At this stage, it is important to differentiate between the terms objective and goal, because the words, objective and goals seem to be synonymous, but, in fact, they are not. It does not matter much which word you call goal and which word you call objective if you are consistent in your own use and understand its relevance or applicability. However, if there are words in English that are confusing, especially to the students, objective and goal are the ones among them. It’s therefore important to understand them so as to avoid the confusion.
- Identification of the pharmacy’s strengths and weaknesses. Strengths – internal attributes and resources that support a successful outcome.
Weaknesses – internal attributes and resources that work against a successful outcome. Strengths and Weakness has to do with the things you do on your everyday life that you are good at and others that you’re not so good at. One example of STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES would be that I love to talk, but I don’t like to listen to others. You need to be able to accurately gauge your strengths and weaknesses and do the right thing based on them. You have to assess your strengths and weaknesses before making your decision on where you are going with your business.
- Identification of the pharmacy’s potential threats and opportunities. Opportunities – external factors the project can capitalise on, or use to its advantage.
Threats – external factors that could jeopardise the project.
- Formulation and selection of strategies. Formulation, the second phase in the strategic management process, produces a clear set of recommendations, with supporting justification, that revise as necessary the mission and objectives of the organisation, and supply the strategies for accomplishing them. In formulation, we are trying to modify the current objectives and strategies in ways to make the organisation more successful. This includes trying to create “sustainable” competitive advantages — although most competitive advantages are eroded steadily by the efforts of competitors.
A good recommendation should be: effective in solving the stated problem(s), practical (can be implemented in this situation, with the resources available), feasible within a reasonable time frame, cost-effective, not overly disruptive, and acceptable to key “stakeholders” in the organisation. It is important to consider “fits” between resources plus competencies with opportunities, and also fits between risks and expectations.
There are four primary steps in this phase:
- Reviewing the current key objectives and strategies of the organisation, which usually would have been identified and evaluated as part of the diagnosis
- Identifying a rich range of strategic alternatives to address the three levels of strategy formulation outlined below, including but not limited to dealing with the critical issues
- Doing a balanced evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives relative to their feasibility plus expected effects on the issues and contributions to the success of the organisation
- Deciding on the alternatives that should be implemented or recommended
Once the SWOT factors are identified, decision makers should be able to better ascertain if the project or goal is worth pursuing and what is required to make it successful.
- Review of the pharmacy’s structure and systems. The whole systems encompassing the work force, technical aspects, professional and even stock’s department needs to be reviewed.
- Implementation of strategy. In organisations, and in the practice of strategic management, strategies must be implemented to achieve the intended results. The most wonderful strategy in the history of the world is useless if not implemented successfully. This third and final stage in the strategic management process involves developing an implementation plan and then doing whatever it takes to make the new strategy operational and effective in achieving the organisation’s objectives.
- Periodic review/evaluation of chosen strategy.
By Pharm. Okoh Godwin Atta