Planning is a continuous process for a business, but if you want to establish a company that sticks around for the long run, creating one overall strategic plan is particularly important. After establishing a strategic plan it is even more crucial to monitor its progress over time. Certain individuals within the business are best equipped to handle this task.
What is a Strategic Plan?
A strategic plan is a long-term set of goals for a business. It answers the question of where the company wants to be in five, 10, 15, 20 or more years into the future, and forms a basis for the company's mission statement. It requires the planner to examine internal factors like the workforce and production capabilities as well as external factors like the business environment, economy and customer options. A major part of developing a strategic plan is SWOT analysis, in which strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential threats to the operation are identified.
Since a strategic plan is a very high level plan for the company, it is usually monitored by managing directors. These individuals are upper management professionals who handle a number of very specific tasks at the firm, including wooing and keeping new clients, overseeing recruiting plans, managing legal affairs and developing alliances. In managing these task they effectively oversee and monitor the progress of the company's strategic plan.
The chief executive officer (CEO) -- or the owner of the business in the case of a non-corporate entity -- is also in charge of monitoring the company's strategic plan. The CEO helps establish the plan, implement it and then ensure that the company keeps said plan on track. He does so by consulting with his management team on a regular basis to receive updates on the company's progress. In addition to the CEO, vice presidents also monitor specific elements of the company's overall strategy and report back to the boss.
When a company's upper management fails to monitor the progress of the strategic plan it puts the entire firm in jeopardy. If upper management doesn't have a handle on the situation, eventually middle management and the general workforce will also soon begin to lose focus and fail to meet key assigned goals as directed by the strategic plan.
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