When an organisation formulates major business goals and initiatives by the top management and decides on the implementation of the said devised strategy, it is participating in the strategic analysis initiative. There are as usual many definitions available that explain strategy analysis, but to simply put it, the Strategic analysis is a method to facilitate, research, analyse, and map a company’s ability to achieve the future target or threshold based on current reality and resources. This can be achieved by bridging gaps that exist between the strategic, and operational features of the organisation.
There are many tools and techniques that can be applied to the strategic analysis. As the strategic analysis is a process of conducting research on the current business environment so that a sought-after business strategy can be formulated. There are certain factors which will help you in picking up or determining the right technique to get to the desired goal effectively. Analytical tools and techniques are key in formulating a strategic plan. There are many important considerations that you need to be aware of to make an informed decision.
Simple yet important factors to consider would be……
- Does the tool assist you in asking and more importantly answering the right questions aligned to the need of the organisation?
- Is the expected benefit of using the tool defined? Will the tool be capable of assisting you with actionable insights? Absolute clarity at this stage will guarantee that the analysis is successful.
- Applying a choice of different tools and techniques to analyse a current situation is also an option.
- Does the tool help you in understanding, where you are today, where do you wish to go, and how do you get there?
It is always a good practice to ponder on these points before you embark on your strategic analysis journey
- Always involve a broad group in strategic planning so that the responsibility for successful implementation is for everyone.
- Irrespective of the tool you use, understand the value, vision, and mission and develop clear objectives on what you desire to achieve.
- Have a mixed approach, just applying a top-down approach to strategic planning might not always be successful.
- Account for the tangibles and non-tangibles, such as company culture and quality of management, especially while assessing strengths.
- While identifying threats, it is always good to look for internal and external threats along with future possibilities that might work against your objective.
- Lastly, it is always important to devise a plan which can be measured, is broken down into small actionable goals, eventually working towards the larger plan. Clearly, defining the action plans and performance metrics.
Here are a few popular tools
SWOT Analysis is a strategic method that will help you identify the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat to your business or a project venture.
PEST is a well-known macro framework that analysis the Political, Economic, Social and Technological developments. This model can be further expanded to include Legal and Environmental Concerns as well.
Root Cause Analysis, is a recommended tool, which can be used in isolation and with a combination of other tools as well, whenever a requirement arises to dig deeper into a situation. If you have identified the problem correctly, this technique will then come handy as a systematic approach to identifying the cause and resolving the situation.
There are many tools and techniques available, this article does not even touch the tip of the iceberg. An individual or organisation, faced with a challenge or with the intention to achieve evolved goals in the future will be the best judge on the tool to use.