Strategic Planning and Policy Development: How Vital Are They for Cybersecurity?

Strategic Planning and Policy Development: How Vital Are They for Cybersecurity?

 By Charles Joseph | Cybersecurity Advocate
 Last update: November 25, 2023

Strategic planning and policy development is a process by which an organization sets its direction and decides on initiatives to follow in order to achieve its goals. In strategic planning, long-term objectives are identified and resources are allocated accordingly. On the other hand, policy development involves creating guidelines and rules to guide actions within the organization, helping to prevent errors and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. Both go hand in hand to ensure the organization runs smoothly and achieves its objectives effectively.

Strategic Planning and Policy Development Examples

1. Example

A non-profit organization is looking to expand its operations and sets a strategic plan to increase its donor base over the next five years. This plan outlines clear objectives like improving their public image, collaborating with corporate sponsors, and organizing fundraisers. Each objective is assigned to teams and resources are allocated for execution. The organization sets feasible timelines and key performance indicators to monitor the progress.

In conjunction with their strategic plan, the organization also puts extra emphasis on developing a robust policy around ethical fundraising. The policy serves as a code of conduct that needs to be adhered to, while carrying out any fundraising activity. This includes guidelines about maintaining transparency in financial dealings, preserving the integrity of the organization by treating all donors fairly and equitably, and fulfilling all legal obligations. Such a policy not only helps in ensuring a fair process but also in building trust and long-lasting relationships with donors.

2. Example

A tech start-up, preparing for the launch of new software, crafts a strategic plan taking into perspective the next two years. They break down the huge task into smaller achievable targets like researching the market, developing the software, testing it for bugs, and finally marketing it. Each stage is timed and resources are delegated effectively among the teams to realize these targets. The strategic plan also includes contingencies to accommodate any hitches along the way.

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To ensure lawfulness and secure operations, the start-up simultaneously invests time in policy development. The policies are a compilation of guidelines that specifically dictate how to respect intellectual property rights, protect user data, and implement effective online security protocols. Policies like these not only help avoid potential legal issues but also assure customers of the legitimacy and reliability of the software, thereby fostering trust.

3. Example

A school system is aiming to enhance student performance on standard exams. With this aim, they devise a strategic plan that delineates them modernizing their teaching methods, increasing tutoring hours, investing in advanced learning tools, and mentoring sessions for students. The objectives are laid out carefully with timelines and assigned to various teams within the school system. The strategic plan serves as a roadmap outlining what steps are to be taken and how to get there.

Synchronizing with their strategic plan, the school system develops precise policies that aid their goals. They create regulations to ensure fair testing protocol, prohibit cheating, and keep a balanced curriculum that doesn’t focus narrowly on exam performance but also promotes comprehensive learning. These policies furnish a safe, fair, and conducive environment for the students to learn and show their true potential on the exams.


Strategic planning and policy development are essential components in any organization’s journey toward achieving its goals. By charting out a detailed roadmap and setting clear rules, organizations can navigate their way to success effectively, efficiently, and ethically.

Key Takeaways

  • Strategic planning and policy development go hand in hand for organizational success.
  • Strategic planning involves setting long-term objectives and allocating resources appropriately.
  • Policy development consists of establishing rules and procedures to guide actions within an organization.
  • The strategic plan forms the roadmap towards achieving the intended goals, while the policies ensure the operations are lawful and ethical.
  • Both the strategic plan and policies should be reviewed and updated periodically to keep up with the changes and growth within the organization.

Related Questions

1. Why is strategic planning important?

Strategic planning is important as it provides a sense of direction, outlines measurable goals, and can lead to better decision-making, greater efficiency, and improved performance in an organization.

2. What role do policies play within an organization?

Policies define the framework within which an organization operates. They provide guidelines for action, help maintain standards of quality, and ensure consistency in decision-making and operations.

3. How often should an organization review its strategic plan and policies?

Typically, a strategic plan and policies should be reviewed on an annual basis, but the frequency could vary depending on the dynamics of the organization and its environment.

4. Can you operate an organization without strategic planning and policy development?

An organization can operate without a strategic plan and policies, but this could lead to lack of direction, inefficient resource use, inconsistencies in decision-making, and reduced operational effectiveness.

5. Can strategic planning and policy development be done separately?

Both functions can be carried out separately, but they are more effective when done in sync because the policies provide the framework to support the execution of the strategic plan.

"Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people."
-- Bruce Schneier, a renown computer security professional