Every industry employs a strategic planner. A strategic planner is responsible for guiding the company through financial obstacles and helping to achieving its goal of continued profitability and growing revenues. Big or small, businesses employ these professionals to provide the company with valuable strategies for current and future growth.
Strategic planning is a vital part of any organization, corporation, or company to effectively reach a long-term goal. Strategic planners are hired to lead the company towards their target successfully by using its own strengths, resources, and manpower.
Duties and Responsibilities
Generally, a strategic planner determines where an organization is heading over the next year or more. He formulates strategies or suggests changes or improvements to current business plans, policies, and procedures. It is his job to formulate feasible recommendations to the management on how to optimize near-term growth.
Strategic planning is the process by which the executive management establishes the long-term direction of an organization. Basic steps include assessing the company’s environment and resources, defining the mission and vision, identifying priorities and objectives, and selecting valuable strategies.
A strategic planner develops business plans that support and introduce solutions for strategic issues that impact the company. He conducts organizational reviews to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Also, he evaluates the operational effectiveness of the entire workforce.
Additional responsibilities include providing support to the president of the company, creating presentations, speeches, and outlines, performing market-analysis and monitoring industry trends and company news. The strategic planner also provides support to identify and asses strategic issues, facilitate strategic discussion, and manage strategic initiatives.
Education and Skills
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business management, engineering, marketing, finance, or science. Some employers may prefer candidates with 2 to 7 years of experience as a strategic planner as well as those with a master’s degree or an MBA from a leading business school. Those with a proven track record of accomplishments are most likely to be promoted to a senior level. Many of these professionals continue their education by obtaining training related to quality management practices and industry-specific training.
This position does a variety of tasks and frequently works with a team. An aspiring strategic planner should have a strong knowledge of concepts, practices, and procedures. He must have good judgment skills, which are needed for planning and accomplishing strategic goals. He should also have excellent analytical, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, and a firm grasp of economics, financial analysis, market research and mathematics.
Working Conditions and Salary
Strategic planners work in an office-type setting within regular working hours. Nevertheless, working overtime and on weekends is always expected, especially during critical days. The salary of a strategic planner varies from company to company. It depends on the size of the organization, the amount of work, and location. Education and experience also plays a significant role in determining one’s salary rate. According to surveys and studies, the average annual salary of a strategic planning manager is $114,799. As for the strategic planning analyst, the average salary is $65,185.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/