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Formal Strategic Planning - Essay Example

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Strategic planning is widely publicized as an effective management tool to improve performance of businesses. A recent study shows that majority of large organization are adopting the system and benefiting from it's long-term planning approach.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of formal strategic planning to smaller firm particularly those Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the Hospitality industry…
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Formal Strategic Planning
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"Formal Strategic Planning"

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For a common man, the word "strategy" simply means being systematic. A tactic he will use to ensure his success or to his belief is the right way to prevail. If we are to really critically analyze the impact of formal SP to the business performance of Hospitality SME's and arrive into a realistic conclusion, we must clearly identify every aspect of SP and business operations of SME's.
Strategic Planning definitions or implementation varies in the environment and business type. A more general and maybe the most practical interpretation of the term is concern with "long-term direction of the organization" (O'Regan et. al., 2002). It is where an organization defines the business they should to take on and match their business activities to the current situation while taking great consideration to the resources on hand .This method by and large helps to reduce the threats and take full advantage of opportunities. However, SP although a "long-term" plan may constantly change in order to survive and maintain equilibrium to the ever changing business environment. It should forestall and act in response to its varying dynamic operational environment (O'Regan et. al, 2002). It is then a competent and effective management tool to augment the company's ability or strength in relation to its business adversary.

Strategic planning maybe categorized into two types, informal and formal. The informal type of SP, referring to Robinson and Pearce, 1983, along with several authors, is likely occurring in smaller firms than larger ones (Hannon et. al, 1997 p.105). They stress that it is the size of the business and the stage of development of that business influenced the nature of planning. In addition, smaller businesses tends to aim more and concentrate on the "process of planning" (Hannon et. al., 1997, p. 105) which is opposite to larger firms approach of identifying their goals and objectives. The author also added that informal planners in small firms undergoes some kind of "strategic decision-making" activity which is also similar to the strategies being perform by formal planners. They also believed that the activity or the process itself has more advantage to small firms than the production of written or formal outputs (Hannon et al., 1997, p.105). Formal planning according to Armstrong, (1992), as stated by Hannon et. al., (1997), is the setting up of clear goal and processes to realize a particular task. It is therefore worth considering that the statements provided points to informal planning as the type where smaller firms are focusing largely on the business operation process rather than "output" or goal of the process.
Formal "strategic planning" according to Cox B., (2005) though, is a "top-down, vision-driven process" to develop an organization's future value. Although literatures do not mention a universal definition to separate or set a clear distinction between formal and informal SP, we may define informal planning as a less documented and unofficial but similarly effective and efficient type of SP.

According to Needle D., (2000) referring to Hickson et. al. (1969), size is an important ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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