Strategic plans act as a roadmap that helps companies achieve the big vision of their owners and high-level executives in a practical way. Changing an organization's strategy can change the way it operates, altering everything from the organizational structure to the daily routines of employees. In the review stage, managers analyze the information obtained from monitoring activities and decide if it is necessary to modify the strategy once again. When strategic planning came on the scene in the mid-1960s, corporate leaders adopted it as “the best way to design and implement strategies that would improve the competitiveness of each business unit.” New strategies can help a company perform more effectively or profitably, or they can help it enter a new, more profitable industry or market segment.
Strategic decisions affect the line of business a company is in, who it serves and how it serves them, and how the company operates internally. Planning systems were expected to produce the best strategies, as well as step-by-step instructions for carrying them out, so that those responsible, the managers of the companies, could not make mistakes in them.