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Strategic Planning Resources Glossary

alignment an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another
business plan a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals
environmental scan identifying and obtaining information from internal and external sources about current trends or futurist studies; careful monitoring of an organization's internal and external environments for detecting early signs of opportunities and threats that may influence its current and future plans
facilitator one that helps to bring about an outcome (as learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision
focus group a small group of people whose response to something (as a new product or a politician's image) is studied to determine the response that can be expected from a larger population
key performance indicators (KPIs) items that help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals. KPIs are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization
metric a standard or measurement
mission a pre-established and often self-imposed objective or purpose
needs assessment a systematic process to acquire an accurate, thorough picture of a system's strengths and weaknesses, in order to improve it and meet existing and future challenges
Request for Proposal (RFP) a solicitation made, often through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals
SOAR analysis SOAR stands for strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results; a SOAR analysis is a strategic planning tool that focuses an organization on its current strengths and vision of the future for developing its strategic goals
strategic initiatives collections of finite-duration discretionary projects and programs, outside of the organization's day-to-day operational activities, designed to help the organization achieve its targeted performance; strategic initiatives are the means through which a vision is translated into practice
strategic planning a systematic, formally documented process for deciding what is the handful of key decisions that an organization, viewed as a corporate whole, must get right to thrive over the next few years; the process results in the production of a strategic plan
strategic plan a set of statements describing the purpose and ethical conduct for an organization together with the specific strategies designed to achieve the targets set for each of these
survey a data collection tool used to gather information about individuals
SWOT analysis SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats; a SWOT analysis allows an organization to take a look at its internal and external environment; it helps match an organization’s resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which it operates
value proposition a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced; a value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services