Part 1Strategic planAdams (2005) considers a strategic plan to be a well-thought-of management tool that outlines systematic processes through which an organisation sketches out plans to transform from its current state to a future desirable state. Grant (2003) made a parallel assumption when he pointed out that s strategic plan is a criteria for decision-making that an organisation adopts and implements to direct its framework of activities towards fulfilling an organisational objective. Paula et al (2012) assert that a strategic plan is a practical structured process an organisation executes made up of dynamic applies of certain proposed external opportunities for engaging and creating internal competencies with the objective of realising an organisation’s mission and vision and adding value to the stakeholders.
As an alternative, strategic plan can also be understood within the earlier framework of Dutton and Duncan (1987), who defined strategic planning as a combination of activities carried out to identify the future desired state of an organisation and to establish guidelines for identifying an organisation’s future state. These imply that when an organisation behaves in a consistent and reliable manner over a considerable duration of time, then it could be considered as having a strategy in place.
The strategy consists of a means selected by an organisation to transform itself to a future desired state (Hrebiniak, 2008). To this end, two critical aspects can be identified. Firsts, it is perceivable that the unit of production in any strategic plan is the organisation rather than individuals. Second, strategic plan has a definite transformational objectives since it identifies the existing features that apply to the organisation it is to be applied to, it create a vision of the desired state an organisation wants to assume and lastly, it outlines the actions and guideline needed to transform the organisation’s existing state and the desirable one.
The two explanations reflect a perspective Paula et al (2012) shared. Dutton and Duncan’s (1987) earlier assumptions can also be drawn within this context. In a later study, Lawlor (2005) opined that the term strategic is made up of two components that need to be underscored. The first describes the decisive significance that need to be placed on something valued as having a strategic role.
He further suggested that the term should be related to the medium-term or long-term future state of more than three years as a contrast to the term ‘operation’, which defines a time horizon of less than one year (Lawlor, 2005). As discussed above, it is indeed perceivable that the strategic planning process is programmable, rational, systematic, holistic, as well as integrates the short-, medium- and long-term, hence enabling health organisation the capacity to centre on the pertinent and lasting changes to meet a desirable future state. Importance of strategic planningAccording to American Society of Clinical Oncology (2009), among the most compelling reasons why a health organisation should engage in strategic planning is the speed at which forces within the organisational setting is changing, and hence need to keep pace with the speed of change.
Still, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2009) elaborates that several other benefits can be derived from strategic planning. For instance, the process of strategic planning promotes collegiality as well as creates milieu through which one can focus the direction of transforming the organisation away from patient care.