Stages of Practical Use of Strategic Planning Principles in the Municipalities of Lithuania
Keywords:strategic planing, strategic management.
The article explains the terms of strategic planning and strategic management and presents information about
development of use of strategic planning principles in the public administration sector in Lithuania (particularly – in
local municipalities of Lithuania) since 1990 till present.
Scientific articles, planning documents and mass-media are likely to use similar terms of strategic management
and strategic planning. But their interpretations vary. The article makes two conclusions concerning the points of
view on the relationships of strategic planning and strategic management: (1) strategic planning is a part of the whole
strategic management process within organization; (2) strategic management is a stage of strategic planning evolution,
a form of strategic planning.
Strategic planning in the local municipalities of Lithuania has passed four stages of development: (1) from
1990 to 1995 strategic planning was seen as heritage of soviet system. Nevertheless, some pilot projects on strategic
planning principles and procedures were implemented in some municipalities; (2) in the period from 1995 to 2001/02
afteran official announcement of the intention to integrate into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, planning
principles began to be introduced to state administracion and state budget planning. Some municipalities started to
prepare strategic development plans with the purpose to implement them in „real life“. Klaipėda city municipality
was the first municipality to adopt a strategic deveopment plan; (3) from 2001/2002 to 2003 after development and
adoption of general strategic planning methodology on the national level, methodology for development of regional
development plans was approved and regional development plans for all regions (counties) were prepared. Although
this methodology was only a recommendation for municipalities, development of municipal strategic development
plans was also initiated. Alytus and Vilnius city municipalities have started preparing three-year strategic action plans
and developing and implementing programmes-based budgets of municipalities; Since 2004 till now – state budget
is being prepared on programming principle and strategic planning (strategic development plans and strategic action
plans) is integrated part of municipal development process. (4) Future of this process is foreseen as development
and implementation of strategic management systems (with programmes-based budgets) in all the municipalities of
Lithuania as well as its future improvement.