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8.2 The Planning Process

Planning can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Figure 8.1 "The Planning Process (Adapted from May)" presents a typical model of the strategic planning process.Adapted from May (2010). The mantraAn often-repeated phrase that provides the basis for a company’s existence. is an often-repeated phrase that provides the basis for the existence of the company. It is a slogan, a watchword, a byword, or a motto that breathes life into the firm’s existence. The mantra is not a replacement for the mission statement. The missionAn overall view of the business at an abstract level. It describes what the company does, why it exists, and how it satisfes customer needs. statement is an overall view of the business at an abstract level. It describes what the company does and why it exists and how it satisfies customer needs. The mission statement can also include a statement reflecting whether the company will focus on product differentiation and niche markets, focus on being price-competitive, or focus on both. The mantra and the mission are rarely static but ever-changing and emerging throughout the life of the firm.

The essence of the planning process consists of looking-inside and looking-outside analysis. AnalysisInvolves both introspection and extrospection. involves both introspection and extrospection. The internal and external organization environments are examined using a number of analytical approaches, several of which are included in Table 8.1 "Orientations of Strategic Planning Approaches". These techniques will be covered in the next section. There is a lot of confusion related to identifying goals and objectives. Many view the terms goals and objectives to be interchangeable. GoalsMore abstract and broader than objectives. are more abstract and broader than objectives. ObjectivesMore detailed than goals. are generally more detailed. The important point that will be discussed in the next chapter is to identify the goals and objectives that will help support the mantra, the mission, and the value proposition over a certain time frame. The tacticsThe activities the organization will use over the next three months to a year to reach their goals and objectives. are the activities the organization will use over the next 3 months to a year to reach their goals and objectives. The tactics can include timetables and schedules related to the goals and objectives. The key to the model in Figure 8.1 "The Planning Process (Adapted from May)" is that this is not a linear process. Sometimes a new mission emerges after analysis has been completed. Mission statements that change, reflect an organization that can adapt to dynamic environments.

Figure 8.1 The Planning Process (Adapted from May)

Table 8.1 Orientations of Strategic Planning Approaches

Inter organizational focus External competitive environments focus Time to execute
Value and supply chain analysis High Low Moderate
Porter’s five force model Low High Long
Resource-based framework High Moderate Long
Strategy maps High Moderate Long
Creating Blue Ocean markets using the strategy canvas Moderate to high Moderate to high Short
SWOT analysis Moderate to high Moderate to high Short

We will revisit the definitions in the next chapter and illustrate how the planning process can be streamlined and made more efficient and facilitate the development of business plans in a very short time span using the Ten–Ten planning process.