Strategic Planning


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Strategic Planning

  1. 1. Strategic Planning Strategy n . Generalship, the art of war,(lit. or fig.); management of an army or armies in a campaign ,art of so moving or disposing troops or ships or aircraft as to impose upon the enemy the place time and conditions for fighting preferred by oneself, (cf. tactics); instance of or plan formed according to. Background Strategic Planning is concerned with setting the organisation’s long term plans and priorities. It is the responsibility of the Management Committee to ensure that strategic planning is carried out within the organisation. Business Planning / Strategic Planning Strategic Planning provides the organisation with a vital tool to set its direction. The document will become a multi beneficial tool, in that it: • Provides overall strategic direction • Ensures that the organisation is looking at current external factors • Sets out resource allocation against agreed priorities • Enables overall performance management • Informs ongoing operational work • Sets future developments • Provides an essential and valuable marketing resource, to be used in a similar manner to an annual report. • Ensures that external funders are aware that the organisation has an efficient and proactive approach to planning and management. Strategic planning needs to allow for realistic flexibility to take account of change and new opportunities, and provides a boundary within which ongoing management occurs. 1
  2. 2. The Organisation Any organisation needs a focus and direction for its immediate, medium and long term plans. Through bringing teams together to work within the plan the management ensures an efficient and effective approach. The Vision The vision is the organisation’s view of its future. The vision guides the strategic plan and sums up the shared values and purpose of the organisation. The Mission The mission is the fundamental purpose of the organisation. The purpose of the plan The strategic plan is a framework for current and ongoing development. It brings together key plans within one document, with each section of the strategy separated out as key strategic objectives. The Process When putting together a strategic plan, boards need to think about: • How to give the process credibility • How to make sure the staff and board feel like they have contributed to and ‘own’ the plan • What is the role of service users? • How to integrate the plan with other management / operational procedures • How to scope the external environment and make know what’s relevant to your plan • How to achieve new direction /development • How to assess any risks • What is the best forum for communicating the strategy? • What is realistic overall aim? • What are the most efficient systems to use for performance management? 2
  3. 3. You will also need to think about how the process will work: • Who will be in charge of coordinating the plan? • What will the finished document look like? A suggested list of contents might be:  Executive Summary  Background / introduction  A brief description of the external environment, national agenda(s) or policy context.  Description of your services  Summary of existing and potential service users (including some comments about needs assessment and/or unique consideration when delivering a service to meet these needs)  Aims for the one to three years  Specific targets, strategic objectives  Timetable  Human resource requirement  Financial resource requirements /costs  Sources of funding The organisation might usefully be divided up for the purpose of planning into four areas: • Services • Finance and other practical resources • Human resources • Public Relations / Marketing A SWOT analysis of each of these four areas is useful. This looks at: • Strengths • Opportunities and drivers for achievements change • Threats and blocks • Weaknesses and challenges barriers A thorough SWOT will look at both the internal and external environments and provide all the information to build up a strategic picture of an organisation. 3
  4. 4. Operational Plan An operational plan translates the strategic plan into a work programme for the organisation for a set amount of time. Each organisation will approach operational planning differently. This may include policy and procedures for service delivery, timetables or milestones. This is more of a working tool to be used by the organisation to translate broad strategic objectives into tasks and service delivery objectives. Work planning The operational plan is then translated into individual Work Plans. Each staff/ volunteer work plan should demonstrate how their work will achieve the overall objectives. Milestones A strategic plan becomes meaningful when given a timescale and key milestones within the process. These milestones should be realistic, transparent and communicate the commitment of the organisation to the strategic plan. 4