1. Undertake Prior Assessment of Strategic Context

General description

The art of strategy involves understanding the dynamics of the environment in which one is operating, and then identifying and prioritising the vital few objectives that are likely to most contribute to the achievement of the ultimate goal. This guidance assumes that an in-depth assessment has already taken place prior to the development of the policy. However, in reality either the policy hasn’t been developed or there is a significant gap of time between the policy development and the strategy development. ISSAT recommends that even if an in-depth assessment has been carried out, it is important to undertake a smaller scale analysis of the context before embarking on the strategy development exercise. 

This could involve:

  • Developing strategic foresight by considering Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental (PESTLE) trends; assessing stakeholder needs; identifying good practices and success stories; assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different actors involved; and identifying emerging opportunities and threats.  
  • Determining the strategic focus in terms of who the target beneficiaries of the strategy are; how they will benefit; what products and services will be produced that will lead to this benefit; and what will differentiate the producers of the products and services from those currently doing so, or from potential alternative producers.