How to Bring Strategic Planning Into the Modern Era

Organizations shouldn't have to choose between being strategic and being agile.

Today’s national security landscape is dynamic, volatile, and constantly changing. The rapid evolution of technology paired with the ever-present feeling of uncertainty within government caused by shifting budgets, politics, and priorities, makes it very difficult to stay both agile and strategic. Traditional methods of strategic planning, such as the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System introduced in the 1960s, simply cannot keep up.

In order to justify putting the time, energy, and resources into a solid strategic plan, defense and intelligence organizations need to know that the plans won’t become outdated as soon as they are complete. Leaders shouldn’t have to choose between being strategic and being agile—because the options are not mutually exclusive. To be fully effective, strategic planning has to become as dynamic as the world is.

Moving toward a dynamic strategic planning process can yield numerous benefits to an organization. With a dynamic strategy in place, and the experience to actually use it, teams have the flexibility to adapt to external challenges and respond to a changing environment. With this tool they can become more forward-focused, and thus gain greater control over their futures. Additionally, a proper process will build on itself, allowing teams to continually update it rather than starting over from scratch every so often.

Enveloping such changes into a corporate outcome is the key to success. From senior management down, the whole organization has to feel ownership and be an active participant in the process to see true success. Committing to the project from the outset while leveraging existing organizational structures drives results.

Defense and intelligence organizations can better develop strategies and organizational concepts that manage risks and meet unique mission goals.

Read the viewpoint to learn more about this topic.