7 Steps of Strategic Management Process

The 7 steps of the strategic management process include establishing vision, mission, and objectives; conducting comprehensive analysis, formulating strategies, implementing the strategy, monitoring and evaluating progress, exercising strategic control, and reviewing and adjusting strategies to ensure alignment and effectiveness.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, having a robust strategic management process is essential for the success and sustainability of any organization. This process involves a series of steps designed to guide companies in defining their strategic direction and achieving their long-term goals. Below, we outline the seven critical steps of the strategic management process, providing detailed insights into each phase to ensure comprehensive understanding and effective implementation.

1. Establishing the Vision, Mission, and Objectives

The first step in the strategic management process is to establish the vision, mission, and objectives of the organization. This foundational phase sets the tone for all subsequent actions and decisions.

Vision Statement

A clear and compelling vision statement articulates the long-term aspirations of the organization. It serves as a guiding star for all strategic initiatives, inspiring employees and stakeholders alike.

Mission Statement

The mission statement defines the organization’s purpose and core values. It answers fundamental questions about what the organization does, whom it serves, and how it delivers value.


Strategic objectives are specific, measurable goals that align with the vision and mission. They provide a roadmap for achieving desired outcomes and serve as benchmarks for evaluating progress.

2. Conducting a Comprehensive Analysis

Conducting a thorough analysis of the internal and external environment is crucial for identifying opportunities and threats that could impact the organization. This step typically involves the following key components:

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a tool used to identify the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis helps in understanding the internal capabilities and external challenges that the organization might face.

PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL analysis examines the macro-environmental factors that can influence the organization. This includes political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal aspects.

Competitive Analysis

A detailed competitive analysis involves studying the strategies, strengths, and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. This helps in identifying the competitive landscape and crafting strategies to gain a competitive edge.

3. Formulating Strategies

Once the analysis is complete, the next step is formulating strategies that will help the organization achieve its objectives. Strategy formulation involves developing long-term plans to leverage strengths and opportunities while mitigating weaknesses and threats.

Corporate-Level Strategy

Corporate-level strategy focuses on the overall scope and direction of the organization. It includes decisions about diversification, mergers and acquisitions, and investment in new ventures.

Business-Level Strategy

Business-level strategy deals with how the organization competes within a specific industry or market. It involves decisions about product differentiation, cost leadership, and market focus.

Functional-Level Strategy

Functional-level strategy involves specific actions and initiatives within departments such as marketing, finance, operations, and human resources. These strategies support the broader corporate and business-level strategies.

4. Implementing the Strategy

The success of any strategy depends on its effective implementation. This step involves putting the formulated strategies into action through coordinated efforts across the organization.

Resource Allocation

Resource allocation ensures that the necessary financial, human, and technological resources are available to execute the strategy. Proper allocation is critical for achieving strategic objectives.

Change Management

Effective change management is essential for overcoming resistance and ensuring smooth implementation. This involves communicating the strategy, training employees, and managing transitions.

Organizational Structure

Aligning the organizational structure with the strategy is crucial. This may involve restructuring departments, redefining roles, and establishing clear lines of authority and responsibility.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation

Continuous monitoring and evaluation are necessary to track the progress of strategic initiatives and make necessary adjustments. This step involves regular review and assessment of performance metrics.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are quantifiable measures used to evaluate the success of an organization in achieving its objectives. They provide insight into the effectiveness of the strategy and highlight areas that need improvement.

Balanced Scorecard

The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that tracks performance across multiple dimensions, including financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth perspectives.

Feedback Mechanisms

Implementing effective feedback mechanisms allows the organization to gather insights from employees, customers, and other stakeholders. This feedback is vital for making informed decisions and continuous improvement.

6. Strategic Control

Strategic control involves ensuring that the organization’s strategies are effectively executed and aligned with its goals. This step includes corrective actions to address any deviations from the strategic plan.

Operational Controls

Operational controls focus on day to day activities and processes. They ensure that tasks are performed efficiently and align with strategic objectives.

Strategic Surveillance

Strategic surveillance involves ongoing monitoring of the external environment to identify emerging trends, threats, and opportunities that could impact the organization.

Special Alert Control

Special alert control is activated in response to sudden, significant events that could affect the organization. This enables quick adaptation and response to unforeseen circumstances.

7. Reviewing and Adjusting Strategies

The final step in the strategic management process is reviewing and adjusting strategies. This ensures that the organization remains agile and responsive to changes in the internal and external environment.

Periodic Review

Conducting periodic reviews of strategic initiatives helps in assessing their effectiveness and making necessary adjustments. This may involve revisiting objectives, strategies, and resource allocations.

Continuous Improvement

Adopting a culture of continuous improvement ensures that the organization consistently strives for excellence. This involves learning from past experiences, embracing innovation, and making iterative changes.

Strategic Realignment

Strategic realignment may be necessary when significant changes occur in the market or industry. This involves re-evaluating the organization’s direction and making substantial adjustments to its strategic plan.

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In summary, mastering the strategic management process is crucial for any organization aiming for long-term success. By following the seven key steps, establishing vision, mission, and objectives; conducting comprehensive analyses; formulating strategies, implementing these strategies, monitoring and evaluating progress; exercising strategic control; and reviewing and adjusting strategies, organizations can effectively navigate the complexities of today’s dynamic business environment. Each step is integral to building a resilient framework that not only guides day to day operations but also aligns with long-term goals.

By continuously refining their strategic approach based on ongoing evaluations and market feedback, businesses can stay competitive and agile, ready to capitalize on new opportunities and mitigate risks. This structured approach to strategic management ensures sustained growth, enhanced performance, and the achievement of organizational objectives.

FAQs about the 7 Steps of Strategic Management Process

What are the 7 steps of the strategic management process?

The 7 steps of the strategic management process are:
1- Establishing the vision, mission, and objectives.
2- Conducting a comprehensive analysis.
3- Formulating strategies.
4- Implementing the strategy.
5- Monitoring and evaluation.
6- Strategic control.
7- Reviewing and adjusting strategies.

Why is establishing a vision and mission important in strategic management?

Establishing a vision and mission is crucial because they provide a clear direction and purpose for the organization. The vision statement articulates long-term aspirations, inspiring stakeholders and guiding strategic initiatives. The mission statement defines the organization’s purpose and core values, helping to align efforts and ensure that all actions contribute to the overall goals.

How does a SWOT analysis contribute to the strategic management process?

A SWOT analysis is essential for understanding an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. By identifying these factors, organizations can develop strategies that leverage their strengths, address weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and mitigate threats, ensuring a well-informed strategic direction.

What is the role of strategic control in the strategic management process?

Strategic control involves monitoring the execution of strategies to ensure they are aligned with the organization’s goals. It includes taking corrective actions to address deviations from the plan. This step is vital for maintaining strategic alignment, adapting to changes, and ensuring the effective implementation of strategies.

How can organizations ensure continuous improvement in their strategic management process?

Organizations can ensure continuous improvement by adopting a culture that values learning and innovation. This involves conducting periodic reviews of strategic initiatives, gathering feedback from stakeholders, and making iterative changes based on insights and market dynamics. Continuous improvement helps organizations remain competitive and responsive to evolving business environments.

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