Strategic planning is a process of creating a shared understanding of a company’s future and helping to drive it towards a desirable outcome.
Businesspeople often think of a strategy as the plan they follow when they enter a new market, bid for a contract, or strike an alliance with another firm. And while such short-term moves require plans to be executed, the general concept of strategy hinges on widening the lens to ponder decisions that affect an entire organization or industry for years or decades.
The strategic planning process starts with a determination of the organization’s mission and the formulation of the organization’s goals. The organization then translates these goals into objectives and selects strategies to accomplish them. These strategies are then implemented through plans and programs (and budgets, salaries, and personnel assignments) to achieve the organizational goals and objectives.