Strategic Planning: A Core Online MBA Course

Strategic planning by definition is the business leader’s process of defining corporate strategy and deciding how to best allocate resources to most efficiently meet this strategy, which includes both financial and labor resources. Given its critical stance in the world of business, it is easy to see why it takes such a prominent role in many online MBA programs. It is often a core component of study, so students therefore must successfully complete it in order to graduate from an online MBA program. However, what exactly is involved in strategic planning and what could students hope to get from studying?

What is Involved with Strategic Planning in an Online MBA Program?

It can be said that all strategic planning involves at least one of the following three key questions: What do we do? Who do we serve? How do we excel, which can also be formulated as how can we oust competition? The vision gained from strategic planning often forms long term mission statements for a business; with many strategic plans forming standard five year plans. However, these strategies can also be more significantly long term and can even span as many as 20 or more years!

Throughout the course of study, students will be exposed to several acronyms for strategic planning, which are based on business analysis. These can include the SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, STEER analysis, and the EPISTEL analysis. Understanding these concepts will help students build stronger strategic plans and will allow them to target specific objectives in order to hone their skills more appropriately based on specific criteria. For example, the STEER analysis may be best to employ when considering factors pertaining to local laws and regulations. This might not be best solved with a SWOT analysis.

Throughout the course of study, students will also learn to compile effective vision statements. These present a clear picture of realistic aspirations that a business can hope to achieve over a certain time period. They also include the method for how a business ought to go about pursuing the vision, which includes budget allowances for capital and labor.

What is Strategic Planning Like in Terms of Difficulty in my Online MBA Program?

Strategic planning can be perceived as one of the more difficult core components. This is because there is a great abundance of material to cover over a standard academic period, so it is therefore important for students to develop appropriate study skills and stick to their schedules when it comes to studying and coursework!

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