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The meaning of strategy and planning

The term strategy is fairly wide so this is the first term to be defined in order to limit the sense that it will cover over our writings.

The author whose definition comes closest to the meaning of strategy on rotating this work is Michael Porter1 who believes that the strategy has to do with "achieve leadership and stay there," i.e. to create competitive advantages.

According Esteban Fernández2, a company reaches a competitive advantage when it "meets the needs of customers better than its rivals, alongside which adapts to the environmental forces." This means that the strategy is seen as a way to increase the competitive position of the company and therefore able to face environmental turbulence throwing the greatest possible degree of certainty for stakeholders related to our business3

Peter Drucker 4 in his theory of business describes business as "a process that transforms a resource through various knowledge, something that has economic value in the market."

Therefore, with regard to our blog, the aspect that will develop the term "strategy" is applied to the business world and not others (as shown in game theory or in the military field).

Since the bulk of the work on the strategy is aimed at planning (programming) strategic (as opposed to the emerging and reactive strategy) is necessary to define the scope and extent of the broad concept of planning.

The concept of PLANNING can be classified in several ways:

1.1.  Depending on the level or extent

Describes 4 levels high to low field of influence.

-  Legislation or policy: it is usually defined by a public organism characterized by long-term planning and covering multiple service organizations.

-  Strategic: It is usually issued by management and described the overall objectives of the organization long term.

-  Tactical or structural: they describe the general and specific objectives. the alternatives are specified and a program of activities and strategies is structured to follow.

-           A variant of the program is the project whose extension in time is smaller and its performance is usually short term. The project successfully passes the test of experimentation is often included in an existing program. The flexible nature of the project is reflected in organizational and human resources terms.

-  Operational: operational objectives fixed on a specific plan, so that the decisions reflected in this plan are more related to the short term. Here the timetable for implementation and management of resources allocated to each action is described.

1.2.  According to internal or external to the organization focus

Divide the term planning into two categories

-  Market (out of the organization): refers to market stimulus measures having as main objective the creation of a brand image of the organization in general rather than a product.

-  Organization (into the organization) believes that the environment is an important but not decisive factor. It focuses on the process of internal organizational planning

1.3. Depending on the degree of pragmatism

-  Rational: based on objective methods, "hard" , quantitative, based on logic and rarely consider improvisation as a resource. The ideal plan is sought.

-  Pragmatic: it is based on accepting the participation of stakeholders and adapt to the needs and available resources. Integrates programming from the point of view of implementation and efficiency continuously considers their results.

1.4. The 3 types of Mintzberg

The Spanish Association of Accounting and Business Administration is based on the theory of Mintzberg5 to differentiate 3 types of strategy:

-  Deliberate: behaviour pursuant to a plan.

-  The emerging: behaviour performed without formalized previous plans.

-  Achieved: the actions actually carried out as a result of the combination of the actions taken after the assumed planning and decisions emerging form without prior planning.

A fourth type of strategy, regardless of the theory of Mintzberg, is proposed by the AECA (Spanish Association of Accounting and Business Administration); it is conditional strategy: this reflects the strong influence of the environment on many decisions.

1.5.   Strategy vs. tactics

-  Strategy: relates to actions to achieve long-term goals and in an organizational level.

-  Tactic: relates to short-term actions and operational or functional.

Stage directions for the health sector: HEALTH PLANNING concept.

Raynald Pineault6 defines health planning as "a continuous process of prediction of resources and services necessary to achieve the objectives identified as a priority order established, allowing choose, or optimal solutions among many alternatives. This choice takes into account the context of difficulties, internal and external, currently known or foreseeable future. "In this work defines different criteria by which focus on understanding the concept of health planning and is useful to use them for define the conceptual framework of this paper.

1.        Porter, M.E.  "What is Strategy?".  Harvard Business Review, noviembre-diciembre, pp.62-78.

2.        Fernández Esteban.  Strategic Business Management. Madrid. Publisher: University Publications Delta SL. 2006

3.        Abascal Rojas Francisco.  How does a strategic plan. Theory of strategic marketing. Madrid. ESIC Editorial 2000

4.        Peter F Drucker,  Managing for Result . Editorial Heinesmann. London, 1965.

5.        AECA: Spanish Association of Accounting and Business Administration. Business Strategy Dynamic model of the strategic process. Madrid. AECA 2005

6.        Pineault Raynald, Daveluy Carole.  The Health Planning Concepts, Methods, Strategies. Barcelona, MASSON SA.


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About the Author

Diplomado y graduado en enfermería, tiene un posgrado en Dirección General de Empresas por EAE Bussiness School y un Master en gestión Hospitalaria en el Hospital Clínico de Barcelona (adscrito a la universidad de Barcelona). Además, dispone de dos programas de Innovación empresarial por la New Buckinghamshire University (UK).

Acumula más de 10 años de experiencia en puestos de dirección asistencial-general y como administrador de la sociedad de la que el mismo fue cofundador. Fue profesor del Master de gestión Hospitalaria del Hospital Clínico de la asignatura de ‟Planificación estratégica” durante tres años, período durante el cual dirigió 13 tesinas versadas sobre la implantación de Cuadros de Mando Integrales en diferentes empresas de servicios sanitarios. Actualmente trabaja en el Hospital Universitario de Oxford como encargado de la estrategia, además de colaborar con nosotros.
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