When we talk about strategic planning, we must understand the difference between two concepts before we go any further in trying to understand what it means to plan at a strategic level:
Planning is a concept that refers to the description of the activity, process, etc. that we intend to carry out. Through this concept we are able to anticipate, see through the future of the activity.
Planning must be considered as being divided into three parts or moments that are developed consecutively and which, on the other hand, must be carried out to complete the process.
The first step consists of planning itself. Planning is the activity consisting of thinking, describing at a conceptual level how we want the future to unfold. In other words, the goal and objectives we want to achieve. Obviously, in order to achieve the goal we must develop a strategic planning process. Planning allows us to make a future projection of what the results of the planned activity would be, enabling us to achieve the results.
Strategic planning has three levels: the strategic planning level itself, the logistical level and the operational level.
The level of strategic planning, allows us to realize the vision of the unit’s organization if we want to think in a lower level structure. In this case, let’s not forget that it has to be integrated in the higher level strategic, that is, aligned with the rest of the organization.
At this level, the mission of the organization, or as we say, the mission of the lower level unit, is also realized. Likewise, we establish the strategic level objectives.
This level of planning is carried out by defining the vision and the vision of the organization, performing SWOT analysis and setting objectives.
Logistics level planning
It is at this level that the formulation and development of the strategy, tactics and alternatives that should allow us to achieve everything designed at the strategic level are developed.
A correct planning at a logistic level must become the link between all the activity developed at a strategic level and the activity developed at an operational level.
It is easy to see that a correct functioning of the logistic level will be the key to achieving good strategic planning at an operational level.
It is at this level that the desired strategies, tactics and results are formulated. In addition, the indicators are established.
Operational level planning
It is the part of the strategic planning that establishes in a precise way which activities must be developed to reach the goals and in this way guarantee the achievement of the organization’s objectives.
At this point the activities, tasks, who will be responsible, the costs involved in carrying out everything we are planning and the schedule to follow to achieve the desired results are established.