Original Date: 01/26/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2003
Best Practice : Strategic Planning Process
Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) developed and put in place a disciplined and well-implemented strategic planning process. Previously, the Depot’s strategic planning was difficult to integrate into the complex nature of Depot operations. Very little external information regarding the position of the Depot in the industry and the competitive environment was obtained in developing strategies. As a result, common business objectives had been sporadic.
In the early 1990s, the Depot began to develop marketing plans. CCAD soon realized that it was necessary to develop a strategic plan before a meaningful marketing plan could be accomplished. The foundation of the strategic planning process developed by beginning with the best of past efforts, studying external forces (e.g., the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, and the Industrial Operations Command (IOC) Strategic Plan for Year 2001 requirements), and focusing on CCAD’s customers and the business environment.
In 1997, CCAD began to implement a strategic planning process for the years 1998 to 2001. A formal Strategic Planning regulation was put into effect which fully documented and defined the process. Figure 2-3 shows the process flow for strategic planning, implementation, and management. Strategic planning begins with identifying the beginning and ending periods of the planning time frame. It involves assessing the Depot’s current situation, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Strategic planning includes reviewing the mission and any anticipated fiscal or resource constraints that are expected over the planning period which may stand in the way of achieving the mission. In the process, the leadership team visualizes what the Depot wants to achieve (its vision) by the end of the planning period. The steps in a strategic planning cycle result in strategies, goals, objectives, and performance measures to achieve that vision for the future. Strategic planning involves all Depot members to be successful and effective. Its success is measured ultimately by the Depot’s customers.
The planning process was kicked off by forming teams which included a Strategic Planning Working Group, the Depot’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT), and five SWOT Teams. These teams worked in parallel to develop, customize, and implement the 26-step process for CCAD. A Customer Survey was taken to get honest input from the Depot’s customers as part of the overall environmental scanning process. A six-question telephone survey was conducted with 20 customers to which 100% responded. The three most important items identified by customers were 1) reduce cycle time; 2) improve communications; and 3) adhere to the customer’s statement of work without compromising quality and safety.
Each of the five SWOT teams addressed a specific area: Market Knowledge, Human Resources, Operations, Financial, and Management Information Systems (MIS). The MIS team received the input from the others to develop an Information Strategy that supports the other four areas. The teams developed five strategies: Planning, Customers, the Workforce, Information, and Cost. Each of the strategies has well defined and clearly specified goals and objectives.
The Strategic Planning Handbook for the next three years is printed and distributed to all Depot employees during the March to April timeframe. The Annual Performance Plan is developed by the ELT and is distributed with the handbook. The strategies are implemented through the Depot’s Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) involving communication, coaching, and ownership to all levels of the command. This process is increasing communication across the entire organization. The primary focus is on the customer. The process requires increased teamwork and creativity. A key to success has been coordination at all levels. The process has provided a strategic planning and management roadmap for CCAD, and has given the Depot a tool with which it can control and manage the course and pace of change.
Figure 2-3. Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Management Process
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