PURPOSE : A strategic plan is a document used to communicate an organisation’s goals and the actions needed to achieve those goals. Strategic planning in public organisations promotes timely decisions, enhances the management of limited resources in a more rational manner, improves service delivery and induces greater satisfaction of customers. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to critically examine the strategic planning challenges facing the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), and how these impact organisational performance; second, to identify strategies that can be implemented to enhance strategic planning and performance management in the DTPS.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : This paper used a qualitative case study design with the aid of document analysis to provide insight into the research questions.
FINDINGS : The paper concludes that public institutions such as the DTPS face a plethora of challenges that militate against successful strategic planning and implementation. A major challenge is resistance to change arising from a desire to maintain the status quo. This paper argues that it is important to promote strategic planning, and aligning organisational objectives with performance in public institutions.
RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS : This study is based on documentary research and therefore its findings may lack current findings that would have emerged from direct interviews.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : This research contributes towards efforts being made to make strategic planning and implementation effective and credible in public institutions especially in sub Saharan Africa.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE : In many South African public institutions, strategic planning is viewed as the work of top management, a misconception which compromises service delivery. In addition, strategic planning has been implemented as a direct attempt to inhibit poor budgetary planning and corruption in procurement systems, and in order to effectively manage public resources. There is a need for the department to conduct regular skills development programmes, uproot top-level bureaucracy, and increase innovation, monitoring and evaluation of organisational activities.