Guide to writing a Strategic Plan
Step One - Getting Ready
An organization that determines it is indeed ready to begin strategic planning must perform five tasks to pave the way for an organized process:
• identify specific issues or choices that the planning process should address
• clarify roles (who does what in the process)
• create a Planning Committee
• develop an organizational profile
• identify the information that must be collected to help make sound decisions
Step Two - Articulating Vision & Mission
• A Vision Statement outlines what the organization wants to be. It concentrates on the future. It is a source of inspiration. It provides clear decision-making criteria. Vision Statements define the organizations purpose, in terms of the organization’s values rather than bottom line measures (values are guiding beliefs about how things should be done.) The vision statement communicates both the purpose and values of the organization. For ...view middle of the document...
Step Three - Assessing the Situation
Once an organization has committed to why it exists and what it does, it must take a clear-eyed look at its current situation.
Remember, that part of strategic planning, thinking, and management is an awareness of resources and an eye to the future environment, so that an organization can successfully respond to changes in the environment.
Situation assessment, therefore, means obtaining current information about the organization's strengths, weaknesses, and performance - information that will highlight the critical issues that the organization faces and that its strategic plan must address.
These could include a variety of primary concerns, such as funding issues, new program opportunities, changing regulations or changing needs in the client population, and so on. The point is to choose the most important issues to address.
The Planning Committee should agree on no more than five to ten critical issues around which to organize the strategic plan.
Step Four - Developing Strategies, Goals, and Objectives
Once an organization's mission has been affirmed and its critical issues identified, it is time to figure out what to do about them: the broad approaches to be taken (strategies), and the general and specific results to be sought (the goals and objectives).
Strategies, goals, and objectives may come from individual inspiration, group discussion, formal decision-making techniques, and so on.
Step Five - Completing the Written Plan
The vision and mission has been articulated, the critical issues identified, and the goals and strategies agreed upon. This step essentially involves putting all that down on paper!
Format for a Strategic Plan
1.1 Background and organizational profile
ASSESSING THE SITUATION
3.2 Review of Past Performance
3.3 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis
3.4 Critical Issues
STRATEGIES, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
4.1 Approaches to be taken (Strategies)
4.2 General and specific results (Goals and Objectives)
5.1 Implementation of the strategies
5.2 Action Planning (activities, budget & financing etc.)