Strategic Planning Approaches

Strategic Planning Approaches

The SWOT-Analysis Approach

The SWOT analysis approach is majorly an analytical approach. It is mainly applied in cases where an institution seeks to readdress its current operation methods and status. It is a tool that examines both internal and external factors concerning an institution. It is ideal for us in many institutions because the analysis guidelines are open in a way that the institution explores the internal issues such as weaknesses and strengths and external factors like threats and Opportunities. It is an approach that would not be ideal for planning where the institution is not already in operation.

Capability-Based Planning approach

Capability-Based approach planning approach is mainly applicable for events that involve both human and non-human resources. It is result driven which makes it ideal for profit driven institutions such as businesses and success oriented entities like sports (Naval Analytical Capabilities: Improving Capabilities-Based Planning , 2005). This approach operates on a major business like concept of maximizing output while minimizing input. This approach would be unfavorable for an institution that has bigger concerns than monetary profit or prestige in success like sports and retail chain stores. High intelligence institutions like the Federal Bureau of Investigations would not benefit from this approach.

Scenario-Based Planning approach

Scenario-Based Planning is mostly applicable for making long term plans in an institution. This entails creating possible scenarios that could actually happen in the future and finding ways to manage them when they eventually do. Such scenarios could be high risk security problems that a country may face. A military force of a country may design an approach to handle an ambush if it ever occurs. This will require training and sensitization of the military force and a spill over to the general public.  This planning approach requires extensive research into the present preparedness of an institution to deal with unexpected eventualities. The scenario-based approach is not suitable for minor management planning requirements. It is ideal for major operations that involve more than a handful of people.

Function based planning

Function based planning approach is mostly applicable is examining behavior. It entails finding out what the errant behavior is and defining it. It is mostly well applied in dealing with problems of behavior within controlled environments. The approach also focuses on finding out what environmental factors contribute to the behavior. The approach also details the consequences of the behavior being examined. The analysis done is based on the behavior that has been unearthed during the fact finding stage of applying this method as a planning approach.  Once the analysis is done a plan is created to deal with the behavior. After the plan creation it is important for the management involved to find out what constructive replacement behavior is necessary. The management will also know how best to integrate the application into the daily operations of the institution (Austin, 2014). In this case a security oriented institution. During and after the application it is important to follow up on the impact the plan has on the organization. This planning approach is not ideal for handling factors that would affect anything other than the behavior of individuals in the institution.

Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results Strategic Planning Hybrid Approach

The SOAR is a combination of the SWOT analysis and capability based planning approaches. The take from SWOT is the strengths and opportunities with an assist from the Capability-Based approach which is result oriented. The combination is likely to pay off in modelling an institution that has a wide responsibility base like a private security and investigations company. It is a business entity that has both security and success in their objectives of operations. SOAR in this case makes it easy for such a company to evaluate their operations and improve with time while at the same time adjusting to suit the market demands. This hybrid is better that a single approach like SWOT for a number of reasons; the SOAR is more inclined to actual action as opposed to SWOT which is analytical at best. (Capela & Brooks-Saunders, 2010) This makes the SOAR more effective because with action, any difficulties are addressed as they occur. The SOAR focuses more on what is going well in comparison to SWOT which can easily lead the concerned parties to focus too much on the negatives instead of perfecting their best. The SWOT is often centered on the management whereas the SOAR cuts across the institution without paying special attention to the management levels. The SOAR approach is more thorough in planning for an organization with diverse interests. 

The SOAR approach would help a security firm deal with repeated burglaries in the sections that they have been contracted to look after. This would be made possible by regular training and the employees being engaged in developing the training systems. SOAR will ensure that that the guards on the ground know the signs of a burglary when they see it. The strengths and Opportunities will be the previous personal experiences of the guards and their training. The keen eye on details is likely to make the security firm prevent many burglaries from happening in the areas that they cover. The aspirations and results will automatically be realized from the effective realization and enhancement of the strengths and opportunities.

A second case scenario would be, sudden persistent losses by an insurance company. The company will need to strategize on recovering their finances without dealing shortchanging their clients. The loophole that leads to the losses could be dishonest management or fraudulent clients. The company will need to design a method of preventing the losses from being repeated. The strengths and opportunities of the company is the technology they possess. The management can be investigated using private investigators.  The results and aspirations are to stop the losses and serve their clients better. This will mean that the company will be more rigorous on the compensation process for their clients. The insurance company may need to hire an investigating company to ascertain the client’s claims for them to rule out fraud by clients. Such an all rounded approach will prevent further losses and improve the operations of the company.

Soar in both cases would be the best approach because it is through and leaves no stone unturned in analyzing the successes and challenges facing a company. The approach also give the institution room to speculate on the possible emergency situations like a sudden rise in burglary and loos of fund for the insurance company.


Austin, K. (2014, November 5). Think Function: Using Function Based thinking to change problem behaviours. Retrieved from Innovation Perspectives :

Capela, S., & Brooks-Saunders, A. (2010, December 31). Strenghths Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. Retrieved from SOAR Strategy:

Naval Analytical Capabilities: Improving Capabilities-Based Planning . (2005). In Naval Analytical Capabilities: Improving Capabilities-Based Planning . Washinton DC.: The National Academies Press. Retrieved from

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