The strategic management model -- or strategic planning model, as it is also known -- is a tool used by managers to plan and implement business strategies. Although there are variations of the strategic management model, most are divided into six stages. Understanding these six stages will help managers to create and implement strategies in their own firms.
The mission -- the most basic part of the strategic management model -- is a broad focus that the firm's top management team must decide before any other strategic planning can take place. A mission should roughly outline what a firm wants to do and how it will do it. An example of a mission is to provide low cost consumer goods directly to customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The firm's objectives follow from its mission. The objectives are measurable goals for achieving the mission. Objectives might include constructing a factory, successfully filing for a patent, raising capital or others.
The situation analysis phase of the strategic management model involves assessing the current environment. There are a variety of frameworks for performing this analysis, but the most commonly used is a SWOT analysis, which measures the firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
The stage of strategy formulation takes into account the firm's objectives and the situation analysis. Strategies are created that aim to achieve the firm's objectives given the environmental situation.
The application stage of the strategic management model involves the actual implementation of the strategies. This is often the most difficult stage because it requires the most extensive cooperation of all members of the organization. The application stage can take several months or longer to complete.
The control stage is the final step in the strategic management model. The purpose of this stage is to make adaptations to the strategy after the implementation. Often, the environment and even firm objectives will change. This step is used to recognize this and make adjustments to the firm strategies to adapt to these changes.