Strategic Planning should result in a “foundation for execution” that can enable future activities, and can be leveraged and exploited to respond to new opportunities. An effective foundation for execution depends on tight alignment between business objectives and IT capabilities.
-Enterprise Architecture as Strategy ( Ross, 2006)
Today, we deal with major changes in the business environment whether it is competitors, vendors, or other factors that influence the business. How we manage these and other relationships is critical to the success of the business. Business no longer can be managed with a reactive methodology. Changes are frequent, fast and come from all angles. Managers are not able to react fast enough thereby putting their business and clientele at risk. Strategic Planning gives the manager a proactive approach; allowing them to make decisions in a proactive environment opposed to a reactive environment. If we do not understand, where we have been and what is in our future (Strategic Direction) the ability to maintain a business and deal with these changes become more critical.
The biggest complaint about strategic planning and IT assessments is that it produces documents that are never used and the organization ignores the information. Some of the biggest concerns surrounding strategic planning are who is the executive sponsor? When will I find the time to attend these meetings? Do we have the right players and talent in our organization to be successful? Our organization has never conducted strategic planning before; we tried this in the past and were unsuccessful.
Strategic Planning is not a fast process. It’s like chess – one carefully calculated move at a time. This way, we make sure the organization is doing the right things as it heads down the right path. In planning, things usually are not as complex or as difficult as one would like them. The biggest hurdle is getting started. Start with small steps but just start!
The benefits of Strategic Planning are that business drives IT not the other way around. Planning, budget and IT assessment are now integrated; you have a clearly defined organization with realistic goals, consistent with the mission and objectives. Now you know where to focus your resources and what are the key priorities; thereby increasing efficiencies and effectiveness. You’re now able to make well informed decisions in a proactive manner instead of reactive with assurances of being able to tackle major problems in the organization when they arrive.
Capitalanchor can help you formulate your strategic plan and IT assessment. We understand and are experienced in assisting organizations identify their IT visions, goals, objectives, and strategies from the planning, developing and implementing their IT strategies. For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.