Business Strategy - Terminology, Planning Techniques and Tools

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Business Strategy


In this report I will be investigating what business strategy is all about, its context and terminology and the various issues involved in planning. I will look at the different techniques that can be used in strategic planning and will proceed to carry out an audit on my chosen business (Sega Corporation) using some of these techniques and analyse / evaluate my findings and offer any ideas or recommendations I might have.

“Planning means the deliberate and systemic determination of what to do in the future in order to fulfil the organisations mission and meet its objectives, given certain predicted or intended conditions” (Bennett, 1999) (1)

Strategic planning is a very important tool when it comes to the world of business. Planning is sometimes described as a philosophy rather than just a technique as it could not possibly be done properly in a business which was run by gut feeling and last minute decision making. Some of the main reasons for planning are to; implement strategies, facilitate management change, adapt to new technology, to facilitate growth of the business, to ensure all efforts of the business are directed to proper goals and to ensure that everyone in the business has a common understanding of their aims. Planning can be very useful when a business is thinking of investing large amounts of capital into a product or business idea and also when old products are nearing the end of their life cycles and new products need to be planned for and strategies put in place ready for their release. Of course problems can occur when using strategic planning methods and the benefit of having a plan could be outweighed the cost of problems that arise because of it. For example if the business has lack of knowledge when it comes to putting a plan together it might not be worth doing one at all as a misguided plan is not recommended. Resources are another issue as there is no point putting together a plan and then finding out half way through that you do not have enough resources to complete the project. Also when a plan is made it can sometimes destroy the flexibility which was available before and suppress people’s creative minds.

Terminology Issues

The words ‘strategy’ and ‘plan’ are often used as they are one although this is actually not the case as they have quite different meanings. The outcomes of the meanings of the words are indeed similar as they are both a method for achieving an end. However, there are strong differences between the words. A plan is an arrangement, program or scheme for a definite purpose and it is very concrete in nature and does not allow for deviation. For example if ‘plan A’ does not work you do not alter it instead you create a new one called ‘plan B’ and try going down a totally different route to achieve the goal. A strategy on the other hand, is a layout, design or idea used to accomplish a specific goal. Unlike a plan a strategy is very flexible and open for adaptation and change when is required. Putting the plan together

A plan can be as general or specific as the situation requires. Strategic planning determines where a business is going over the next few years, how it is going to get there and how it will know if it did actually get there or not. The length of the plans can vary from 1 year, many to 3 years and some if done correctly to 5 or even 10 years into the future. A strategic plan differs from a simple business plan by the fact that it focuses on the entire organisation rather than just 1 particular product or service. There are a number of different perspectives, models and approaches used in strategic planning. The way that a strategic plan is devised depends on the nature of the businesses leadership, culture, environment, size and expertise of the planners themselves. In order for the business to be successful in their planning there are a different variety of techniques that can be used to help businesses do the...
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