What is a strategic thinking?

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According to Michael D.Taylor, a strategic thinking is a strategy about “how the goal is established” and how this goal affect all business’ actors: the customers, the corporation, the competitors and the co-workers.
Concerning the customer, we don’t focus only on their needs. With the strategic thinking, we have to identify methods that will be used to prevent design drift. For him, there is atool, Quality Function Deployment, which helps to transform customer needs into engineering characteristics for a product. Also, it exists another tool, Analytic Hierarchy Process, created by Thomas L.Saaty. It allows to structure decision problems and their elements. After, elements are related to goals to find solutions to remedy. Thus, the product’s design is centered on customer needs.Concerning the corporation, its goal has to be aligned on these strategic plans, so its project can’t be based in corporate competencies.

For competitors, a company has to take advantage, so launching product which are better than competitors’ product. But the product has to be introduced on the market at the right time, in order to achieve a reasonable profit.

Finally, concerning co-workers,company has to implicate them such a way that they can see some personal benefit in participating in the project. Thus, optimal performance will be achieved. According to Herzberg, job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction acted independently of each other. Indeed, there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. For him, “individuals are not content withthe satisfaction of lower-order needs at works”. Indeed, they prefer gaining gratification about psychological needs like recognition or responsibility.
Then, Michael D.Taylor talks about external influences which have an impact on the project. Indeed, in a strategic thinking, we have to take into account the political and cultural influences to well manage a project.
In first, stakeholdershaven’t the same level of power to make decisions about goals of a project. Indeed, some of them can do pressure on decision making. So the project manager has to take into account the political influences from stakeholders.
Secondly, cultural influences can provide from an internal corporation culture or international cultures. But, it’s often the internal company culture which influences on themanagement of a project. Indeed, project managers often meet strong problems when they want introduce new project management techniques. So, they must find ways to negotiate new techniques into the decision making processes.
So, for Michael D.Taylor, system thinking is when the project manager thinks about a whole system before thinking what the job to be done. He thinks about the methods whichrelate organizational disciplines and the project. So, managers begin to think about goals of the project. But he has to see how the product can meets customer needs and satisfy corporate goals. Also, the product has to be compared with other competitive products. The project has to be managed for motivating the co-workers too. Finally, he has to take into account the political and cultural aspects ofthe project environment.
Then, we can think vertically or horizontally. In fact, managers more often think vertically because they analyze needs which have to achieve and they define goals. But for a strategic thinking, the manager has to think about the relation between the achievement of goals and the 4Cs (corporate, customer, competitors, co-workers). So, there are several strategies whichcan be developed. Also, companies must focus on their traditional project management but include their strategic management for the future.
For Ingrid Bonn, strategic thinking and strategic planning are two distinct concepts. And she thinks like Mintzberg, strategic planning occurs after strategic thinking. Also, the strategic thinking is crucial to stay competitive in a global environment....
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