External and Internal Factors
There are many external and internal factors that impact the planning functions of management. We must all be mindful of these factors because they could have an enormous impact on organizations productivity. The process of assessing the external and internal factors that an organization will face can be vital to the planning function of management. One must determine a set of issues and constraints and then list the assumptions that will impact the implementation of the plan. The environmental assessment develops understanding of external and internal processes that influence the organizations success rate. The purpose of the environmental assessment is to identify and analyze the key trends, forces, and phenomena having a potential impact on the formulation and implementation of strategies. In effect, the environmental assessment attempts to prepare the organization to acclimatize to environmental changes to take advantage of opportunities and to minimize the adverse effects of threats. Once the environmental assessment is complete, it is analyzed to prioritize issues, constraints and assumptions that could influence the planning function of management.
The assessment of external factors analyze outside the physical confines of the enterprise. These factors are beyond the control of the enterprise, and could have significant impact on the planning function of management. The external assessment is performed at a worldwide level and at a metropolitan area level. At the worldwide level, the assessment includes economic trends of national and local economies, social trends, government policies of national and local influence, and technological advancements of the world at large. This includes the impact of our global market, technology advancements throughout the world, and e-business that is rapidly growing. Macro elements are analyzed to uncover issues, constraints and assumptions that could influence the integrated planning function of management. At the metropolitan area level, the assessment includes industry trends, market trends, customer expectations, competitor performance, competitive alternatives, and supplier capabilities.
The internal environmental evaluation closely parallels the external evaluation of the environment. The internal evaluation requires gathering and assimilating information about the firm's management, marketing, finance, operations, research and development, and information systems operations. Strengths and weaknesses come from the internal environment of the firm. Strengths can be exploited, built upon and made key to accomplishment of mission and objectives. Strengths reflect past accomplishments in production, financial, marketing and human resource management. Weaknesses are internal characteristics that have the potential to limit accomplishment of mission and objectives. Weaknesses may be so important that they need to be addressed before any further strategic...