Stage 1: Establish organisational strategic objectives

Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution

Series Article 1 of 5

By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia



This is the first of a series of five articles on organisational strategic planning and execution. The series will discuss, in turn, each of the five stages of strategic planning and execution shown in Figure 1, which is based on models used in some of my recent articles in this journal (e.g. Stretton 2017l, 2018a, 2018b).

Figure 1: An organisational strategic management framework, with project contributions

This model (now somewhat modified) places project planning and implementation in the broader context of organisational strategic planning and execution. My previous articles were particularly concerned with project contributions to achieving strategic objectives. In this series I will be more concerned with the five strategic management stages per se, but will not attempt a comprehensive coverage of these. Rather I will tend to focus on particular issues that do not appear to be adequately covered in the project management literature, and/or where there are significant differences of perspective by different writers.

This first article of the series is about Stage 1: Establishing organisational strategic objectives. It will be primarily concerned with summarising some of the extensive work that needs to be done in “deliberate” strategic contexts before strategic objectives can be reasonably established; the increasing importance of “emergent” strategies in times of increasingly rapid change; the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play – all of which makes strategic management a dynamic, rather than relatively static, series of processes, and which I have tried to reflect in the (new) summarised descriptor in the Stage1 text box.


Organisational strategy has long been a major subject in its own right

A great deal has been written in the general management literature about organisational strategy, and I do not pretend to be in a position to attempt to encapsulate these materials in a relatively short article. However, the following chapter headings from Johnson & Scholes 1999, in their book “Exploring Corporate Strategy”, give an indication of the types of issues they believe need to be covered.

  1. Corporate strategy: An introduction
  2. Strategic management in practice
  3. Analysing the environment
  4. Resources, competences and strategic capability
  5. Stakeholder expectations and organisational purposes
  6. Bases of strategic choice
  7. Strategic options: Directions and methods of development
  8. Strategy evaluation and selection
  9. Organisation structure and design
  10. Resource allocation and control
  11. Managing strategic change

This represents what Booth 2018 has called a traditional “textbook” approach. The related strategies have often been described as “deliberate” strategies.


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About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)


Alan Stretton
is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 190 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected]

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/