People who work in strategic planning are responsible for helping organizations develop plans for long-term growth and sustainability. These professionals tend to study an organization's interior data to analyze levels of production and to locate areas where an organization can benefit from optimization. They might also study larger market behaviors to perform competitive analysis and risk management. Some of the most common strategic planning jobs are held by consultants who might have niche areas of interest and who are contracted by companies to provide objective analysis and suggest solutions for improvement. Others have strategic planning jobs in which they work full time for organizations, advising top level departments and individual departments, such as marketing, finance and information systems.
When professionals have strategic planning jobs at firms or when they work independently, they help client businesses that contract them. In most cases, these kinds of strategic planners have areas of specialty, such as transportation logistics or marketing and advertising. They might also work in certain industries, such as software development, healthcare or manufacturing. When executives from a company decide that they can benefit from the input of a strategic planning adviser, they consult several and choose the adviser or firm that offers the most reasonable costs and has the experience and managerial perspective that are the best fit. It also is common for a strategic planner to turn down a client if he or she feels unable to provide viable solutions based on a client's industry or preferred organizational models.
Individuals who have strategic planning jobs as full-time consultants for specific organizations can play various roles. For example, when upper-level managers decide to implement new telecommunications systems, professionals who work in strategic planning jobs might act as change managers. In other words, they might oversee training and ensure that the new systems are meeting the company's desired goals. Other scenarios might require people who have strategic planning jobs to facilitate meetings between professionals to ensure that any challenges, issues or solutions are addressed and communicated to the involved parties.
It also is common to find people who work in strategic planning jobs in specific facets of an organization. For example, an information systems department might have its own strategic planner who orchestrates network architecture that is meant to help an organization achieve long-term goals. In a marketing department, people who have strategic planning jobs might analyze the behaviors of people in certain demographics to determine where an organization should dedicate the most attention to ensure long-term stability and opportunities for growth.