Strategic planning involves making decisions and taking actions that help your organization achieve goals. Strategic management involves setting the overall goals, values and direction of the organization. Ideally, planning and management align to move an organization forward. Comparing and contrasting your organization’s strategic plan with your management strategy can improve resourcefulness and efficiency that leads to successfully achieving organizational goals.

Compare on Importance

Determine the priorities of strategic planning and strategic management among top management in your organization. Some executives have a tendency to see creating strategy as more important than assuring that strategies get implemented properly, says Wharton School management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak. As executing a strategy becomes more difficult, executives can even lose interest in the overall strategy and end up losing long-term focus. Ensuring top management’s commitment to achieving organizational goals is as critical to success as creating the goals themselves, says Hrebiniak.

Compare on Implementation

Evaluate the routines that are meant to implement strategic plans and achieve strategic goals. Teamwork between the people planning strategy and those executing it can prevent and remedy any problems or conflicts as they arise. Greater success in achieving organizational goals comes from seeing strategizing and execution as one whole process that involves ideas and solutions being exchanged as progress unfolds, strategy consultant Doug Sundheim wrote in a 2013 “Harvard Business Review” blog article.

Contrast Regarding Competition

Use strategic planning to define the actions and tactics your organization will take against competitors. With knowledge of your competition, your strategies in the marketplace can be more effective at giving your organization an edge as well as preventing competitors from copying the strategies you design. By contrast, strategic management is useful in positioning your organization in relation to your competitors. Strategic management involves defining how your business intends to stand out as a leader in its industry.

Contrast Regarding Change

Build more flexibility into strategic plans to allow for changing external influences that can impact the plan’s execution. For example, if a new competitor emerges, the situation becomes an opportunity to reevaluate how to deploy resources in order to stay competitive. External forces, however, can have less influence in strategic management where the strategies for the organization overall are designed more firmly for the longer term as part of the organization’s core.