Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Strategic Business Planning
Since 1992, Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) has had a Strategic Business Plan in place which is updated annually. Major changes to the process were implemented beginning in 1996. Prior to these changes, the strategic plan was managed by a strategic planning board and coordinated with the labor unions. The plan incorporated short and mid-term plans and addressed long-range strategies and trends. Beginning in 1996, the strategic process was redefined and improved. Changes included restructuring and expanding the planning organization, benchmarking other planning processes, internal and external environmental assessments, defining customers, developing long-term major goals, and linking to the IOC plan. The expanded planning board incorporated the unions as active members along with key directors and office chiefs. The planning board also consults with mission oriented sub-groups and a new focused marketing and business team. The environmental assessment looks at external factors such as the Five Year Defense Plan. The internal assessment considers strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
An important part of the new process is defining current and potential customers. The Arsenal has redefined its mission areas (and potential markets) in terms of manufacturing, logistics, and base operations. This expands its potential customer base and provides additional opportunities for growth. The plan established three major goals. Each goal has one or more sub-groups for which objectives, strategies, and measures are developed. Specific tactics for each objective are not included in the strategic plan and are developed separately based on the plan. The plan is updated annually.
The new planning process (Figure 3-2) has helped focus the strategic direction of the Arsenal more effectively than before, and made it more responsive to environmental changes. It has helped to define current and potential customers both in the government and private sectors. Goals are now supported by objectives, strategies, and tactics. Milestones and metrics have been identified to assess performance. RIA has learned that survival requires creative thinking, continuous planning, and measurement to understand the changing environment and customer base, and respond successfully. Future improvements include a six-year strategic plan and an electronic information system for tracking performance metrics.
Figure 3-2. Strategic Planning Process
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