As the business environment continues to change rapidly and industries move to hyper-competition, a firm’s need for strategic planning and implementation becomes essential to sustain its growth and success. Many firms can not spare the human resources necessary to complete the strategic planning and implementation process.  Also, many organizational leaders find it difficult to maintain the necessary objectivity while designing strategy within their own firm. For these reasons, more and more businesses have turned to consulting professionals. 

One method in managing the Strategy Planning and Implementation process is described below and depicted in the figure at the bottom.  This process was formed by combining the latest in strategy theory and professional insights.  Although the following process is not the only way to approach strategy planning there are a few key elements that all processes have in common. These elements include analyses of the industry, customer, competition and the firm.

The Strategic Analysis and Planning Process

View of the World
The View of the World is the foundation for developing a sound strategic plan. It is a thorough analysis of the general environment; industry, competition, markets and competition.  The ability for a firm to recognize and understand the world it competes in is crucial for obtaining a competitive advantage.

View of the Firm
This process analyzes the firm’s internal environment: what resources and capabilities it has, how it currently uses these for competitive advantage, what resources and capabilities could it further develop to create a sustained advantage.  This analysis demonstrates how a firm is able to respond to the changing environment. 

Strategic Alternatives and Strategy Determination
By matching the internal environment of the firm with the critical success factors needed to meet the challenges of a changing external environment and competitive landscape, new opportunities and strategic alternatives are highlighted.

From these alternatives and the analysis, the firm is able to formulate a long term strategy and implementation plan that enables the firm to meet its objectives.  This involves aligning the organization’s structure and processes with the strategy, including formulating a vision and mission statement, creating a framework for prioritization of implementation projects and constructing a reward system that supports the firm’s goals.


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