What is strategic planning?

Citing Bryson (Chapter 1), what is strategic planning, what does it measure, and why is it necessary? Literally, how do we strategically plan?


Strategic planning is the process of gathering and analyzing information that will be used to guide any processes of change in the function and the mission of an organization. There is no distinct unit of measure when it comes to strategic planning. More so, strategic planning can be used to identify different challenges that an organization may face, multiple solutions to those challenges, and ultimately deciding which solution is the best fit. Challenges that can have the need to be addressed are such things as management, available resources, mission and goals, and so on.

As Bryson mentions, strategic planning is a response to what is going on within an agency. It is necessary because it allows organizations to assess the strengths and weaknesses that are present in the organization. It encourages organizations to address those weaknesses or challenges, in order to better the overall functioning and effectiveness of the organization. For social work, which is a field that is often times left with scarce resources, it’s imperative for organizations in the field to be functioning as effectively as possible and strategic planning is an approach that will allow for that to happen.


Bryson, J. M. (2011). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations. Fourth


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