Strategic planning is an organisation's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. Various business analysis techniques can be used in strategic planning, including SWOT and PEST analysis.
Strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organisation's future course. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:
1. "What do we do?"
2. "For whom do we do it?"
3. "How do we excel?"
The course will appeal to students of Management and Business Administration who are looking for a practical foundation in this subject area. In addition, Business Managers wishing to expand their horizons into strategic business planning will find this course an invaluable guide into the theory and practice of strategic planning. Materials can be studied online or students have the option to have the printed materials delivered for an additional charge of £65.
The course will consist of ten modules covering a wide variety of strategic planning topics and end with an online examination.
Module One - Introduction to Business Strategic Planning
This unit provides the foundation material for the course. It examines, at a high level, both the theories and concepts of strategic planning and the methods, techniques and toolsets employed. The students learns the early differentiation between IS Strategic Planning and IT Strategic Planning. The broader perspectives are examined including Corporate Planning and the interlock to key components such as Programme Management and Change Management.
Module Two - The journey of strategy making
This refers to the cyclical approach of strategic decision making (the journey). It will consider such items as:
* Political feasibility
* Role of participation
* Determination of reality
* Shareholder Management
* The links between strategy and organizational change
* Using computer support as an assistance in strategic delivery
Module Three - Accepted theories and concepts of strategic planning
This unit examines the varying theories and concepts supporting this approach.
* The accepted definitions and theories of strategic planning
* The concepts in constructing a strategic plan
* The important aspects of business integration
* Strategy as a catalyst for promoting business change
* Identification of risk and managing strategic problems
Module Four - Stakeholder Analysis and Management
This unit looks at the determination of the key stakeholders in IS Strategic Planning.
* Managing the competing demands of different sets of stakeholders
* Analysis of Stakeholders
* Stakeholder Influence
* The Stakeholder Grid - Thinking about stakeholders
* Modelling the basis of power and interest
* The coherence of strategy making - inclusion of stakeholder views
Module Five - Developing Models of Strategic Planning
This unit examines the complexity of strategic planning and the type of planning models that can be produced.
* The conventional approaches to strategic planning - the accepted models
* Latest trends and techniques in strategic planning
* Managing Executive acceptance and understanding - the consultants dilemma
* A look at the structured approaches to strategic planning
Module Six - The method approach to strategic planning
This unit considers the formal structured method approaches to completing a strategic plan. The following areas are examined:
* Introduction to structured planning techniques
* Approaches adopted by the big international strategy houses
* A look in depth at the approach put forward by OGC for strategic development work within the UK Government Departments
* Concepts of interlock - how the pieces fit together
* Computer software assists supporting strategy development
Module Seven - Working with teams - group approach to strategic development
This unit explores the importance of group dynamics within the overall concept of strategic development work.
* Guidelines for working with teams
* Computer supported group workshops
* Getting the best from team interaction
* Concepts of Brainstorming
* Oval Mapping Workshops
Module Eight - Maps and Models for Workshops
Workshops form a vital part in the gathering, analysis and dissemination of information for strategic planning. This unit explores the maps and models that support this approach.
* Guidelines for analyzing interview maps
* Basic Map analysis
* Locating goals and strategic issues
* Creating Categories
* Developing draft and core options
* Analyzing maps and computer models
Module Nine - Methods of Delivery - Implementing Strategic Concepts
This unit explores how strategic plans are converted to action plans and subsequently rolled out and implemented.
* Key interlock criteria - Programme and Change Management
* Interface to Corporate Planning
* Benefits Measurement Criteria
* Modularity in strategic planning
* Managing Risks and Exposure
* Key implementation criteria
Module Ten - Concepts of Interlock - integrating strategic planning into the business framework
This unit examines how strategic planning fits into a holistic model within the Corporate architecture.
* The holistic strategic model
* The importance of interlock
* Communications in strategic planning
* The facilitator - winning hearts and minds Vignettes - Case studies of strategic planning in action
Previous Knowledge Required
No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.
12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.
Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.
This Level 3 Diploma in Strategic Planning is Quality Assured by OLQA. Upon successful completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College. The qualification does not carry UCAS points but is recognised by employers and some universities as a level 3 qualification. For entry into university students will need to check the relevant university’s entry requirements to see if they will accept a Level 3 Diploma in place of A Levels / UCAS points.