MGMT 414 Strategic Planning what are the FOUR most interesting topics that you learned about? Why?Lastly, find ONE current news event that relates to our r
MGMT 414 Strategic Planning what are the FOUR most interesting topics that you learned about? Why?Lastly, find ONE current news event that relates to our reading material over the last eight weeks. List the source of the news and discuss how that ONE source relates to our reading material over the last eight weeks. MGMT414 | LESSON 6
Implementing Plans & Reassessing
Developing Implementation Documentation
Developing a Culture that Revolves around a Sense of Urgency
Developing Process Communication Channels for Success
Creating a Learning Culture
Strategic Management Meets Strategic Planning
The last two stages of the strategic planning process include the implementation and reassessing phase. These are unique
phases of the process that include a transitional component where the strategic planning process and systems now become
integrated more formally in the strategic management functions. As in previous steps, moderators and implementers need
to be open to change and have an open mind about adaptive learning. After implementation, it is important for all
stakeholders that are involved with the strategic planning process to reassess and revise strategies that need
redevelopment. Business environment and processes are continuously changing. Successful organizations need to adapt
and react to change when it occurs. The reassessment process includes looking at some of the possible changes in
circumstances that have occurred during the strategic planning process because of events like coalition changes and
changes to resource availability. Unknown events may have occurred that now create reassessment opportunity that must
be addressed. For purposes of our lesson, to avoid repetition of learning content, we will briefly look at some of the factors
of proper implementation, plan reassessment, but will also look at some key principles of strategic management that might
apply to implementing a strategic plan.
It is important to understand some of the general guidelines that should be considered for a successful plan
implementation. Although this list can vary by organization, we will focus on several that seem to be important for all
types of organizations. As a focal point during this process, it is imperative to stress the importance of supportive
coalitions. Coalition building is the process by which parties (individuals, organizations, or nations) come together to form
a coalition. Forming coalitions with other groups of similar values, interests, and goals allow members to combine their
resources and become more powerful than when they each acted alone. Those coalitions should support positive problem
solving and conflict management approaches to help create a successful result. Some of the leadership guidelines for plan
implementation are as follows.
LEADERSHIP GUIDELINES FOR PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
Developing implementation documentation
Developing a culture that revolves around a sense of urgency
Developing process communication channels for success
Creating a learning culture
Developing Implementation Doc Developing
BUDGETING AND PROJECT RESOURCES
Some of the most important parts of the action plans will be to develop work objectives and milestones for those efforts.
This might include the involvement of human resources, staff, and budgeting personnel. A close look at budgeting and
project resources will be imperative to developing parts of these action plans. Can the expected results be met by the
budget that is allocated to each subunit? Are the milestones attainable? Document these resources and implement a plan
that includes the required criteria to complete each part of the plan successfully.
Developing a Culture that Revolves around a Sense of
Business environments can change very quickly. It is important to stress a sense of urgency during the implementation
process. This might even be more important for businesses that create strategic planning processes for the for-profit sector.
Time is of the essence and product introduction and strategic initiatives need to be implemented quickly. “Thomas
Friedman talked about this in his book The World is Flat. He called it a coefficient of flatness: the fewer natural resources
a country or company has, the more it will dig itself for innovations in order to survive. It’s the sense of urgency that
makes them survive, and the same principle applies to individuals.” From a non-profit perspective, government agencies
might need services for citizens that are date dependent. Similarly, the importance or project implementation urgency is
fascinating from a finance perspective when reviewing how publicly traded companies are evaluated.
A strategic plan and its formal implementation could have linkage to overall profit forecasts that key executives and board
members have conveyed to shareholders. For example, it is well known that company executives issue corporate guidance.
This financial guidance, generally issued on an annual and quarterly basis relates to forward-looking estimates that are
based on future and forecasted events. The development and implementation of the strategic plan, and the financial
success that results from that plan, could be part of the overall financial guidance that executives officers provide to the
general public, Hence, urgency in implementation and keeping to the required documented timeframes could be
imperative for the long-term and short-term financial outcomes of the organizations underlying financials and reporting
u Developing Process Communication Channels for
Communication is the cornerstone of good management. Without proper communication channels, messages and
directives get lost. People become confused when messages are not distributed to all the required stakeholders. Make sure
that the proper IT communication channels are in place and that information is building coalitions and not creating
barriers. This might include something as simple as a confined intranet area where internal stakeholders have access to the
implementation updates and possible readjustments to procedures and plans.
m Creating a Learning Culture
As per Blackwood, “A learning culture is one with organizational values, systems and practices that support and
encourage both individuals, and the organization, to increase knowledge, competence and performance levels on an
ongoing basis. This, in turn, promotes continuous improvement and supports the achievement of business goals,
innovation and the ability to deal with change.” This is fascinating from the perspective of an online or virtual student of
higher education. APUS provides platforms to help provide students with access to a virtual library, extended classroom
learning content that is specific to each classroom, student activity centers, and many other adaptive learning sources to
supplement the overall learning experience.
From a strategic implementation perspective, there should be a learning culture that is developed to foster improved
learning content. This might be based on changes that need to be made during the implementation process or to make sure
that the implementation documentation is easily digested and understood by the business community as a whole. As
situations change in the planning process, provide that material as education learning outcomes on learning management
systems that are available to the appropriate staff and stakeholders. Create a learning culture where the staff is constantly
educated about the process.
The reassessment phase focuses on several purposes. One of those includes identifying implemented
strategies, policies and plans for areas of improvement. It looks to identify where the value for the
organization might not be created. Part of the reassessment process might include changing the structure
and outcomes of currently implemented plans. This might mean eliminating some, adding modifications to
others, or simply concluding that the strategy should be maintained based on the results that were
1. It creates an organization that is focused on moving forward with change. This prevents areas
where the business processes will get stuck with tunnel vision about plans that have made them
successful in the past. It might weed out old successful strategies the redefine the way that the
organization does business.
2. It will help to identify what is called crowded strategy areas. Some strategies might have
overlapping components. These need to be reviewed for efficiency and profitability purposes.
Strategic Management Meets Strategic
This course has focused primarily on the strategic planning process. However, we also talked specifically about building a
strategic management system in week #6. Thus, it is important for us to review some of the foundations of strategic
management and how it works.
In terms of how this applies to our studies of strategic planning, strategic management reviews and implements courses of
actions for strategic goals. It might study why some organizations outperform others and how they should compete in a
Strategic management is generally implemented to include the following three continuous processes:
Strategic management also studies ways to implement ways to make the organization unique and how it will maintain an
environment where competitors are unable to substitute the service or good that they offer. It is important to conclude this
chapter with a clear understand that strategic planning is the process of preparing a roadmap to success and to then letting
strategic management fill the gaps in managing certain functions.
The following four common attributes are often assigned to strategic management:
Strategic management is directed towards goals and objectives.
It is a holistic management process, similar to strategic planning, where multiple stakeholders are involved
with the direction of the management process.
Strategic management approaches include both short-term and long-term management directives.
Strategic management focuses on practices that are related to both effectiveness and efficiency.
This week, you have learned more specific information about plan implementation, developing implementation
documentation, process communication channels for success, creating a learning culture, the reassessment phase, strategic
management, and sense of urgency. Some of the more important aspects of this lesson include the discussions about
developing urgency and promoting appropriate channels of communication. Project urgency should be maintained on a
regular basis. A breakdown in communication channels, at any step in the planning process, should be considered
unacceptable. This lesson has hopefully also provided you with the foundation to understand the importance of why and
how strategic management and strategic planning are fundamentally different. In summary, implementing and maintaining
a successful strategic plan must include managers that are able to build a culture of urgency, open communication and a
willingness to reassess and change directives where needed.
Formulating and Adopting Strategies and Establishing Organizational Vision are steps six,
seven, and eight in the strategic change cycle. The focus of the formulation of strategies and plan
development stage should link the organization and the environment. The strategies will often be
developed as a result of the identification of strategic issues. It is important to review the FiveStep Strategy Development Process and to peruse some of the key components of linking the
organization with its environment. Lastly, establishing organizational vision will be important to
understand. The importance of vision was included in the article, “The Power of Vision”: “For
almost three decades, scholars have argued that vision is important to leadership, strategy
implementation, and change. “Kenneth Leithwood and colleagues (Leithwood et al., 1996) even
point out that vision building is intended to create a fundamental, ambitious sense of purpose,
one to be pursued over many years”. A vision should produce a clear description and picture of
how the organization will evolve and ultimately look at the strategic plan is implemented.
The five-step process is one method and approach to strategy formulation. At its core, the
approach requires the strategic planning team to ask five specific questions about each strategic
issue. Those questions are as follows.
Five Questions to Ask
What are the alternatives, dreams, or visions that might be pursued to address the specific
strategic issue that is presented?
What are the barriers to question?
What are the proposals to achieve alternatives?
What is the action plan identified that should be in place to implement the proposal?
What are the near-term steps that must be taken for implementation and the people that will be
Strategy Development (Cont.)
Interestingly, there are specific management processes in this stage that link back to the SWOC
analysis. For example, during the SWOC analysis, it was recommended to use the snow-card
technique. This technique is also useful in the five-step process. Per Smith 2015, “People are
asked to write one note on each card answering the question, what are the main issues,
challenges, or questions facing this organization”. The answers are subsequently written on white
cards and grouped by the similarity in response and common themes. There are some advantages
of combining the snow card technique with the five-step process. A few of those advantages are
The snow-card technique is a group initiated activity that includes brainstorming and produces
detailed answers to questions that are presented. This process is also referred to as the snow-ball
technique because similar outcomes become evident in snowball type groups as the responses are
gathered and organized by similarity.
Large Groups of Stakeholders
The Snow Card Technique
The ability to include large groups of stakeholders in the process.
The snow card technique avoids group participants from coming to immediate conclusions based
on group consensus. One other powerful element in addressing these strategic issues through a
snow card technique is presented by Spencer, “This exercise is powerful as it allows people to
express themselves without the fear of judgment”. Once the team identifies common themes and
answers to specific strategic issues, it is important to then identify the strategies that should be
Linking the Organization with its Environment
Although, not all inclusive, these are a few of the guidelines that should be considered when
linking the organization with its environment: Do not rule out radical considerations during the
formulation process and make sure that you link strategic development with the strategic issues
that you identify. Also, one of the most interesting is the inclusion of stakeholder feedback and
Make sure that there is a clear discussion about evaluating strategies and how they impact
stakeholders. Without some of your stakeholders, the business and overall mission of the
organization will fail. If you develop and formulate strategies that are inappropriate and
ineffective for stakeholders, they should be redeveloped. It is a recipe for definite failure.
Stakeholders are generally defined as any person that might have an interest in the business or
the process. Someone that might contribute to daily activities or have a linked benefit in its
success. Some examples include corporate stakeholders, internal stakeholders, or external
External stakeholders are entities not within a business itself but who care about or are affected
by its performance (e.g., consumers, regulators, investors, suppliers).
Internal stakeholders are entities within a business (e.g., employees, managers, the Board of
A corporate stakeholder is a person or group who can affect or be affected by the actions of a
Some of the most fundamental examples are employees. Executive management has a vital role
in the strategic direction of organizations, but it is the employees that ultimately implement many
of the ground level initiatives. Employees are said to be nearest to the everyday action and plan
that an organization is implementing. Employees will often have the closest interaction with
customers and vendors. Without having employee feedback and buy in, you will lose
organizational and strategic planning success. From a for-profit perspective, if employees do not
feel connected and dedicated, revenue potential will fall short.
Customers are another important part of this process. The reason for an organization to exist
(For-profit or non-profit) is to fulfill the needs of its consumers/customers. The service is
measured in terms of pleasing them and benefiting them in a positive and meaningful way.
Without customers, the survival of an organization will be short-lived. Feedback from customers
will offer insight about what needs to be improved and what new solutions should be offered to
meet changing market demands.
Vendors are a key component and should be solicited for constant feedback about the strategic
development process. Organizations rely on vendors for raw material and services that are
imperative to the daily operation of most organizations. When developing strategies, you need to
consider business interruption factors that might be related to disruption. Discuss these factors
with vendors and include them in the overall strategy development process.
Vision of Success/Statement
Visions are a very powerful part of the business decision and processes. It is often said that all
successful endeavors will begin with a vision. If we are going to be successful, a vision is
paramount to achieving those goals. The reason why visions of success are so important is that it
helps us communicate and negotiate important ideas for the successful implementation of a plan.
Developing a vision also helps organizations evaluate approaches for management actions and to
develop thresholds and benchmarks for measuring success. As with other business processes, it
is important for visions to be concise and clear. As stated by Fawcett, “Having a clear mission
statement can: Convert the broad dreams of your vision into more specific, action-oriented terms.
Explain your goals to interested parties in a clear and concise manner. You want the entire team
and organization to understand it and repeat it. When reviewing a vision for success in a strategic
planning team, consider some of the following factors.
Factors to Consider
Past and Present Actions
Link the vision to both the past and present actions. Look backward as much as you look
forward. This will help to provide examples of what the organization has done well in the past
and link those successes to the future. It should help members of the team understand changes in
the business environment and where those changes will present future opportunities.
You want your vision to be inspirational. What does this mean? You might compare this to Neil
Armstrong’s statement about “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Not only do
you want to set a course for the future, but you want it to touch people and encourage success.
Part of being inspirational is being positive and emphasizes unity around common goals. Being
inspirational also promotes excitement and enthusiasm.
Elements of a Formal Vision Statement
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