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This website was set up for the family business Stradspan Limited which was formed in 1990 to develop and distribute software and related services to support strategic decision making. Registered in England and Wales as a private limited company, Stradspan continued to trade internationally until 31 December 2011, when it closed because of the retirement of its founder, John Friend.


While new arrangements for the future of the software and services developed through Stradspan are being explored, John Friend retains the intellectual property rights to the STRAD – Strategic Adviser – software. For the time being he will continue to supply the most recent edition of the software - STRAD 2.3 - which will run on 16-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows.

The licence fee for any purchaser of a licence for STRAD 2.3 is now discounted to 120 GB Pounds, 180 US dollars or 150 Euros, including shipping. Enquiries should be referred to John Friend at jfriend@btinternet.com or at the mailing address given under contact points.


What is distinctive about the approach of Stradspan is the creative way in which it combines the following five emphases:

These five emphases can all be linked together through the idea of a focus on DEVELOPMENTAL DECISION MAKING. Together they describe the most distinctive features of what has become known as the Strategic Choice Approach - sometimes now shortened to SCA - making it different and indeed complementary to those more formal and resource-intensive procedures of organizational planning typically employed in larger corporate organizations. The approach was developed by John Friend and his former colleagues in the Tavistock Institute through many years of research into the challenges faced by groups engaged in strategic decision processes. It has since matured through a range of further projects - many of them involving the facilitation of intensive "strategic choice workshops" for groups in which accountability and expertise may be widely diffused.


Stradspan's managing director John Friend has become associated with an evolving network of people and institutions throughout the world who share an active involvement in the application of the strategic choice approach and other participatory planning methods.

Over half of the sales of STRAD 2 for Windows so far have been outside the United Kingdom. STRAD now has a user base covering 36 countries: the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Turkey, USA, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

In addition to his consulting and training activities in Britain, John Friend has conducted short courses in the strategic choice approach in Canada, Australia, Malta and Pakistan; and has co-facilitated workshops with associates in Botswana, Russia, Thailand, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Venezuela and New Zealand. Under published applications, references will be found to published accounts of applications of the methods in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Belize, Thailand, Brazil and South Africa.

The book Planning under Pressure was published in a Japanese translation in 1991. In 2002, the Venezuelan Planning Institute published a Spanish translation under the title Planificando bajo Presión. El Enfoque de Escognencia Estratégica. Shorter handbooks written by associates - in several cases led by Allen Hickling - have been published in French, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Indonesian; see other languages.


The postal address of John Friend is:
9 Croft Drive, Millhouse Green, Sheffield S36 9NE United Kingdom
Telephone: 01226-761685 (from inside UK) or +44-1226-761685 (from other countries)

The internet address for John Friend is: jfriend@btinternet.com