Formal strategic planning ensures consistency between the strategies of corporate, business and functional managers and it also provides a sense of direction for the company. Furthermore, formal strategic planning may challenge the prevailing status quo in the company. Formal planning also forces the management to design the organizational culture and structure as well as control mechanisms which otherwise, may be left off. Additionally, formal planning enables the company to evaluate the progress made towards the achievement of specific goals.
One of the most important weaknesses is the fact that businesses are operating in a highly uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. Consequently, the formal strategic plans are very likely to be negatively affected by unforeseen conditions. Rapid changes in the industry/national/world dynamics require flexible approach and quick adjustments that are profoundly impossible in the formal strategic planning. Moreover, the formal strategic planning if often criticized for not involving the lower-level managers (business and functional managers) sufficiently. In fact, the formal strategy planning is usually a duty of top corporate managers who are not deeply involved in the every-day actives of the company. In addition, the formal strategy planning does not account for serendipitous discoveries and events that may result in missed lucrative opportunities. Last but not least, the formal strategic planning is performed by people who are fallible beings affected by cognitive biases.