There comes a point in every organisation’s life when it realises that it needs a Strategic Plan. It might mean developing one from scratch, or modifying and developing one already in existence. I can help an organisation find its way through the various stages of putting together a plan, working with stakeholders collaboratively to develp a robust roadmap for the organisation’s future.
Stragetic Planning takes many forms, depending on the organisation. Here’s a brief general description of what developing a plan looks like. Each of the stages can be broken down into smaller stages.
Looking at where the organisation is at present
What are its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis)? What are the values of the organisation, its culture? This is the Gathering Information phase of planning, getting together as much information as possible about where current position of the organisation, and the resources available (financial and personnel)
Looking at where the organisation wants to go
What are the organisation’s goals, its vision for its future.
Does it need a vision statement, a mission statement?
How do the values of the organisation underpin its goals?
Deciding objectives and strategies
Once the goals for the organisation are in place, it can start looking at objectives and strategies, what it needs to do in order to achieve its goals, how long might it take. This is the “What” and “How” of the Strategic Plan. These are the steps the organisation will need to take, to get it from where it is now, to where it would like to be, over a specific timeline (e.g. two years, three years, five years).
Implementation and evaluation
Once the plan is in place, the organisation then has to ensure that operational decisions are checked against its objectives – will what’s being decided move the organisation towards its goals? If not, why is that particular plan being proposed? The plan should be evaluated - is what was proposed what’s happening, and is what’s happening having the desired effect?
If the plan isn’t meeting its objectives, or isn’t moving towards the strategic goals in accordance with the timeline, then adjustments will be necessary.