Environmental Scan Template
Environmental scanning can be defined as ‘the study and interpretation of the political, economic, social and technological events and trends which influence a business, an industry or even a total market’. The factors which need to be considered for environmental scanning are events, trends, issues and expectations of the different interest groups. Issues are often forerunners of trend breaks. A trend break could be a value shift in society, a technological innovation that might be permanent or a paradigm change.
Environmental scanning reinforces productive strategic plans and policies that can be implemented to make the organization get the maximum use of the business environment they are in. It not only helps the business find its strengths in its current environment but it also finds the weakness of competitors, identifies new markets, potential customers and up and coming technological platforms and devices that can be best used to sell/market the product or service.
Environmental scanning encompasses five steps:
- The first step of the environmental scanning process requires the identification of the needs and the issues that have occurred that caused the organization to decide an environmental scanning is required. Before starting the process there are several factors that need to be considered which include the purpose of the scanning, who will be participating in the processes and the amount of time and the resources that will be allocated for the duration of the scanning process.
- The second step of the scanning process is gathering the information. All the needs of the organization are translated into required pieces of information that will be useful in the process.
- The third steps analyzing all the information that the business have collected. When analyzing the information organizations are made aware of the trends or issues that the organizations may be influenced by.
- The step four of the environmental scanning process is all about the communication of the results obtained in step three. The appropriate decision makers analyze the translated information of the potential effects of the organization. All the information is presented in a simple and concise format.
- With all the information obtained from steps three and four, step five is all about making informed decisions. Management creates appropriate steps that will position the organization in the current business environment.
Strategic Planning Templates
The collection of strategic planning templates can also be accessed below: