Companies and organizations need people with forward-thinking vision—and a strategic planning professional can help in that regard. Strategic planners must understand the business, the market, trends, and have foresight into future developments to be successful, and AMA can help you acquire those skills. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers with strategic planning skills will grow by 12% by 2028 with an average salary of $81,000 per year. Organizations around the world increasingly value professionals with insightful, analytical, and strategic skills to help them grow and prosper. If you’re looking for a job in strategic planning or to expand upon your skillset, we have a course for you. 

View All Strategic Planning Courses 

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planners have a unique responsibility within an organization. They are responsible for creating a vision for the future of the company, which will influence decision-making, allocation of resources, and overall direction. 

By analyzing markets, trends, and customer behaviors, strategic planners make recommendations to upper management regarding how they approach their business and marketing. Their goal is to maintain current markets while researching future opportunities for the business to grow. 

Strategic Planning Process Steps

Creating a strategic plan for a business can take many different forms. But, there are common tactics that a strategic planning professional can bring to the table to benefit their organization and chart a successful course. Here are some steps in creating a strategy that will leverage critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

Determine the current situation

The first step in creating a strategic plan is to assess where the business is in its current state.  You should take an inventory of what strategies your organization has implemented to get it to where it is today. Additionally, take stock of the levels of sales for every product or service and its profitability.

Establish goals and objectives

You can’t build a strategy if you don’t know the end goal. Articulate the ideal desired outcome for the organization. It might even help to have different levels of success and benchmark the outcomes against those levels.

Put together the plan

Once you have assessed the current situation and established goals, it’s time to create a strategic plan to accomplish those directives. Bring together the vision and execution by setting tangible tasks and milestones that feed into the overall success of the strategic plan.

Set the plan in motion

After all of the steps have been laid out, it’s time to implement the strategic plan. Determine who will be executing the tasks, and as each team member accomplishes their tasks, it will bring the entire organization closer to its goal.

Re-evaluate and adjust

Even with the best-laid strategic plans, there are bound to be obstacles and bumps along the road that will challenge the plan. Evaluate the progress of the strategic plan and determine if there are any inefficiencies. Don’t be afraid to adjust the plan to overcome barriers. 

What Makes a Successful Strategic Plan?

Successful strategic plans can have a wide range of approaches, but you will find many commonalities. Clear, measurable goals help build a strong foundation in any strategic plan. And once you’ve put together the plan to accomplish those goals, the right team of professionals must come together. If the plan starts to falter or different circumstances arise, good communication can overcome anything that may deter the plan. 

Learn Effective Strategic Planning Skills

Strategic planning professionals will require many skills to be successful in their roles. From creative approaches to a problem to deep analytical research, you will need to develop a variety of skills, including:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Market research
  • Collaboration
  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Presentation skills
  • SWOT analysis
  • Decision-making
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability
  • In-depth market knowledge
  • Quantitative and qualitative data management
  • Project management

Training programs taught by expert instructors can help you develop these skills in a structured, guided course. Rather than waiting to learn these skills through on-the-job experience or sporadic mentorship, you can sharpen these skills more purposefully and create more value for yourself as a strategic planning professional.

Advance Your Strategic Planning Skills with Our Top Courses

Don’t know where to start? Our Fundamentals of Strategic Planning is the perfect place to get started.

Learn to manage change. Our Agile Leadership and Strategy course teaches leaders how to be fast, flexible, and decisive when responding to complex and unpredictable changes.

How AMA Will Help You Advance Your Career or Organization with Strategic Planning Skills

There are several strategic planning classes that you can find online. However, many of them contain generalized information and don’t offer other options to further explore the strategic planning profession. Our industry-leading, expert-led training programs give you experiential instruction to take your skills to the next level.

Here are a few strategic planning professionals who have completed our training programs and taken their newly developed skills to new positions or promotions.



“This course was extremely valuable. I have experience with facilitating strategic planning, but am always looking for new insights, approaches, and tools. This course provided me just that. I am ready to go with additional tools in my toolkit to be even more successful as a facilitator and ensure a more valuable strategic planning process for my company.”

- Tamara R., Systems Engineer, Nuclear Security Industry
Facilitating an Effective Strategic Planning Process, Dec 2020


“The course was well-organized, practical, and focused. I really enjoyed the hands-on application throughout the course and walked away feeling like I had many new tools and greater understanding to elevate the power of my team and organization.”

- Missie T., Director of Marketing, Non-Profit Entertainment Organization
Strategic Planning, May 2021

Find the Right Strategic Planning Training You Need

AMA offers a variety of training programs that can accommodate any level of strategic professional, from entry-level to senior-level. 

Click the link below to view all of our strategic planning training courses or view an individual course that aligns with your current skill set. 

View All Strategic Planning Courses 

Virtual Strategic Planning Training

Strategic planning is a career that involves many different skills and requires a deep commitment—and we have courses that meet that level of ambition. With over 40 locations across the U.S., we’ve crafted immersive and expert-level programs. And now, you can develop your strategic planning skills with our virtual class options.

Live Online courses are the closest thing to in-person instruction. You’ll learn from a live instructor, interact in real-time classes, and learn skills from the comfort of your home or office.

Webinars are packed with information and real-world expertise. You can enjoy a live or on demand experience and can even go back to revisit the lesson at any time with a single-user license to access the webinar for up to a full year.