Strategic management is not just a set of boring rules in a book. It is a philosophy. An approach to business that can determine if the business is feasible, and once the business is up and running is the basis of consistent gains in profit and focus on the primary goals of a company (Clayton, 2014). The strategic management process is a guide to help all members of an organization stay in unison by understanding the focus and the plan of the company. It is the overall plan to ensure that a company is long lasting and durable despite any weakness the company might have. Wheelan and Hunger stated, “Strategic management is a set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the longrun performance of a corporation. It includes environmental scanning (both external and internal), strategy formulation (strategic or long-range planning), strategy implementation, and evaluation and control” (2010, p. 5). All companies need to use a strategic management plan.
Initially all companies start with a goal in mind. Environmental scanning consists of information toward the vision of a company. Analyses of the needs of the business, any competition that is in the similar market, and issues external and internal are evaluated. Strengths and weaknesses are studied to determine how strong the company is and how the weaknesses are protected.
Strategy Formulation is building the overall plan of a company. Strategy formulation consist of deciding the mission, objectives to move toward the mission objectives, strategies needed to complete the objectives and policies which will affect decision making (Wheelan and Hunger, 2010). Once the environmental scanning is complete this information is used to formulate the strategy. Priorities are decided along with what resources are available to implement the strategy.
Strategy implementation includes doing the plan. This step in the strategic management process includes the programs, budgets and procedures. Programs are any activity that is needed to accomplish short term or long term goals necessary to meet the end goal. Budgets are simply the cost of the programs and procedures are the step by step way accompanies does business.
Evaluation and control is the monitoring of the company and progress of the vision. The Army uses and After action review (AAR) to determine what went good, what went bad, and what we can do improve an action. Evaluation and control of the strategic management process is a bigger version of the AAR. This step determines the actual results of a company’s efforts (Wheelan and Hunger, 2010).
The U.S. Army is a very mission oriented strategic organization. It is important that this organization wins its efforts. It is evident that the Army uses a strategic management process. The Army uses Environmental Scanning to educate itself on external opportunities and threats. Its sizes up other threats and also environmental concerns that call affect a mission success. An Army unit will access it strengths and especially weakness in order to determine effectiveness. Strategy formulation is important because the Army needs to be in the right place at the right time and incorporates mission, objectives, strategies and policies to prepare for execution. Strategy implementation is the execution of the Army’s plan. The Army has every program available to insure mission success. Budgeting is crucial in the Army and procedures and enforced. The Army evaluates every action with AAR’s and determines mission results.
Any company will need strategic management procedures to be successful. It is very important to have a vision but more important to put a plan in action to realize the vision. New business often start out with a long term vision in mind but as the progression of customers and busy work happens a manger or owner can lose sight of the vision and most importantly how to
achieve it. By using strategic planning to achieve goals a company can stay focused on the company vision as well as anything that could keep the vision from being achieved.
Clayton, J. (2014). The Five Stages of the Strategic Management Process. Chron. Retrievedfrom http://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-stages-strategic-management-process-18785.html Wheelen, T. L., & Hunger, J. D. (2010). Concepts in strategic management and business policy (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.