Strategic planning is used to assist an organisation to develop an organisational strategy or strategic plan. It provides a structured process for an organisation to assess and identify or adjust its vision, purpose, principles, priorities and strategic directions which are used to shape and guide the organisation to achieve its vision. The focus of a strategic plan is usually a long term plan for the entire organisation.
Planning at a strategic level serves a variety of purposes which include:
- Clearly defining the purpose and vision of the organisation.
- Establishing realistic strategic direction or priorities consistent with the strategic vision in a defined time frame.
- Engaging key stakeholders in the development of the strategy or strategic Plan.
- Communicating the vision, purpose, and strategic directions/objectives to the organisation's stakeholders.
- Ensuring the most effective use is made of the organisation's resources by focusing the resources on the organisation's key priorities.
- Providing a base from which progress can be measured and establishing a mechanism for informing change, when needed.
- Helping to build strong and cohesive teams.
- Increasing productivity by increased efficiency and effectiveness.
- Generating solutions to major issues.
Implementation of a strategy or strategic plan requires that services, local clinical councils, directorates and units develop their own business plans to articulate what actions they will take to meet service and program priorities; ensuring alignment with the organisation's vision and strategic directions.
The monitoring and review of these business plans provide valuable evidence in the ongoing cycle of analysis and planning at the program, service and organisational levels.
The full strategic planning process should be conducted at least once every three to five years. Each year, operational plans should be updated.