I think most people in IT have heard the term "strategic alignment" more times than they can count. Pundits are crawling out from under rocks everywhere to stress how important it is for IT to align itself with corporate business goals. Strategic alignment helps clarify and chart an organization's direction and future moves.
Author Carl Selinger says that "Strategic planning forces a company to confront its strengths and weaknesses, consider those external factors that might aid or hinder its success, and define specific plans and actions to achieve its goals."
In the article "Strategic Planning on the Job," Selinger maintains that strategic planning isn't just for businesses. He says that you "also need to do some strategic planning to chart your career and to enhance your effectiveness at your current job and any future job." He lists the basic steps involved in strategic planning for your career. They are:
1. Determine your goals and objectives.
2. Do a situation analysis.
3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
4. Identify external opportunities and threats.
5. Determine your critical issues.
6. Develop several alternative career strategies.
7. Translate your decision on career strategy into specific tactics and actions.
8. Review and revise your career strategic plan regularly.
For a detailed description of each of these steps, click here.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.