Strategic Planning vs. Strategic Management — What's the Difference?
Strategic Planning is the process of defining a direction for the future, while Strategic Management is the ongoing process of executing and adapting those plans.
Difference Between Strategic Planning and Strategic Management
Table of Contents
Strategic Planning involves creating a roadmap for an organization's future direction and goals. Strategic Management, on the other hand, concerns the consistent alignment of resources and actions with these strategic goals.
Strategic Planning often takes place at higher levels of an organization, focusing on long-term objectives and strategies. Strategic Management, in contrast, involves all levels and encompasses the day-to-day activities that move the organization towards its goals.
While Strategic Planning provides a clear vision and direction for the future, Strategic Management ensures that this vision is realized by addressing real-time challenges and adapting as necessary.
Strategic Planning is about defining "where" and "why" an organization aims to be in the future. Strategic Management deals with the "how" – the tools, processes, and measures needed to ensure the strategic plan's success.
Setting direction and goals
Execution and adaptation of plans
Level of Implementation
Primarily higher levels
All levels of the organization
Ongoing with real-time adjustments
Provides vision and direction
Ensures vision is realized
Compare with Definitions
Framework for aligning resources with aspirations.
Through Strategic Planning, the nonprofit could align its mission with actionable steps.
Aligning daily operations with strategic goals.
Their excellence in Strategic Management led to consistent growth year over year.
A tool for setting and prioritizing objectives.
Strategic Planning helped prioritize projects for the upcoming fiscal year.
Navigating an organization towards its strategic aspirations.
Strategic Management was key in pivoting the business during the economic downturn.
Process of defining long-term goals.
With Strategic Planning, the firm identified its five-year objectives.
Execution and adaptation of strategic plans.
Effective Strategic Management ensured the company remained agile in a changing market.
Visionary blueprint for an organization's future.
The new CEO emphasized the importance of robust Strategic Planning.
Tools and processes for realizing strategic vision.
Continuous training in Strategic Management equipped the managers for challenges ahead.
A roadmap for future organizational direction.
The company embarked on a month-long Strategic Planning session.
Ongoing process to achieve strategic objectives.
The team excelled in Strategic Management, consistently meeting their targets.
Who is involved in Strategic Management?
Strategic Management involves all levels of an organization, ensuring daily actions align with strategic objectives.
What is Strategic Planning?
Strategic Planning is the process of setting a future direction and goals for an organization.
How does Strategic Management differ from Strategic Planning?
Strategic Management involves executing and adapting the plans laid out during Strategic Planning.
Why is Strategic Planning important?
Strategic Planning provides a clear vision and sets priorities, helping organizations navigate towards their desired future.
What are the outcomes of effective Strategic Planning?
Effective Strategic Planning provides clarity, direction, and a roadmap for achieving long-term goals.
Does Strategic Planning involve risk assessment?
Yes, Strategic Planning often includes assessing potential risks and devising strategies to mitigate them.
Is Strategic Planning a one-time event?
No, Strategic Planning is an iterative process, revisited periodically to ensure relevance.
How often should organizations engage in Strategic Planning?
It varies, but many organizations engage in Strategic Planning annually or biennially.
Are there tools specifically designed for Strategic Management?
Yes, there are various tools and methodologies, like SWOT analysis or Balanced Scorecard, to aid in Strategic Management.
Can an organization succeed without Strategic Management?
Without Strategic Management, an organization might struggle to execute and adapt its strategic plans effectively.
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