Even in the presence of a structured strategic planning process, it is quite possible to formulate unsound, inappropriate strategy and/or to fail at implementation. There are many pitfalls, such as lack of commitment and involvement; inadequate process understanding; lack of conceptual focus; complexity; getting off base; inadequate analysis; rigid, mechanistic adherence to some pet theory; poorly conceived action plans; inadequate understanding of resource requirements and availability; planning not integrated into regular management process; assumption/presumption errors; inflexibility; failure to monitor progress and developments; etc.
What’s required is a sound approach, management commitment and good planning leadership. Robert Bradford and Peter Duncan have written a top selling book that is a good place to start: SIMPLIFIED STRATEGIC PLANNING: A No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast! - - http://www.cssp.com/book.asp. Another good first step toward acquiring these prerequisites is to attend the seminar, Simplified Strategic Planning for Small to Mid-Sized Companies. This Michigan State University seminar lays out a streamlined, yet thorough, approach to strategic planning. It demonstrates a variety of techniques for obtaining management commitment. And it details the necessary attributes of good planning leadership. This seminar is presented in many cities across the U.S. every year.