Introduction to

Strategic Planning

In the public domain



by Franco Archibugi

Planning Studies Centre - 2002

[only available in Italian]



Based on the most recent experience of the Results and Performance – oriented “Reinventing Government” in the USA, launched by the GPRA, this book tries to evaluate again the principle of strategic planning and to assess what is old and new in the new course of public administration methods. The book is mainly addressed to establish the connections between planning and evaluation processes, as the premise of any kind of educational effort in the field of strategic planning. In this role, the book is an introduction to a larger Handbook on Strategic Planning that the author has coordinated with the cooperation of a group of scholars. The books has been used as didactic material for a seminars and courses addressed to top managers of Italian public administration at the Post-Graduate School of Public Administration belonging to the Office of the Prime Minister.



1. Strategic Planning: What is it? What is it for?
1.1 The Construction and Management of Public Programs
1.2 Some Preliminary Presuppositions
1.3 A Decalogue for the Construction of a Public Program
1.4 An Attempt at a Critical Definition of Strategic Planning
1.5 Deepening of the Main Factors for a Better “Rationality” of Public Decisions

2. Strategic Planning: Where it comes from
2.1 A Reappraisal of the Planning-Programming-Budgeting System (PBS)
2.2 The Science of Management as Context
2.3 The Science of Organization
2.4 The Results and Their Designing
2.5 The Birth of Strategic Planning
2.6 A Digression: The Cultural Origins of Strategic Planning in the Public and Private Sectors
2.7 The Political and Administrative Science, the “Bounded” Rationality and Strategic Planning

3. Strategic Planning: Where is it Going?
3.1 The Ever Increasing “Switching” of Strategic Planning
3.2 The Systematic Relaunch of Strategic Planning in the USA
3.3 The Political Context of American Strategic Planning: the NPRG
3.4 Conclusion: The Need for a New Method of Public Management

4. The Strategic Planning Process: Phases or Cycles?
4.1 Strategic Planning as Process: In the Applications as well in the Study
4.2 The Essential Contents of a Strategic Planning Process

5. Strategic Planning and Evaluation: General Principles
5.1 Programming and Evaluation
5.2 General Conditions and Limits of the Strategic Evaluation
5.3 The Institutional Conditions of an Evaluation System

6. Typology of Decisions and Criteria of Evaluation
6.1 Strategic Programming and Decisional Situations
6.2 About Decisional Situations
6.3 Again on the Risk of Some Discussible Evaluation Criteria
6.4 Decisions and Information
6.5 Decision Procedures That Can Help the Evaluation Process

7. Strategic Programming and Evaluation: An Interwoven Process
7.1 General Scheme of a Programming Process Inclusive of Evaluation Moments
7.2 The Evaluation Moments in the Various Phases of the Evaluation Process
7.3 The Types of Evaluation in the Process of Strategic Programming

8. The Choice of Methods and Techniques of Evaluation
8.1 Multiplicity and Functionality of the Decisions and Connected Methods of Evaluation
8.2 Some Other General Considerations about the Choice of Methods

9. Planning and Evaluation: Disciplinary Implications
9.1 Towards a Evaluation System More Adapted to the Programming Process
9.2 The Disciplinary Implications of the Evaluation
9.3 Towards a New Discipline of Strategic Planning (and Evaluation)