Strategic planning is a tool used by businesses and organizations, to guide their operations. It is a long term process of defining a company’s strategy, direction, and ways of distributing resources, so as to achieve objectives with maximum efficiency.
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It presents a company’s mission, vision, core values, and to some extent, the strategy used by a company, to achieve its goals (Bryson, 2011). There are different models of strategic planning.
This paper looks at two models; issue-based and alignment models, in a bid to show their similarities and differences. Thereafter, it shows how the issue-based model can be used by a nursing institution.
People often say that failing to plan is planning to fail. This shows why strategic planning is vital for both public and non-profit organizations (Burkhart & Reuss, 1993). There are five models of strategic planning; basic, issue-based, alignment, scenario, and organic planning models.
Issue-based and alignment models are common. The two require a company to define its mission and resources. They also guide a company on identifying their problems, and possible solutions.
Many companies prefer issue-based model because of the effectiveness. It requires a company to perform internal, as well as external SWOT analysis of its issues (Bryson, 2011).
It also guides a company on identifying its goals and strategies for achieving these goals. If the model is to be successful, an organization must update its mission, vision, and values, between 10-20 years, for better operational management.
The model also involves identifying possible solutions to problems. The issues (problems) and ideas (solutions) get compiled into a strategic plan and implemented thereafter.
The company then undertakes monitoring of the implementation process, and this acts as a check and balance in understanding the goals met. In this case, customers are significant indicators of a company’s failure or success.
The alignment model, on the other hand, enables a company to align itself on its mission and available resources, in a way that aids in achievement of its objectives (Burkhart & Reuss, 1993). Companies experiencing many internal challenges use it (Bryson, 2011).
It requires an organization to identify areas that need adjustments. After identification of these adjustments, the company goes ahead to identify their making. First, they have to be added onto the strategic plan, before implementation.
The issue-based approach can be used by a nursing institution. This is an institution that requires expansion of services and bed capacity, as the number of patients increases. There is a growing need for healthcare services, and this should be the first issue to be identified by the nursing institution.
The administrators ought to identify the resources that are available for this growing need. Such resources include; finances, number of beds, and staff. This ought to be followed by a SWOT analysis whereby the management identifies its strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
Its strengths lie on quality medical care, while weaknesses arise from lack of careful planning on how to meet the health needs of all patients. Its opportunities are likely to be determined by interactions with non-governmental organizations, which are likely to give it funds for various services.
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Threats arise from competing with other nursing institutions. Once a nursing institution identifies these issues, it goes ahead to suggest ways of addressing these issues. It should incorporate these issues and ideas onto its strategic plan, implement the ideas, and oversee the complete implementation process.
In conclusion, strategic planning is part and parcel of a successful company. It guides an organization on the path to follow so as to achieve its goals.
A company that lacks a strategic plan is less likely to achieve its objectives. This essay advises companies’ administrators to be at the forefront of effective goal achievement, by ensuring formulation and implementation of remarkable strategic plans.
Bryson, J. (2011). Strategic Planning for Public and Non-profit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement (4th Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Burkhart, P. & Reuss, S. (1993). Successful Strategic Planning: A Guide for Non-profit Agencies and Organizations. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.