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According to research, strategic planning is a task of management with the intention of helping the organization to grow and develop for better. Through strategic planning, an organization moves to the right direction (Bryson, 1995). In addition, planning refers to the management practice that comprises of creating goals and objectives and working how best to achieve them. Research shows that for any organization to function efficiently and effectively, it has to set goals and develop plans. Long-term planning helps to evaluate and determine the place where an organization is, and the direction it hopes to be in the coming years. In most cases, long-term plans are goals that a firm expects to achieve in about five or more years, in the future.
The main factor of long-term process includes the establishment of corporate level strategies. This is because corporate strategies are the representatives of the long-term direction. Corporate, strategic issues comprise of acquisition, diversification, and formulation of function of an organization. Such strategies aim at dealing with plans for the whole organization and making necessary transformations relatively infrequently, with the most remaining in place for five years or more. It is also significant to identify the mission of the organization. This is because the differentiation of an organization from others dealing in the similar business is through its mission. Therefore, by using the statements from the mission, an organization function effectively and efficiently hence sustaining its performance.
Another factor includes analyzing of organizational strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. In order for an organization to develop long-term plans, there is the need to view the internal strengths and weaknesses as well as view outside environment for any potential opportunities and threats that the organization may encounter in the coming years. The process of viewing the inside strength and weakness should base on factors like the structure, culture, fiscal status, and workers of the organization. Concerning the outside examination of the organization, examination of issues such as population changes, economic conditions, and technological development among others is vital because they help in the long-term planning process.
In addition, it is necessary that the firm implement its strategy in the process of long term planning. This is within the current structure of the organization or modification of the structure in order to maintain consistence with the strategy. Therefore, in order to have a successful implementation of the strategy, the firm needs to integrate with the human resources of the organization. Furthermore, there is a need to control the strategy in order to evaluate the present performance of the firm and make comparisons of performance to its mission.
The firm could make long-terms plans of about one year of five years and above depending with the mission and the goals that it intends to achieve. However, it is vital that a firm plans for about three years into the future. It is significant that a firm realizes that the process of visualization may need the participation of various and different parts, therefore; it has to plans that will it will achieve within the set time.
The innovation may affect the results of a long term strategic planning in a positive manner. This is because, during the process of planning, the firm will have to make consultation from various parts such as in marketing, production, systems and financial personnel in order to achieve an idea or opinion concerning where the firm will be in the future. Therefore, with such ideas, opinions, and suggestions the firm will be able to achieve the set goals and objectives as per the time set.