How Do I Choose the Best Strategic Planning Methodology?

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

The best strategic planning methodology starts with a simple framework, which can then be adjusted according to the specific characteristics of the organization. A typical process starts with the establishment of the organization’s mission, followed by an environmental assessment, the development of a strategy, and then the implementation of that plan. After these steps have been completed, most organizations will evaluate the process in order to determine if it was effective. Another strategic planning methodology is to assess the current situation, determine a goal or target, and then develop a plan for reaching that goal. An organization may also start by first envisioning a goal and then making a plan for successfully reaching it.

Some of the elements that can affect strategic planning methodology include the size, age, and current status of a company. For example, a new company may spend more time developing a mission statement, while an established organization may put more resources into an environmental review. Company culture and the scope of the project can also affect the choice of methodology.

Strategic planning methodology that begins with an examination or the development of the organization’s mission and values is a typical choice of larger and more traditionally structured organizations. It is a straightforward, detailed method which ensures that all key processes are covered and evaluated. This method may provide more framework than is needed for a small project.

The simple three-step approach that starts with assessing the situation or current environment tends to work well for smaller companies or less complex goals. After an assessment has been made, the organization determines a goal based on the current environment. Then it makes a plan that will enable it to reach that goal.

Other organizations may wish to base their strategic planning methodology on a goal that is determined without regard to the current environment. Once that goal is determined, the organization then performs a gap analysis in order to decide what needs to be done to achieve success. Then the strategy team will determine the specific steps that would close the gap. Once those elements are known, they can be developed into a plan of action.

Another simple three-step strategic planning methodology starts with an assessment of the current environment. Once the external situation is known, team members determine a goal or target. Then they create a plan which enables the organization to reach its goals.

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