If strategic planning is seen as a roadmap for an organization, to reach a destination, segments of the journey need to be completed yearly (annual plans) in a continuous and organized fashion (strategic plan).
Strategic plans typically span three to five years with measurable objectives for the first one to two years. In planning for a three to five year cycle, an organization needs to envision critical factors and assumptions that may occur in a five to ten year time span. Envisioning what the future may bring for dietetics professionals in ten years will help focus on the strategic issues to address within the next three to five years. A strategic, long-range plan should have a "rolling base" meaning that the plan should be updated annually to evaluate progress and close off completed actions.
Annual plans are developed to keep strategic plans current. The goals of the strategic plan provide a framework for the focused set of objectives when developing the annual plan. Annual plans are part of the strategic plan and serve as measurement on the progress of the strategic plan.
The continuous review and adjustment of the annual plan leads to refining the achievement of the strategic plan.