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Department of Homeland Security: Strategic Planning Essay


Several strategies change an organization’s position about a strategic plan. One strategy is to motivate an organization to adopt a strategic plan to inform the organization of the potential benefits and actual benefits of the plan. The second strategy is to convince the organization to sell the idea of a strategic plan as an opportunity for the organization to rethink its overall objectives, review its mission and vision and create a launching point for new positive initiatives. Moreover, the strategic plan convincing process will note that the organization can use the opportunity to evaluate its current activities and discontinue those that are not in line with its core vision (Bryson, 1988).

The last possible strategy would be to inform the organization of the need to have a strategic plan as a mandatory implementation to ensure that it does not become a victim of irrelevancy in its respective industry.

Going with the motivational strategy is the best choice. This strategy allows one to convince the organization using existing examples and provides room for extra customization. Using the motivational strategy uses the organizational mandate for service to its community. It allows one to present the organization as a bridge of national priorities and specific local priorities of the community it serves (Bryson, 1988).

A motivational strategy is structural. One starts with an analysis of the amount of information available in an organization about a strategic plan. Next, the organization is approached with a sensitization program to educate it on the importance and benefits of strategic plans (Robinson, 1983). Moreover, the convincing party ensures that the focus remains on the benefits to be accrued with the adoption of a strategic plan. Thus, this strategy allows one to use other organizations that have successfully deployed strategic plans as prototypes.

Strategic Planning of Department of Homeland Security

The subject organization is the Department of Homeland Security. It has more than 80 staff both in management and junior levels. The organization has the mandate of ensuring that the American homeland is secure. When the organization is not handling border security, it handles disaster preparedness through its Emergency Preparedness and Response Division. The organization coordinates the activities of the government while responding to disasters.

The strategic issues for the organization are that the organization has to use the military in carrying out its mandate of defending the homeland. The use of military raises policy issues. The organization needs principles to guide it in engaging the military in the modern conditions facing the US (Cornforth, 2001). Therefore, there is a need to identify the present security threats facing the US and develop proper guidelines for the organization on how it engages other governmental departments and the military.

The Department of homeland security now faces the task of being ever responsive, as traditionally defined threats appear more frequently (Strategic Issues, 2011). Another strategic issue that arises from the reorganization of the American military is to serve the role of preventing attacks rather than quelling already existing attacks. The organization relies on its senior leadership and leaders of its partnering departments and the Department of Defense and the Army, to make important military strategy that will eventually advance the cause of the organization (Boyd, 1991).

The determination of the strategic issues affecting the organization forms part of the first step of getting ready to develop the strategic plan (Robinson, 1983). During this first part, an implementing committee is set up and roles defined for each party in the implementation. The next step is the development of the organization profile and identifying the information that would be mandatory and beneficial for decision making during the next steps (Buckmaster, 1999). In the subject organization for this case, the organization formulates a work plan as the product of the first part (Armstrong, 1982).

The second part is the formation of a vision for the organization. At this stage, the mandatory programs and goals that the organization must run and strive to reach respectively are examined; thus, a review of the organization objectives. The definition of the mandate of the organization ensures that they are realized. Furthermore, the mandates give the organization operational boundaries. In summary, the organization came up with a redefined mission. It contained the specific purpose for the existence of the organization and the daily business that the organization carries out. Lastly, a vision of the ideals that the organization strives for was crafted. The result of this part was the drafting of the mission statement containing the above issues (Gottron & Shea, 2010).

The third part of strategic planning for the organization was the assessment of the current situation of the organization. This part gave rise to an information database for reference in decision-making. In this regard, the Department of homeland security has developed a Key Strategic Issue list (KSIL) as a reference material for the Army Department and the Defense Department. The KSIL identifies critical issues that should influence key decisions by top leaders in the military (Strategic Issues, 2011).

On step four, the question of what to do with the results of the last three stages was answered. The organization came up with an outline of its strategic goals. The organization also formulated specific measures for dealing with critical issues identified in the organization. During this part, there was considerable referencing on the results of the previous steps to ensure that the best plan is reached. In the fifth part, the strategic plan for the organization was finally realized (US Department of Homeland Security Handbook, 2010).

Key results for the strategic planning process were the formation of a research dedicated institution to provide research and analytical information that will guide policy formulations that affect the Department of Homeland Security and any other related organization. The institution now plays a key role in influencing military leadership, change and transformation to eliminate any conflict that may arise with the use of the military in defense against civilian groups (Sharp, 1985).


Bryson, J. M. (1988). “A strategic planning process for public and non-profit organizations”. Long Range Planning, 21(1), 73-81.

Robinson, R. B. (1983). “The impact of formalized strategic planning on financial performance in small organizations”. Strategic Management Journal, 4(3), 197-207.

Armstrong, S. J. (1982). The value of formal planning for strategic decisions: Review of empirical research. Strategic Management Jounal, 3(3), 197-211.

Boyd, B. K. (1991). Strategic planning and financial performance: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Management Studies, 28(4), 353-374.

Buckmaster, N. (1999). Associations between outcome measurement, accountability and learning for non-profit organisations. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 12(2), 186-197.

Cornforth, C. (2001). What makes boards effective? An examination of the relationships between board inputs, structures, processes and effectiveness in non-profit organizations. Corporate Governance: an International Review, 9(3), 217-227.

Gottron, F., & Shea, D. A. (2010). Federal efforts to address the threat of bioterrorism: selected issues for Congress. Congress Research Service.

Sharp, G. (1985). National security through civilian-based defense. Omaha, NE: Association for Transarmament studies.

Strategic Issues. (2011). Web.

US Department of Homeland Security handbook. (2010). Washington, DC: International Business Publications.

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