For any company, whether already established, on the verge of breaking even or just starting out, the most critical step involves the setting of goals. Furthermore, such targets should also be accompanied by a strategy or framework and strategies to achieve them. The goals include both long-term and short-term ambitions. Short-term goals are those that are meant to guide the company or organization growth in the foreseeable future while the long-term goals are those intended to guide it into the unforeseeable time in the future. Long-term goal achievement is arrived upon through the completion of a series of short-term goals as the company grows, and signify the maturity of a company or organization. The formulation of clear and achievable short-run goals is therefore critical for the overall survival of the company and in enabling it to achieve the desired success in the unforeseeable future.
In the setting of goals for the organization, the essential element is planning. This refers to the step by step mapping out of the frameworks that drive company growth, identification of the associated goals and deciding on the best actions that could be taken to achieve the desired results. It is particularly important, especially in the modern competitive world, as it gives purpose to the company and thus making it easy for stakeholders to understand and know what to expect in the event they make investments in the company. There are several types of planning that an organization could adapt to push forward its development goals. Strategic planning is one such example that is commonly used by organizations In their quest to arrive at their desired destination(Simerson, 2011).
Strategic planning refers to the process of setting out and defining the essential routes a company has to take and mapping out the probability of getting from the current state of the and placing to the point where the owners desire it to be. In such a manner, it gives life to the mission as set by the company and the vision of success as held by its stakeholders. A key component in the concept of strategic planning is that it comprises of the thinking of, and formulating decisions that touch on the entire organization. It is also tailored in a manner that suits the unique characteristics of the particular organization it represents, with the complexity depending on the size of the company. It is essential to understand that in creation, it links a chain comprising of strategic plans, medium range plans and detailed programs and finally the short run budgets and operating plans(Types of Planning: Strategic, Tactical, Operational & Contingency Planning - Video & Lesson Transcript, 2018)).
Formulation of a strategic plan involves first the identification of a suitable process, where the company potential and readiness, implementation costs regarding financial and human resources along with the procedures and responsibilities are considered. An environmental scan, both internal and external would then be carried out to identify opportunities and risks involved. The fundamental questions, choices and strategic issues to be addressed are identified and priorities set according to their importance. This is followed by a review of the intended vision, mission, and values desired by the organization. A shared vision would then be developed along with the goals desired over a definite number of years.Key strategies would then be evaluated and an action plan addressing the identified goals and objectives over the course of the implementation process. The final steps include the plan production and the design of monitoring procedures to measure progress over the years set forth(Steiner, 2010).
Another main planning strategy that is commonly used by organizations is tactical planning. This is not much different from strategic planning, with the exception being that they are tailored to forecast what the company desires to achieve in the short run. They most commonly form the building blocks to achieving the goals set out in the strategic plan. Essentially, the major difference from strategic plans is that they are tailored to focus on only a part of the organization like a department or company branch for example, as opposed to the organization as a whole. The formulation of tactical plans and the processes involved are similar to those taken to design strategic planning. The two strategies, however, have a few differences in the tools and techniques applied in the formulation and should not be confused with each other (Simerson, 2011)..For instance, while strategic planning requires a broad perspective analysis of a more extensive array of factors to formulate, tactical planning is primarily focused on solving the problem at hand and features consideration of a much narrower variety of factors such as marketing and technology as the time changes. The Consideration is taken in strategic planning also constitute a very long time frame as cannot be predicted at the time. In contrast, however, tactical planning is likely to involve goals that are achievable shortly, thus constituting milestones in the achievement of the strategic plans of the particular company. Another thing is that tactical planning has a predetermined area of responsibility, which makes it ideal for use In a specific geographic area, a core process, or in addressing a particular cultural issue. Strategic planning, in contrast, is perfect for use in treating an item in a large organization due to the cumulative nature of elements it encompasses (The Importance of Planning in an Organization, 2018).
Planning is essential in any organization as they guide an organization on the way forward in the quest to achieve its goals. Furthermore, it enables an organization to expend its available resources in a more efficient manner such that it can maximize productivity through the information availed to the management. The setting of goals in a competitive but realistic way as can be achieved through the application of various planning processes also allow the organizations to survive long enough to meet its intended visions and objective. This is topped by the analysis of feedbacks and forecasts, which would enable companies to take corrective actions on time in case of defects in the existing plans since they are not designed to be rigid. Risks and uncertainty factors are also managed better when planning is undertaken as they can be anticipated and mitigation measures set in place in advance thus cushioning the involved company. Since planning and implementation enable everyone involved to understand their roles and responsibilities better, cohesion can be increased and a sense of belonging cemented in the workers, who in turn would work better to drive the organization towards its goals. Also, since the activities involved help the organization to get a clear view at their weakness, strengths, and vulnerabilities, competitive advantage can be easily created through the manipulation of such factors as compared to their market competitors(Cothran & Wyoski, 2012).
Looking at the factors discussed in the paper, it is clear that planning is of utter importance to any organization or company if at all it desires to attain its intended targets and goals in the market. A carefully designed plan is therefore vital in guiding the organization to success. As such, leaders of such organizations should be adequately equipped to outline the way forward as well as lead the organization to its intended targets and goals.
Cothran, H. M., & Wysocki, A. F. (2012). Developing SMART goals for your organization. Retrieved April, 22, 2018.
Simerson, B. (2011). Strategic planning - a practical guide to strategy formulation and executio (pp. 1-48).
ABC-CLIO. Steiner, G. A. (2010). Strategic planning. Simon and Schuster.The Importance of Planning in an Organization. (2018). Smallbusiness.chron.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-planning-organization-1137.html
Types of Planning: Strategic, Tactical, Operational & Contingency Planning - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com. (2018). Study.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018, from https://study.com/academy/lesson/types-of-planning-strategic-tactical-operational-contingency-planning.html
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