Strategic planning in an organization is a critical issue that all managers and organizational heads take to account in their daily routines. In most cases, firms and other social groupings are faced with tasks that need urgent or quick action and response from the managers and other stakeholders to find a solution to an impending issue. Although some planning decisions require the input of the executive managers or an organization's leadership, it is imperative to ensure that key stakeholders are not left behind in the planning process. Additionally, their involvement should include both internal and external planning procedures. In an organizational setting, internal stakeholders entail the management staff that consists of the board of directors who are much interested in the progress of the firm. On the other hand, the external staff includes of the founders, supporting non-governmental organizations, donors, and other direct clients. Therefore, in this crucial role in an organization of strategic planning, it is important that all stakeholders are included in the planning process in a bid to ensure that success is met in an organization. The current paper discusses some of the most important considerations to take before initiating a strategic planning process.
Demonstrating readiness to do the planning process
Above all, it is important to determine whether the organization is ready for a strategic planning process. Readiness is an essential aspect in determining the course that would be taken in initiating the procedure (Bryson and Alston 23). One of the readiness tasks is to determine whether the organization is ready for the whole process. The process requires the availability of critical resources such as finances, time, as well as the available process to do the task. There are various questions one ought to ask before beginning the strategic planning process. One of them is to determine whether it is the right time to engage in the process. The leaders, in this case, should demonstrate the willingness to effect changes in the human services organization. In this juncture, key determinations ought to be addressed before embarking on adopting the fundamental changes that are needed in the organization (Allison and Kaye). To demonstrate readiness to perform an organized, an organization should illustrate the need to undertake a strategic planning process.
Identifying issues that need to be addressed at the planning level
In an organizational planning process, managers ought to identify critical areas that need to be addressed. In addition, this stage calls for the determination of alternatives or choices that are present and need to be addressed adequately. When such issues are identified, then the next step should be considered to adopt the planning process effectively.
Deciding on the process to adopt
At this point, managers and other staff should evaluate the best planning process to use. The decision is based on the roles and the stakeholders that are involved in this process. For instance, one of the choices may be to adopt the use of committees or acquire services from other experts in the planning sectors. Therefore, it is essential to decide on the process to use in this to demonstrate the readiness to undertake a strategic planning process.
Information identification stage is another crucial step towards showing the readiness to undertake a planning process. In this way, it calls for the gathering of critical information that would help in demonstrating the enthusiasm to perform the task. Thus, it is an essential process for this stage.
From the above analysis, the three aspects are critical in evaluating the need to demonstrate readiness in performing the planning process. An organization's stakeholders, both internal and external ought to identify with all these aspects which makes it possible decide on the willingness to carry out the task. When all of them are included, this makes the whole process open, and they feel their interests have been factored in this situation.
Identifying The Organization's Mission, Vision, as Well As the Values That Guide Its Operation
Each organization's operations are grounded on its mission, vision and the laid down values that guide them. The mission guides an organization on its scope of activities and acts as the guiding tool to maintain it in its core roles. Furthermore, the organization should identify with the vision which portrays the bigger picture of its long-term goals. From this scope, it is imperative to understand that an organization works guided by its mission and vision statements. It has succinct information on its existence and the methods available to perform its tasks. Thus, before carrying out a decision process on the need to adopt a planning process, the mission is a factor that guides at all times. In addition, the vision statement acts as a signboard that displays the success pattern in an organization in words only if the sole purpose of the strategic planning process is followed. It, therefore, acts as a future model of events or state that is based on assumptions about the future.
Additionally, the existence of values and beliefs make organizations operate within them. In this case, it makes it possible for the organizations to work explicitly within the grounded beliefs and customs. Therefore, the mission, values, and vision make an organization know and operate within its scope. It knows why, how, and how to achieve its goals. Thus, it is noble to understand these aspects which are crucial to beginning the process of strategic planning. It makes the managers and other key stakeholders ensure that they operate within the mission, vision, and values.
Assessing the Current Problem and Mutually Agreeing On Priorities
Once an organization has established its readiness to do a task and identified the planning process in line with the mission, vision, and values, there is a need to focus on existing problems. In this case, there is a need to assess existing issues and determine the extent to which some planning methods are required. When a problem is identified, essential data is gathered both internally and externally with the consent of all stakeholders (Rogers, Finley, and Galloway 48). A SWOT analysis is preferred in this case to ensure that an organization's weaknesses are identified to enhance effective strategic planning procedure (Allison and Kaye Np). Once this has been done, the affected stakeholders have to agree on the available options to adopt in making new changes or other new plans.
All in all, the strategic planning process entails several steps to make it realistic. However, the readiness aspect of initiating the process must be demonstrated. Additionally, the planning process must be aligned with the organization's mission, vision, as well as values. After this is done, the involved parties that include the stakeholders have to identify with the existing problems. The involvement aims at instilling confidence and support among the stakeholders.
Allison, Michael, and Jude Kaye. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide and Workbook. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2005. Print.
Bryson, John M, and Farnum K. Alston. Creating and Implementing Your Strategic Plan: A Workbook for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. New York: Wiley, 2004. Print.
Rogers, Gayla, Donna S. Finley, and John R. Galloway. Strategic Planning in Social Service Organizations: A Practical Guide. Toronto, Ont: Canadian Scholars' Press, 2001. Internet resource.
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