Strategic planning is a systematic process of envisioning the future, setting goals and formulating strategies to complete those goals. For example, a high school student decides upon a career path, identifies a college with a quality educational program in that field and finds a way into that college.
Strategic planning is a critical element to success in any field – professional, educational or otherwise. The most important question that an individual should ask himself when developing a strategic plan is "What must be done to reach the next step?"
The answer to this question varies based on the area to which the strategic plan is being applied, the size of the jump to the next step and other variable factors, but the reason behind the question remains the same – to advance toward the identified end goal in an active and productive manner.