According to Bryson (1994-95) Strategic Planning is a management tool.
SP is used to help an organisation do a better job-to focus its energy, to ensure that members of the organisation are working towars the same goals, to assess and adjust the organisation’s direction in response to a changing environment.
SP is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organisation is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future.
SP determines where an organisation is going over the next year or more and how it is going to get there. The process involves the whole organisation and is focussed on a major function.
In the past organisations referred to the phrase “long-range planning”. Modern planners use the phrase “strategic planning” to capture the strategic (comprehensive, thoughtful and well-placed) nature of strategic planning.
Three Major Activities Involved in Strategic Planning
SP includes three major activities: Strategic Analysis, Setting Direction and Action Planning.
Vision statements are usually a compelling description of how the organisation will or should operate at some point in the future and of how customers or clients are benefitting from the organisation’s products and services.
Value stateents list the overall priorities in how the organisation will operate. Value statements may focus on moral values.
SP is about fundamental decisions and actions, but it does not attempt to make future decisions (Steiner, 1979). SP involves antipating the future environment, but the decisions are made in the present.
Although SP is a tool, it is not a substitute for the exercise for the exercise of judgement by leadership. SP tools support the intuitio, reasoning skills, and judgemnt that peple bring to their organisation. (“The hammer does not create a bookshelf).