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Strategic management is the Art, science and craft of formulating, implementing and evaluating a chain of complex decisions across the various functions of the organization to enable it achieve its objectives. It is the process of specifying the organization's mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives and then allocating resources to implement the policies, and plans, projects and programs. Strategic management seeks to coordinate and integrate the activities of the various functional areas of a business in order to achieve long-term organizational objectives. A balanced scorecard is often used to evaluate the overall performance of the business and its progress towards objectives.

Strategic management is a combination of three main processes which are as follows:1. Strategy Formulation: Developing a business mission. Identifying external opportunities & threats. Determining internal strength & weakness. Establishing long term objectives. Generating alternatives strategies. Choosing particular strategies to pursue. 2. Strategy Implementation: Allocating resources to execute chosen strategy. Developing a strategy-supportive culture. Creating an effective organizational structure. Mobilizing staff to put strategy into action. Motivating employees. Developing and utilizing information systems. 3. Strategy Evaluation Reviewing external scenario. Measuring performance. Taking corrective actions. Strategic options are evaluated against three key success criteria: Suitability (would it work?) Feasibility (can it be made to work?) Acceptability (will they work it?)

IMPORTANCE OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT: Good strategy helps to overpower rivals. Co-ordinates / integrates business functions. Helps achieving performance targets. Enables adaptation and coping with change. Powerful execution of powerful strategy leads to success.

A STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLE:Pursuing the strategic objective of building a stronger long term competitive position benefits shareholders more lastingly than pursuing the financial objective of improving short term profitability.

BENEFITS OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT: Financial Benefits More Sales. Enhanced Productivity. Higher Profitability. Non-Financial Benefits: Better understanding of competitors strategies. Enhanced awareness of threats. Improved problem-prevention capabilities. Reduced staff resistance to change.