Planning is one of the five functions of management. The other functions are, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. Being a preparatory step, planning determines the time, the procedures and the people who should perform a specific job. It is a basic function of management which helps managers to be focused by putting down future courses of action that should be followed. There are different types of planning which include; strategic planning, tactical planning, operational planning and contingency planning. (Dale, 2004)
Managers find themselves planning for different reasons so that they can be sure that they are working towards reaching organizational goals. These four types of planning relate to one another, working hand in hand towards achieving organizational goals. For instance, the operational plans help one to attain tactical plans which further help to meet strategic plans.
In this context, I am going to discuss about the differences between strategic planning and routine planning. Their definitions are as follows; strategic planning is the process whereby a company or an organization determines long term goals and then looks for the best approach to apply in reaching those goals. Routine planning involves looking for best approach in determining short term goals with an aim of meeting the long term goals. (Abraham, 2012)
Strategic planning vs. routine planning
There are some few differences between strategic planning and routine planning in management. From their definitions, we can learn that strategic planning focuses on the future, the goals set are long term, for instance, managers of corporates may create a picture of lets say where the corporate will be after four, eight or ten years. On the other hand, the routine planning focuses on short term goals which are instrumental to attaining the long term goals. Another difference between the two types of planning is; the top-level managers provide the strategic plans which act as a framework for the middle and lower level planning i. e routine planning and others.
Unlike routine planning that commences with current status, strategic planning starts with objectives at the very end towards the current status. The other difference is that; the routine planning aims at meeting short term objectives, solving issues that are at hand through specific means while strategic planning envisions at a wide picture and is flexible in choosing the best approach.
Example of routine planning; the suburban city
The walls of the city had been contaminated with waste from a cotton industry. The planning committee made correct moves to cope with the situation including; analysis of stakeholders, developing a mission statement and identification of pressing strategic issues. The committee was focused in solving the issues at hand. The routine planning helped them achieve their short term set goals.
Example of routine planning; the nursing agency
A director of a nursing agency gathered his senior administrators and staff after rethinking of the mission, vision and values of the agency. Previously, his board members had tasked him to come up with a strategic plan. After looking at the new mission and vision and the long term goals which they had previously drafted, they decided to rework on some issues which seemed irrelevant. With the strategic planning, the agency ended up meeting all the goals within the first five years after planning and implementing. (rogers, 2001)
Strategic planning gives the activities (work) in organizations a coherence and direction to follow towards achieving their goals. Without it, organizations cannot perform since they may not know the direction to follow and the reason as to why they should follow that direction. Strategic planning is very important in the whole planning process. Organizations that apply strategic plans in their whole planning process in most cases meet their missions, visions and the set goals within the specified time.