Many times, organizations develop operational plans that they classify as strategic plans. Describe the difference(s) between operational plans and strategic plans.

1.In Fall 1987, Henry Mintzberg published an article in the California Management Review that defined strategy as having five Ps. Strategy can be a plan, a ploy, a pattern, position, and perspective. Do you agree or disagree with Mintzberg’s definition? Support your position.

2. Many times, organizations develop operational plans that they classify as strategic plans. Describe the difference(s) between operational plans and strategic plans.

3.Why should organizations be involved in strategic planning?  What is in it for them and its employees? Also, why should organizations not engage in strategic planning?

4.Does your organization have a strategic plan? If yes, what does it include?  If not, why do you think it does not have a plan?

5.Various interest groups impact your operations. Name three specific groups and explain how they have impacted your operations.

6.Strategic planning as an academic discipline draws from two different areas of study. This academic discipline is based on studies of the functions of managers and the study of management strategies and process management. Some contributing writers to this discipline include Fayol, Shaw, Barnard, Drucker, Chandler, Andrews, Ansoff, Mintzberg, Peters, and Waterman. Using the Internet, the library, or other resources, provide summary information on an individual who impacted the study of strategic planning and identify that persons impact. Use this assignment discussion board to submit your response.

7.During this class, each of you was to look at strategic planning and management from your own individual perspective.  Based on your knowledge, what are the biggest issues that are preventing your organization from engaging in strategic planning and strategic management?

8.We have discussed strategic planning and the process.  Once the plan is developed, how is the strategic plan implemented?  Provide action steps as well as possible performance measures that you will use.

9.As you are implementing your strategic plan, the concept of continuous improvement must be considered.  How would you incorporate continuous improvement into your process?  What would you do to make sure it becomes a part of your culture?

10.We have discussed goals and objectives throughout the course.  In your own words, describe how you differentiate between goals and objectives?

11.When establishing goals and objectives, how would you describe the relationship between the goals and objectives with the organizational vision, mission, and values?

12.The process we have been discussing is one that involves a broad base of individuals, both inside and outside the organization.  Why should the organization be aware of cultural differences that may exist in their organization and communities?  What would the organizational leaders need to consider when they think of cultural awareness?

13.Data are important for making decisions and developing your plan.  Search the Internet for last two census reports.  Assess these reports to determine what changes there are in the area in which your work or live.  Explain what you found, such as what changes in ages, ethnic groups, or other specific categories, as well as how you completed your search.  How will you use this data?

14.Some organizations strive to be effective and others efficient.  How would you define the concepts cost effective and cost efficient for your organization?  Is cost effectiveness or cost efficiency more important for your organization? Justify your response.

15.For your organization, identify two core strategies and the appropriate assumptions used to establish those strategies.

16.In the private sector, money is critical for determining which programs or products will be kept and or expanded.  Many times, public and not-for-profit organizations are also driven by funding sources.  Using the Internet, investigate the current federal budget. Based on the budget, what types of programs do you think will be increasing? Why did you select those programs? Place your response on the discussion board established for this assignment. Provide the Web addresses for any sites you used for this assignment.

17.As you are securing information for your strategic plan, developing an organizational profile is helpful.  What would you include in this profile, and how would you accomplish this?

18.When attempting to secure information on customer or stakeholder expectations, there are a number of ways of getting information. Besides the focus group, name and describe the technique or method as well as the positive and/or negative aspects of the method named.

19.There are many ways to secure information from the customers.  One of these is a focus group.  Research a focus group and explain how the process works?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of this process?

20.In the private sector, there are frequently many competitors, but the public sector has few actual competitors. In assessing its competitive advantage, What does a competitive advantage mean in the public sector?  Does this mean it has a good position and thus a good competitive advantage? Support your position.

21.Search the online Library for a journal article on customer assessment tools.  Then, use the Internet to research the various customer assessment tools. Post the information as to the sites and information you found as well as the responses to the following: what tool do you feel is most useful to you, summarize how the tool operates, and what kind of results you should expect.

22.Using the Internet or other resources, research planning processes used by public, nonprofit, or private agencies. Provide Internet links on this discussion board.

23.What is a paradigm change? Why do organizations and individuals have problems with paradigm changes?

24.In the public sector, leadership can change on a four-year cycle due to elections.

Because of this, is it possible for public organizations to develop a vision for the future? Please support your position.

25.As you start the planning process, you need to secure various pieces of information. Based on your organization, or the organization that is the subject of your paper, where and how would you obtain information to begin your planning process?

26.Based on the phases of the strategic planning process provided in the readings, what would you think is the most difficult to accomplish? Support your response.