The formal planning cycle also provides a logical framework to enable managers to tackle their strategic elephants in a systematic way, and so ensure that no major issues are left unaddressed.This need for a logical and thorough system is expressed in the amazing variety of corporate planning cycle diagrams on offer.The strategic planning cycle embodied in a set of formal planning procedures, ensures that managers examine major strategic issues, or 'strategic elephants', faced by their organization.
The cycles are linked by an arrow in one direction only, indicating that a strategy is selected only after the objectives have been decided.
A strategy is valid only to the extent that it achieves the objectives.
This is a small sampling of the literally thousands of planning cycle diagrams available on the Internet.
The variations represent different levels of abstraction, ways of defining stage boundaries, grouping of sub-steps or tasks into larger stages or phases, and so on.
This approach to describing the strategic planning cycle or process is somewhat different from most of the charts that others have devised.
The justification for these differences is twofold.
those factors that affect the selection of objectives have to be examined before the objectives can be selected.
But those that affect strategic decisions may be examined before, during or after the determination of objectives, the diagram is neutral on that point.
The planning cycle is subject to the setting of corporate objectives.
These are the province of corporate governance rather than corporate management. With this clear we can look again at the simple form of planning process flow, or planning cycle, we have used elsewhere on this site.