In contrast to long-term planning (which begins with the current status and lays down a path to meet estimated future needs), strategic planning begins with the desired-end and works backward to the current status.
- At every stage of long-range planning the planner asks, "What must be done here to reach the next (higher) stage?"
- At every stage of strategic-planning the planner asks, "What must be done at the previous (lower) stage to reach here?"
Also, in contrast to tactical planning (which focuses at achieving narrowly defined interim objectives with predetermined means), strategic planning looks at the wider picture and is flexible in choice of its means.
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