Strategic planning helps an organisation define its future direction, actions and desired results. Based on this, many day-to-day decisions take place. For example, what resources should the organisation allocate to a certain project? Should the organisation invest in a certain technology? Should the organisation acquire another company?

Many organisations have a regularly occurring process for strategic planning. The process normally starts with a situation analysis (for example, SWOT) which then leads to an organisational vision, mission, strategies & desired results.

There are several other alternative approaches to strategic planning. One such approach is more strength-based and is referred to as SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results).

Having a strategic planning process that is executed regularly is crucial for organisations as it clarifies the desired direction for the people in the organisation as well as defines its desired performance outcomes (see also dashboard).