds out what the organization is trying to achieve; C is figuring out how to accomplish this. Content A and B are the organization’s existing or new mission, structure and systems, communications, programs and services, people and skills, relationships, budgets, and other support. Content C – strategic plan; plans for various functions; ways of redesigning, structuring, or reengineering. Moving from A to B involves clarifying vision, mission, and goals; moving from A to C is a strategy development process; moving from C to B is the implementation of the strategy.

However, strategic planning is not always advisable. Strategic planning cannot solve critical situations that threaten the organization. Therefore, the organization must be stable before applying strategic planning. Hopkins (2020) states that creating a strategic planning subsystem at a particular enterprise should begin with putting things in order in the management system, increasing the general management culture, strengthening executive discipline, and improving data processing.

Furthermore, strategic planning requires an additional investment of time and the involvement of new people. All of these can be detrimental to the organization, especially when resources are scarce. Thus, strategic planning is not a panacea for all management diseases but just one of the tools.

It is noteworthy that not every planning is strategic. The most crucial distinguishing feature of strategic planning is the flexibility of the planning horizon, which is primarily determined by the scale and size of the company. Moreover, strategic planning at its core presupposes an annual adjustment of the adopted planning decisions and a revision of the corresponding measures for the implementation of these plans. For example, if a company has made a strategy without considering external factors but only focusing on internal policy, this is not strategic planning.

In the health sector, a changing external environment, including demographic and epidemiological changes, economic fluctuations, social and political expectations, as well as changes within the health care system itself, constantly affect the quality of provided services. In this regard, managers must pay close attention to strategy implementation to avoid common mistakes that lead to failure. Although 80 percent of executives develop appropriate strategies, only 14 percent can implement them correctly and successfully. Thus, implementing the strategic plan will not happen in the hospital on its own, and staff needs to pay attention to the factors affecting implementation and remove obstacles.

Data for this study was collected through a survey of medical experts and senior managers. The data obtained were analyzed using the ISM. Thus, the experts identified five main factors influencing the implementation of the strategic plan. “Senior manager awareness and participation in the strategic planning process” and “Creating and maintaining team participation in the strategic planning process” were the most important factors influencing the implementation of the strategic plan. Third place went to “Employee participation and involvement in the strategic planning process.” “Organizational structure effects on the strategic planning process” came in fourth. Bahadori et al. (2018) also identified “Organizational culture effects on the strategic planning process” among the five variables.

Bahadori et al. (2018) offered recommendations to improve the implementation of the strategic plan, such as increasing collaboration between hospital staff, encouraging teamwork, and increasing employee participation in the strategic implementation plan. Encouraging change and innovation in employees by creating a flexible environment and developing the potential for learning in people, Bahadori et al. (2018) attribute to the factors influencing the successful implementation of SP. Moreover, Bahadori et al. (2018) highlighted some of the limitations of their study. They are associated with the analysis of the factors of the strategic plan only in a particular hospital. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the proposed factors and recommendations apply to many organizations and go beyond the field of health.

References

Bahadori, M., Teymourzadeh, E., Tajik, H., Ravangard, R., Raadabadi, M. & Hosseini, S.M. (2018). Factors affecting strategic plan implementation using interpretive structural modeling (ISM). International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 31(5), 406-414. Web.

Dess, G. G., McNamara, G., & Eisner, A. (2016). Strategic management: Text and cases (8th ed.). Irwin Management.

Grünig, R., Kühn, R. & Montani, M. (2018). The strategy planning process: Analyses, options, projects. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Hopkins, J. (2020). 10 essential keys to strategic planning: A practical guide to building value in business. Cognella Academic Publishing.

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