It is important for an organisation to identify strategic issues in order to show that the strategy of the business is adequately addressing the issues facing the organisation and if the business is to meet its objectives. The responses to the strategic issues will be incorporated into the themes of the businesses strategy, but there is not necessarily a one-to-one relationship between strategic issues and the themes of the business strategy, since themes will be chosen as the basis for programmes of business change and one such programme may address several strategic issues.
Identifying strategic issues is at the heart of the strategy planning process, a strategic issue is a fundamental policy question or critical challenge affecting an organisations mandates, mission and values, product or service level, clients, customers, structure and management. Ways to identify strategic issues include: SWOT Analysis- this can used by an organisation to identify strategic issues with a group of people in a short time frame based on analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
By doing this an organisations can: •Help a group to focus on developing their mission and first important strategies •Enable a group that has not been functioning as effectively as they could be to refocus their efforts and get back on track •Assist long-term organisations to periodically renew their priorities in a systematic fashion Among the most important results from this method is that it will produce information that is vital to the organisation’s survival and prosperity.
It is difficult to imagine that an organization can be truly effective over the long term unless it has an intimate knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses in relation to the opportunities and threats it faces. The Strategic Issues Relationship Diagram- this is an example of one based on meeting health care needs and is useful for seeing how the various findings converge to affect the achievement of the vision.
The way to approach this step depends upon the availability of meeting time and the willingness of participants to do individual work such as having small groups prepare information prior to committee meetings at which the committee members discuss and refine issues, homework assignments in which all participants are asked to review the findings and come to meetings prepared with ideas about where strategic issues exist and small group work in which MAPP Committee members break into several groups and identify issues.