According McKienan and Carter, planning enables the company or organization to set priorities focus energies and resources, strengthen operations and ensures employees and stakeholders are working towards a common goal (2000). It helps managers to establish the objectives they want to achieve and the intended outcome from their activities and assess and adjust the organization direction in response to the changing market structure. To achieve all these management needs to come up with a strategic plan that will guide them in management.
A strategic plan is a document used to communicate the organizational objectives and goals that focuses on the actions that needed to be taken to realize these goals. Strategic management is guided by that written document. Clark maintains that strategic management transforms the static plan into a structure that provides strategic performance response to decision-making process and enables it to grow and adjust to changes (2004). Execution of the plan is synonymous with management, and it results in a systematic implementation of the plan.
A good strategy tends to answer three critical questions that are; where is the organization at the moment? Where does it want to go? And, how will it get there? It should consider the end always. It is not about predicting the future it is about preparing for it with the exact steps the company has to follow in mind in order to gain a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is what keeps a company ahead of others in the same industry. According to Lowendahl and Revang, a company with a competitive advantage will perform fairly better than the rest in terms of revenue development and customers’ satisfaction (2004). Planning is not guarantee that companies will achieve more competitive advantage over the rest, but it is an essential process that can enhance sustainability of the company in the business.