Strategic planning and performance of the youth enterprise development fund of Kenya
In a competitive business environment, effective strategic planning is necessary for an organization to survive and make appreciable contribution in their business units by identifying the prevailing environmental opportunities and threats while at the same time seizing the opportunities that are present to positively affect its performance. Strategic planning is considered as a systematic effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it. On the basis of the important role that the strategic planning process plays, the objective of the study was to establish the effect of strategic planning on the performance of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund of Kenya. The study adopted a case study research design while the targeted interviewees were managers in Business Development, Finance, Human Resource, Regional Coordination, and Monitoring and Evaluation. The study found out that the factors that affect the successful strategic planning process in the organization included efficient communication channels, prudent utilization of the available resources, committed staff, teamwork and partnerships, transparency and accountability, and commitment to meeting timelines. In addition, the top leadership of the organization affects the strategy implementation process through directing both human and material support towards the strategy implementation process. The performance of the organization was found to be positively affected by the strategies it develops to face and capture the opportunities in the business environment by leveraging on its strengths. Several challenges were identified in the strategic planning process in the organization and these include political interference, a lack of adequate resources (material, human and finances) and inadequate support from the organizations leadership. Some of the steps taken to counter the challenges include the need to align the organization culture to its strategy, motivation of staff to enhance performance, effective communication of the strategy and team work. This study concluded that there are many benefits that accrue from an effective implementation of the strategies by both public institutions as well as private entities. The study recommends that the organizations strategic planning be an all-inclusive exercise and more participatory where the junior staff, community and non-governmental organizations views are accommodated in order to realize reduced resistance during the implementation phase.