This paper will examine the role of strategic planning within service organizations and describe the high level steps necessary to implement and monitor an effective strategic plan. The main objective of strategic planning is to translate a desired “vision” or “outcome” into a series of actionable steps that can transform the long-range view into a reality. One of the very best tools executives can use to transform their organization and realize dramatically improved business results is through the use of strategic planning. Yet despite the potential improvements strategic planning can offer, a limited number of senior service executives actually carve significant blocks of time in their busy schedules to focus on strategic planning. In fact, numerous management surveys indicate that nearly 85% of executives spend less than one hour per month on strategic planning.