Strategic Planning May 2004
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Strategic Planning May 2004 Strategic Planning May 2004 Document Transcript

  • Dear Workforce Board Member: I am pleased to present this guide on Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards. The guide is based on an actual strategic planning process undertaken by the Hampden County Regional Employment Board. The example provided by this experience, coupled with the professional expertise of the guide’s authors should make it an invaluable resource as your board takes on the challenge of strategic planning. I wish to thank the Hampden County REB for generously opening its process to our observation and to the authors who bring many years of experience in both strategic planning and workforce development. There are many books written about strategic planning and this is not the first guide through the process. But this guide, unlike others that may be written for businesses or traditional nonprofit organizations, addresses the concerns specific to Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). Workforce boards have the unique role of having statutory authority, while being made up of volunteers from many sectors of their communities. Workforce boards can structure themselves in a wide variety of ways. Some boards are incorporated, while others are not. Some boards have no paid staff. The range of their responsibility is not limited by any one set of guidelines or regulations. It is encumbant on each board to define their unique role within their workforce area. In light of these complexities, this booklet provides guidance for simplifying the elements of strategic planning and making them usable for workforce boards. In addition to a basic framework, the guide relates the strategic planning experiences of the Hampden County REB and provides a commentary on their process, as well as lessons learned and problems encountered. This guide should serve as a tool for Local Workforce Investment Boards to determine if and when strategic planning would be a beneficial undertaking, and to create a plan for going forward. I hope that you will find this guide of benefit, and wish you much success in your planning efforts. Sincerely, Jonathan Raymond President This guide was prepared by Commonwealth Corporation, in coordination with the Mass Workforce Board Association, Julie Siciliano, Ph.D. Management Professor, Western New England College, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County Authors: Arleen Damon Julie Siciliano Eleni Papadakis Special thanks for contributions: Sharon Grundel, Gregg McCutcheon, Caroline Kirton of Commonwealth Corporation Design and Layout: Cynthia L. Rodday Jane Swift–Governor Angelo R. Buonopane–Director, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development and Chair, Commonwealth Corporation’s Board of Directors Jonathan Raymond–President 2 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS Why Plan? ...................................................................... 5 Planning to Plan ............................................................. 5 Strategic Planning versus Long-Range Planning ......................................................................... 5 Role of the LWIB Executive Director ............................. 6 Organizing the Strategic Planning Committee ............... 6 Choosing a Consultant ................................................... 6 The Strategic Planning Process Keys to Strategic Thinking and Strategic Actions The purpose of this guide is to Phase 1 Analyze Strengths and provide Workforce Investment Weaknesses ..................................................................... 7 Boards with a basic framework for Strategic Planning which is illus- Phase 2 Review Environmental Trends ........................ 10 trated by one board’s experience. It includes a commentary Phase 3 Create/Review Your Mission on their process, as well as lessons Statement ........................................................................ 12 learned and problems encoun- tered. Phase 4 Identify Strategic Issues and Strategic Initiatives ......................................................... 14 It is a tool for Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) to: Phase 5 Create a Strategy Scorecard ............................ 16 Begin examining their readiness for Strategic Writing the Plan Document ............................................ 18 Planning. Learn from the Implementing and Monitoring ........................................ 18 experience of another LWIB. Additional Reference Sources ......................................... 19 Use strategic planning worksheets and steps that Appendices: REB of Hampden County Completed have been tailored to Planning Forms .............................................................. 21 LWIBs. Understand how to conduct a simplified strategic planning process. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 3
  • 4 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • Why Plan? Planning produces more than an actual planning document, it stimulates forward thinking. It is a process that assists the board and staff in focusing on the right priorities. Successful strategic planning generates: • A blueprint for action. The plan is a conceptual framework that guides and supports the board and staff as they go about doing the work of establishing and operating a local workforce devel- opment system. Boards should use this planning • An explicit understanding of the organization’s process as an opportunity to inspire its members and provide the board purpose and values among the board members. That and staff with a game plan for the understanding supports an increased level of com- future. mitment to the organization and its goals. • Broad milestones with which to monitor achieve- Don Gillis ments and assess results. Executive Director Mass Workforce Board Association The process of working together is improved by: • Creating a forum for understanding why the board and the organization exist and the shared values that should influence decisions. • Fostering successful communication and teamwork among the board of directors and staff. • Laying the groundwork for meaningful change by stimulating strategic thinking and focus- ing on what is really important to the organization’s long-term success. Planning to Plan A strategic planning process has its proper time and place in the life of a board. It is important to spend time determining if conditions are right to make this a creative, collaborative, successful endeavor. Committed leadership, support from the Board Chair and other key members, as well as a willingness to be flexible and change, are all conditions which are important to consider as a board plans to plan. Consider several questions before beginning the planning process. Why does the organization want to develop a strategic plan? If the project is undertaken primarily because that is what every organization seems to be doing, there may not be the motivation or commitment needed for a successful process. Is this the right time to go through the planning process? In a time of crisis, such as a major financial crunch or the departure of an executive director, these situations should be addressed first. Who will be on the committee? Take the time to line up planning committee members who can devote some time to the project and who are interested in developing the organization’s direction. How do you empower the planning committee to take ownership of the plan? Will the process be facilitated by a consultant or advisor? Take into account how much experience the organization has with planning. Many organiza- tions prefer to use paid or volunteer assistants who can help keep the planning focused and on track. What role should the LWIB executive director take? Strategic Planning versus Long-Range Planning Strategic planning is one of the best tools executive directors have for coping with the challenges that confront workforce boards now and in the years ahead. Its purpose is to ensure that the board’s mission and strategies are in line with changing environmental conditions. Because of this external emphasis and the larger picture it presents, strategic planning is different from long-range planning. While both types of planning focus on what the board should do to improve its performance, long-range planning is primarily concerned with internal operations. On the other hand, strategic planning encourages work- force board members to consider a larger vision for creating highly visible and coordinated workforce development systems that align with current and projected environmental conditions. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 5
  • Role of the LWIB Executive Director The executive director is often the prime mover of the strategic planning process and chief planner because this person is generally responsible for implementation of the plan. In the case of the Hampden County Board process, Executive Director, Bill Ward was the mover in the early stages of deciding to move forward; however, once the consultant was in place he took on the role of participant. Bill made this important decision in order to allow the board’s planning committee to take full ownership of the process. The following steps describes the Hampden County Board Executive Director’s role in planning to plan: Step 1: Director must take the time to grasp an understanding of strategic planning as both a tool and a process. Process to assist members in taking ownership of the direction of the Board. Rethinking of past experience in programmatic and operational planning. Step 2: Conduct an internal evaluation of the organization and director’s readiness to plan, which can serve as a guide to potential problems in the process. Was the time right? Did the Hampden REB have the energy for the process? Were there key opportunities to be served by this process? Was there a healthy dissatisfaction with the status-quo? Understanding of where the board is now and where it needs to go. Engage the staff in a self-evaluation and readiness for strategic planning. Step 3: Discuss the board’s readiness to plan with the board chair and other key board members. Step 4: Executive director hand picks 6 to 8 “big thinkers” to be on the planning committee. Select individuals who like to set direction; who want to do important work. Select individuals who want to do something for the community. Step 5: Recruits, interviews, and hires a consultant. Step 6: Once confident that the consultant would truly facilitate the process, the executive director backs off and becomes a participant. Organizing the Strategic Planning Committee It is advisable to have a planning committee of 6 to 15 individuals (a combination of board and staff members) representing a diverse group of stakeholders who are committed to a vision for the common good of the workforce system and not just focused on their particular interests. These individuals should be visionaries who can think “big picture” and also ensure that the projected goals are realistic. It is also helpful if members have an interest in community service and believe that the Local Workforce Invest- ment Board (LWIB) planning can play a vital role in the well-being of the community. It is helpful but not necessary that those selected to be part of this committee have a basic understanding of strategic planning. The Hampden County Board Strategic Planning Committee was comprised of the REB Executive Director, ten members of the Regional Employment Board and two REB staff, selected by the Executive Director. Commonwealth Corporation staff was present to observe, learn, and record. Choosing a Consultant Many LWIBs include an outside consultant in part or all of the planning process for the following reasons: • Help facilitate discussions between board members, freeing the participants from having to focus on the process. • Extra pair of hands in carrying out tasks that board members or staff don’t have time to do. 6 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • • Bring a neutral objective perspective to the process by asking clarifying questions, challenging as- We wanted to engage a consultant sumptions, and encouraging the group. who would challenge us. Julie asked us “Why do you want to do this? • Keep the group on track with the process. Can you accomplish this by doing something other than strategic Hampden wanted to hire someone who could help the planning planning?” The other consultants committee members interpret the key issues and then challenge just told me what they could do for them to refine those issues. When working with consultants it is me. important to clearly define the scope of the project and identify Bill Ward the benefits and/or outcomes. Agree on the responsibilities of Hampden County REB Executive the consultant, executive director, and board members. Director The Strategic Planning Process Once the board is committed to developing a strategic plan and the committee is in place, a five-phase process will result in a useful game plan that keeps the board focused on the bigger picture. In phases one and two, the committee analyzes the board’s strong and weak points and the external situation resulting from environmental conditions and projections. With a shared understanding of the board’s role in relation to its environment, the committee begins the next phase of developing a new mission for the workforce board or reviewing an existing mission. Guided by the direction that the mission pro- vides, in phase four the committee identifies focal points or issues that emerge from the review of the internal and environmental analyses. To address the key issues, three or four major courses of action, termed strategic initiatives, are designated. The board will undertake these strategic initiatives to achieve its mission. The last phase involves building a strategy scorecard that will provide the board with a mechanism for monitoring progress toward implementation of the strategic plan. PHASE 1 ANALYZE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES Gather information from committee members and external stakeholders (surveys, focus groups, or inter- views). Rate the top three or four strengths and the major three or four weaknesses. All organizations have strengths and weaknesses in terms of either their resources or capabilities. A review of what is done very well and what might need improvement yields important information needed to develop goals and strategies later in the planning process. This review is a good first task for a newly formed strategic planning committee. No lengthy pre-meet- ing work is necessary, since each of the members has information based on his or her association with the workforce board. Setting up a strength/weakness table on a flip chart, as shown in Worksheet 1, will help to facilitate the committee’s discussion. Gather Information from Other Sources It is also valuable to get information from other sources to supplement the review of the committee. Surveys, interviews and focus groups are examples of techniques for gathering additional information from others who interact with the organization. These sources may include key individuals at the Career Centers, area chambers of commerce, employers, elected officials, leaders of community-based organi- zations, economic development agencies, and others who interact with the workforce board. The advantage of getting feedback from individuals and groups beyond the committee is that it provides a validation of perceptions held by committee members. Equally important, this information may suggest weaknesses or strengths unknown to the committee. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 7
  • Grouping the Data Once a full listing of strengths and weaknesses is identified, the When we analyzed our strengths items can be grouped into categories and rated. The Hampden and weaknesses, we assumed the County Regional Employment Board’s review showed REB was fairly well-known by strengths in staff, board and operations categories. Weaknesses employers in the region; however, were in the categories of organizational identity, funding, local we learned from the interviews that political connections, and geographic boundaries. See Appen- small and medium-sized companies in particular were unsure of the dices. REB’s role and responsibilities. To facilitate further discussion of the internal review, the Eileen Zewski committee can be split into sub-groups which rate the top three Assistant Director or four strengths and weaknesses. This provides an opportunity of Policy & Planning for small group discussion, a format in which many individuals Division of Employment & Training are more comfortable sharing opinions. When the sub-groups reconvene, it is very interesting to compare the ratings. Further discussion takes place when items generate very different ratings, and the committee as a whole agrees upon the final listing. Possible Stumbling Blocks Discussing weaknesses is never easy. It is not only hard for the individual expressing the weakness but also for the board and staff to discuss their weaknesses. Discussing strengths can also present difficulties. In a group setting, individuals may feel compelled to offer strengths that they don’t necessarily believe, or they may offer generalities that don’t hold up to further exploration. • Encourage open and honest discussion. • Discuss both the strengths and weaknesses, pressing for concrete examples when necessary. • Show gratitude for all contributions. 8 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • WORKSHEET 1: TABLE OF STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES List the major strengths and weaknesses of the workforce board. 1. Consider resources the workforce board has for carrying out its work activities and processes. These may include financial, physical (buildings, equipment, etc.), human (experiences, knowledge, skills, competencies of employees, etc.), and intangible assets (organization history, culture, policies, relationships, etc.). 2. Examine the workforce board’s capabilities. These involve the actual work activi- ties and processes. Are there specific things that people in the organization do particularly well? What processes might be improved? Consider areas such as customer service, information systems, marketing, communication, etc. STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 9
  • PHASE 2 REVIEW ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS Analyze environmental trends based on broad categories, such as demographic, economic, social, political, and technological areas. Also include areas more specific to workforce development, such as education and training, child care, transportation, housing, career preparation, trends in the workforce development system and in the workforce enhancement system. Rate the top three or four favorable trends and the three or four major threats. Environmental factors are important considerations in the strategic planning process. To understand how dynamic this stage is, it is necessary to gather information and analyze factors that are both internal and external. Sources of information were collected from internal stakeholders (board, staff and volun- teers), and external stakeholders (customers, both job seekers and employers, funders, community leaders and other key informants). Internal factors address the organization’s resources and ability to carry out the mission. Other sources of environmental factors were collected in the form of objective trend data derived from government reports and regional analyses. The planning consultant recom- mended that the environmental trends be classified into 12 distinct categories listed below in bold. The Hampden County REB staff then incorporated data from labor market information reports, economic forecasts, and recent demographics into a summary of Hampden County’s environmental trends. 1. Demographics: population size, minority and age group analyses 2. Economic and Business: detailed economic data for both MA and Hampden County including wages and labor force participation 3. Education and Training: trends in the educational levels of the local Organizations don’t exist inside workforce and the factors that affect the local area network of education a vacuum. Our success depends and training providers on stepping out of the comfort 4. Technology: trends addressed specific labor market needs for those with zone, taking a critical look at all IT skills as well as the role of technology as a resource in job matching available resources and 5. Political/Legal: trends addressed legislation and governmental funding recognizing which factors can that impact the system be leveraged in our favor. 6. Socio-Cultural/Socio-Economic: trends drew parallels between educa- tional levels and work success and practical issues of single working Anthony Mott parents Retired Executive Director for 7. Child-Care: trends addressed government funding and issues of the Strategic Development working poor with children Bay State Health System 8. Transportation: trends addressed public transportation ridership and individual access to transportation 9. Housing: trends specified public and private housing availability 10. Career Preparation System: trends regarding MCAS and state level appropriations for School-to-Career programs 11. Publicly Funded Workforce Development System: trends addressed DOE and DOL programs and policy shifts 12. Workforce Enhancement System: trends addressed measuring the effectiveness of programs that train incum- bent workers The committee members were sent copies of Hampden County’s Environmental Trends Summary prior to session two and were asked to weigh each of the trends by whether it was a positive trend or a nega- tive one. Committee members were also given a list of internal factors that were identified and asked to prioritize them according to strengths and most urgent concerns. At its next session, in order to provide the opportunity for small group discussion, the committee was divided into two subgroups, each with representation from the public and private sector and staff. When the group reconvened, it was interest- ing to observe how each subgroup arrived at their answers. One group completed the tasks relatively quickly and came to decisive conclusions, while the other group lingered in discussion and focused on the process. Group dynamics are a significant internal factor in this process. Possible Stumbling Blocks There may be a tendency to think of ways to offset threats or unfavorable trends and thus place all factors on the favorable side. This should be avoided in the environmental assessment stage. Strategies to offset unfavorable trends will be developed later in the planning process. 10 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • WORKSHEET 2: TABLE OF FAVORABLE AND UNFAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS List the major favorable and unfavorable environmental trends that workforce boards will face. 1. List the trends that you believe will favorably affect workforce development in the next 2–5 years. For example, if forecasts show growth in the region in the numbers of individuals between 15 and 19 years old, this could be considered favorable to workforce development, since this is a politically definable group that is targeted by the state and federal governments for workforce funding. 2. List the trends that you believe will be unfavorable or pose threats to workforce development, assuming no action is taken to offset the trend. For example, suppose the county’s low unemployment rates and lack of higher-skilled job opportuni- ties is expected to continue. If no action is taken, this will be an unfavorable trend to workforce development. FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL UNFAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS TRENDS Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 11
  • PHASE 3 CREATE/REVIEW YOUR MISSION We started every planning session STATEMENT by reviewing and revising the most Most strategic planning guides say to do this first. We suggest that it is a recent draft of our vision statement more effective exercise if the committee is aware of and in agreement on and mission. This process helped those internal and external factors that influence the organization’s work. us to get a better understanding of Is it the right mission in view of the environment and situation analysis? the future direction and purpose of the REB. According to Peter Drucker, one of the preeminent writers on management in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, a Paul Robbins mission statement must identify a clear sense of direction to CEO Fitzgerald & Robbins, Inc. mobilize people to get the right things done. For those inside the organization, a well-established organizational identity can guide staff as decisions are made. For those outside the organization, communicating strategic direction to external groups and individuals can increase their understanding of the motives of the organization’s management and may facilitate the creation of alliances. Vision versus Mission The vision and mission can be written in two separate statements or combined into one mission state- ment. The vision typically describes a possible and desirable future state for the workforce board (where we are going), whereas the mission describes purpose and behavior (who are we and what do we do). It is a matter of preference whether these concepts are combined into one global “mission statement” or stated separately. To develop a new mission statement or revise the current one, distribute several articles about mission statements or sample statements from similar organizations to committee members. With this back- ground information, members, working individually or in sub-groups, prepare a suggested mission statement for the organization. The statements are merged into one document, and the committee reviews and revises the statement until members are satisfied with a final version. Possible Stumbling Blocks Avoid the tendency to get bogged down in this phase. Have the committee agree on the concepts first and then assign two or three members of the Planning Committee to do the wordsmithing once consen- sus on the concept is reached. It is important to be willing to revisit the mission and vision statements as strategic planning continues. Was an important factor missed? Did a new opportunity arise? 12 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • WORKSHEET 3: VISION STATEMENT AND MISSION 1. List the existing or proposed vision statement and mission. 2. Analyze it for potential changes or clarifications. Does it need revision, based on the assessments of the organization and the environment? Has the mission shifted over the years? Is it too long? Is it too activity-focused? Does it clearly answer the question “why does the workforce board exist?” Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 13
  • PHASE 4 IDENTIFY STRATEGIC ISSUES AND STRATEGIC INITIATIVES Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the organization to the environmental trends. Several strategic issues will emerge (either as a result of weaknesses in the organization or threats or opportunities from the environment). Strategic initiatives are the major courses of action set forth to offset unfavorable conditions or to capitalize on organizational strengths and favorable trends in the environment. The next step undertaken in the strategic planning process was to compare the strengths and weakness of the organization to the environmental trends. In doing that the group was able to align strategic choices with the most significant forces in the environment. These strategic initiatives become the major courses of action set forth to offset unfavorable conditions or to capitalize on organizational strengths and favor- able trends in the environment. The process used by the facilitator to enable the strategic planning committee to work through this step was a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis. Using this grid, the facilita- tor prompted the group to fill in the blank squares, and thereby make visible, the strategic initiative responses that draw on favorable trends and strengths while acknowledging threats and organizational weaknesses. The facilitator advised that strategic initiatives should be no more than 3 or 4 in number, as a longer list tends to lessen the ability of an organization to stay focused on the key areas over time. Part of this process therefore usually involves narrowing down the array of options to arrive at the key initia- tives. This process was difficult but worthwhile. The analysis involved matching strengths and weaknesses to favorable and unfavorable environmental trends. The process ensured environmental factors were part of the identification of strategic issues. The facilitator and group acknowledged the increased difficulty and complexity in doing this exercise for a workforce development organization that is made up of volun- teers and in an oversight role, rather than a freestanding entity, such as a for-profit business. Slowly the four key initiatives began to emerge. The selection of the Youth Initiative is a great example of this process at work. The discussion that led to selection of this item acknowledged the following: 1. The growth of youth-group cohorts (favorable environmental trend). Doing a strategic plan for a board 2. Staff leadership, vision, and knowledge of the that oversees an entire workforce system (strength). system like this one has unique twists and turns. 3. The political and legal trends indicate that federal funding dollars are expected to decrease (threat), so Julie Siciliano focusing on a specific population (youth) will help Planning Consultant identify targeted funding to address the need. Possible Stumbling Blocks Try to think of workforce systems and larger issues when considering what to put in the center of the grid. If the committee gets too focused on the weaknesses column, the results will tend to emphasize ways of improving internal operations only. Also, don’t feel the need to fill in every box in the center of the grid. 14 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • WORKSHEET 4: IDENTIFYING KEY STRATEGIC INITIATIVES Internal Strengths Internal Weaknesses Matching Internal Situation (Items here are from Worksheet 1) (Items here are from Worksheet 1) to Environmental Forecasts Strategic Initiative: Strategic Initiative: Favorable Environmental Course of action that is based on a Course of action that is based on a Trends strength and aligns with a pre- favorable environmental trend and dicted favorable environmental is developed to offset an organiza- (Items here are from Worksheet 2) trend. tional weakness. Strategic Initiative: Strategic Initiative: Unfavorable Environmental Course of action that is based on a Course of action that is developed Trends strength and is developed to offset to offset an organizational weak- unfavorable environmental ness and unfavorable environmental (Items here are from Worksheet 2) trend(s). trend(s). Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 15
  • PHASE 5 CREATING A STRATEGY SCORECARD Identify three or four key measures that will be used to track progress toward the organization’s mission and the implementation of strategic initiatives. Identify specific measures, responsibilities and time frames. Consider assigning or allocating the oversight of scorecard measures to existing Board of Director Committees or newly created sub-committees. (If new sub-committees are created, consider including staff and other volunteers as members of the sub-committees.) This gives the full board an opportunity to visualize what it will look like in real terms if goals are met. The purpose of a strategy scorecard is to identify specific measures that provide the board of directors and staff with a mechanism for monitoring progress toward implementation of the strategic plan. In essence, it links the energies, abilities, and specific knowledge of people associated with the workforce board, and everyone knows the score. Three sections are included on the scorecard: 1. Strategic Initiative: This section describes the initia- tive and outlines key elements that are important components of the initiative. It is intended to provide As we set up the scorecard, we a framework to help the implementation teams included a member from the understand the full scope of the initiative. strategic planning committee on each team. That way, we helped to make a connection between 2. Responsibility and Time Frames: Responsibility for planning and implementation. implementation is designated in this section of the scorecard. Implementation teams typically include Mark Miller members of the staff, board members and others General Manager interested in the initiative. Where feasible, teams U.S. Tsubaki may become subcommittees of the board of directors, in order to ensure that team progress is part of the board’s agenda. Time frames for start-up activities are established by the Strategic Planning Committee as they develop the scorecard. However, it is expected that additional time frames associated with specific activities will be set once plans are developed by the implementation teams. 3. Measurement: The Planning Committee identifies the types of measures that will result in successful implementation of the initiatives by answering the questions, “How will we know whether the initiatives are being implemented? What evidence should we look for?” Most numerical measures are left blank for the implementation teams to fill in once plans and tactics have been developed. Also, they may identify new categories or modify those initially established by the planning committee. In summary, the strategy scorecard provides a mechanism that moves the board beyond reviewing their performance solely in terms of WIA measures. Rather, it enables the staff to manage the performance of its workforce system based on its strategic direction, while enabling the board of directors to monitor performance based on the strategic plan. Possible Stumbling Blocks It is not unusual for committees to want to keep the scorecard measures vague. However, this will defeat the purpose of providing a way for the board to “keep score.” Identify numerical measures whenever possible. 16 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • WORKSHEET 5: STRATEGY SCORECARD Strategic Initiative Responsibility and Time- Measurement frames Initiative Summary of strategy (Individuals/group responsible for (Types of measures that indicate from Worksheet 4 each Initiative) whether the initiatives are being successfully implemented.) Key Elements Time Frames • • • (Summary) (Individuals/group responsible for (Types of measures that indicate each Initiative) whether the initiatives are being successfully implemented.) Initiative Summary of strategy from Worksheet 4 Key Elements • • • Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 17
  • Writing the Plan Document You have done a significant amount of work. Commit the ideas to paper and make it official. Usually one member of the planning committee, the planning consultant or the executive director will write a first draft of the final planing document, which includes a record of the LWIB’s process. The final document does not need to be lengthy, but should at least include the following components: • A brief history of the organization • A list of the planning committee members • A brief description of the stages of the planning process • A narrative of each of the elements of the plan—vision/mission, organizational strengths and weaknesses, environmental analysis, strategic initiatives, and strategy scorecard. • Back-up documentation, such as the completed charts, may be included in appendices The draft document is then presented for review and comment. Each board needs to agree up-front on what their review process will be. Will the planning committee be the only ones to comment on the draft plan or will it be presented to the full board for review and approval? A key factor to consider in this final process is how to include everyone who will be responsible for executing the plan. Consider printing an abbreviated version in a brochure format for distribution to stakeholders, as a means of marketing the organization’s mission and strategic initiatives. This brochure can help to pro- mote the board’s value to funders, policy-makers, and others interested in workforce development. Implementing and Monitoring The strategic plan’s scorecard provides the framework for detailed operating plans. It also is a tool for the board of directors and staff to monitor performance of its workforce system based on the larger strategic direction. The planning process is ongoing. Although the formal planning committee may dismantle once indi- viduals or groups set action plans in motion, the board of directors and staff should continue to evaluate information about environmental trends. This periodic external review helps to reinforce strategic thinking and ensures that the board’s strategic direction remains aligned with environmental conditions, while staying committed to the board’s values. 18 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS Allison, Michael & Jude Kaye. 1997. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide and Workbook. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Barry, Bryan W. 1997. Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations. St. Paul, MN: Amherst Wilder Foundation. Bryce, Herrington. 2000. Financial and Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Bryson, John M. 1995. Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strength- ening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Drucker, Peter F. 1990. Managing the Nonprofit Organization. NY: Harper Collins. Duca, Diane. 1996. Nonprofit Boards: Roles, Responsibilities, and Performance. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Gelatt, James P. 1992. Managing Nonprofit Organizations in the 21st Century. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. Grace, Kay Sprinkel. 2000. The Board’s Role in Strategic Planning. Washington, D. C: National Center for Nonprofit Boards. Hay, Robert D. 1990. Strategic Management in Non-Profit Organizations. NY: Quorum Books. Howe, Fisher. 1997. The Board Member’s Guide to Strategic Planning: A Practical Approach to Strengthening Nonprofit Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Siciliano, Julie. 1997. “The Relationship between Formal Planning and Performance in Nonprofit Organizations.” Journal of Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 7(4): 387–403. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 19
  • 20 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • Appendices: REB of Hampden County Completed Planning Forms Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 21
  • 22 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • Summary of Internal Situation: REB Strengths and Weakness Worksheet Items above the line were those given the greatest weight by the Strategic Planning Committee. STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES/AREAS OF CONCERN • Staff leadership and vision. Staff has the ability to • Awareness levels of the REB’s roles by employers, see the big picture regarding workforce issues and particularly small businesses, community agencies, takes a proactive approach to workforce invest- and citizens needs improvement. Even those ment (example: one of the first REBs to push familiar with the REB are not always clear about is through career centers concept —ahead of the purpose and responsibilities and may turn to others curve). Executive director has expertise based on for workforce development forums. his background and experience—delegates well • Funding constraints restrict creativity. Sources of and shares knowledge. funding are not steady and result in varying levels • Board of Director commitment and composition. of support. This has resulted in a core group of thinkers that • Network of local-level partners. REB connections provides balance in terms of ensuring an ongoing with local partners for the purpose of enhancing strategic perspective with regards to workforce political efforts are weak and represent a lost issues. opportunity. Collaborative efforts with the Consor- • Staff knowledge of the system. Staff has strong tium are not yet at optimal levels. contacts with the State, a clear understanding of the primary roles of facilitating, coordinating, convening groups around an issue, and a strong record of securing grants. • Staff team orientation. The staff is a cohesive • Perceptions about Board of Director composition. group with a wide range of talents and expertise, The majority of external stakeholders interviewed not risk adverse and ready to work as a team on commented on the lack of representation of key key issues. groups in terms of Board of Director composition. • Board of Director Longevity. Continued participa- The perception appeared to be that the REB does tion of long-time board members brings a history not pay attention to or purposely eliminates key and understanding of workforce issues. stakeholders. • REB internal systems. Accounting system has • Focus. Staff’s role as intermediary (convener good checks and balances with control accounts. around issues) and facilitator of the one-stop Technology systems incorporate up-to-date system is side-tracked by program provider hardware and adequate software packages. activities. • REB physical location and work environment. • Hampden County Consortium. Collaborative Central location provides easy access to agencies efforts with the Consortium are not yet at optimal and other contacts. Attractive offices and appropri- levels. ate facilities for staff team sessions and other large • State’s Regional Employment Board system. The group meetings. State’s REB system creates geographic boundaries and also results in little consistency among REBs. • Competition among REBs. The state’s 16 REBs are territorial and do not actively collaborate on issues. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 23
  • Environmental Trends Worksheet Items above the line are considered to have the greatest impact on workforce development in Hampden County over the three to five years FAVORABLE TRENDS UNFAVORABLE TRENDS/THREATS • Increased funding for incumbent worker skill • Economic/Business. The state has one of the enhancement. At the national and state level, more highest labor force participation rates in the nation. emphasis is being placed on funding for incumbent Difficulties in recruiting skilled workers with an /current worker skills upgrading, helping to already high labor force participation rate are advance worker self-sufficiency. This trend in the compounded by slow population growth rate. In workforce enhancement system is considered the addition Hampden County will continue to be most favorable trend, particularly from a political characterized by a low wage rate, a growing service funding perspective. sector, and a lower incidence of high-tech jobs as a • Growth in youth-group cohorts. The only two age proportion of total jobs. groups projected to grow in raw numbers between • Education and Training. Given the situation in 2000 and 2005 in Hampden County is the 15 to 19 Hampden County (low unemployment and a lack year old and 20 to 24 year old population. Growth of higher-skilled job opportunities), a major in these cohorts in favorable, particular since youth concern is that education and training trends are is a politically definable group. preparing workers in a local economy that does not • Technology. Federal funding requires regional have the job opportunities. approaches to solving technology skills shortages; • Political/Legal. The state does not fare well given this is in line with newly formed partnerships (i.e., federal funding formulas based on unemployment Hartford-Springfield Partnership). rates. Diminished dollars are expected. • Transportation system. Transportation is not • Career Preparation System. Academic preparation considered a large barrier to employment opportu- is not strongly related to career preparation. nities. In fact, Hampden County workers rely • Publicly Funded Workforce Development System. heavily on individual transportation; public WIA focus on stand-alone skills training will transportation ridership is climbing; and federal continue, with little focus on longer-term moneys are targeted to support transportation remediation. services for welfare recipients. • Child care. Affordable child care will continue to • Housing. Compared to other parts of the state, be a barrier to work for working poor, particularly there is a large stock of affordable single family those working non-traditional hours and who do homes in Hampden County. not qualify for subsidies. • State Support for Hampden County. The strong • Demographics. Limited workforce growth state support is expected to continue. projections to 2005. 24 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • Worksheet for Comparing Internal Situation to Environmental Trends to Generate Strategic Initiatives INTERNAL STRENGTHS INTERNAL WEAKNESSES Staff leadership and vision. Staff Awareness levels of the REB’s ability to see the big picture roles by employers, agencies, and regarding workforce issues and citizens need improvement. Even evidence of their proactive those familiar with the REB are approach to issues. not always clear about its purpose Board of Director commitment and responsibilities and may turn and composition. Core group of to others for workforce develop- thinkers that provides balance in ment forums. terms of ensuring an ongoing Funding constraints restrict SITUATION ANALYSIS REB strategic perspective. creativity. Sources of funding are Staff knowledge of the system. not steady and result in varying Strong contacts with the State, a levels of support. clear understanding of the Network of local providers to primary roles of facilitating, enhance local political relation- coordinating, convening groups ships and efforts could be around an issue, and a strong improved. Collaborative efforts track record of securing grants. with the Consortium are not yet at optimal levels. FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS Increased funding for incumbent worker skill enhancement. At the national and state level, more emphasis is being placed on funding for incumbent /current worker skills upgrading, helping to advance YOUTH COUNCIL FOCUS worker self-sufficiency. INITIATIVE Growth in youth-group cohorts. The only two age groups projected to grow in raw numbers between 2000 and 2005 in Hampden County is the ADULT BASIC 15 to 19 year old and 20 to 24 year old population. Growth in these cohorts in favorable, particular WORKFORCE SKILLS since youth is a politically definable group. SYSTEM Technology. Federal funding requires regional approaches to solving technology skills shortages; this is in line with newly formed partnerships (i.e., Hartford-Springfield Partnership). THREATS/UNFAVORABLE ENVIRON- MENTAL TRENDS Economic/Business. The state has one of the highest labor force participation rates in the nation. Difficulties in recruiting skilled workers with an already high labor force participation rate are compounded by slow population growth rate. In YOUTH COUNCIL FOCUS addition Hampden County will continue to be INITIATIVE characterized by a low wage rate, a growing service sector, and a lower incidence of high-tech jobs as a proportion of total jobs. ADULT BASIC Education and Training. Given the situation in Hampden County (low unemployment and a lack of WORKFORCE SKILLS higher-skilled job opportunities), a major concern SYSTEM is that education and training trends are preparing workers in a local economy that does not have the job opportunities. Political/Legal. The state does not fare well given federal funding formulas based on unemployment rates. Diminished dollars are expected. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 25
  • Worksheet for Strategic Scorecard 1ST STRATEGIC RESPONSIBILITY AND MEASUREMENT INITIATIVE TIME FRAMES Youth Council Focus Responsibility: A newly formed 1. Increased organizational effi- Build the capacity of the Workforce Support Team consisting of key ciency and effectiveness in the Youth Council so that it advocates for members of the Youth Council, REB delivery of youth services within the and serves youth in a proactive staff (S. Nuckols and B. Sperry) and workforce development system, as manner. representation from the Strategic measured by: Planning Committee. • Reduced the waiting time by Elements include: days/weeks for youth to • Development of an action plan, access services, i.e., Job Corps which includes strategies, Timeframes: training and GED services. plans for implementation and • September 2001—Leadership • Increased degree of business desired outcomes that will Team formed integration, i.e., implementa- improve the youth workforce • January–February 2002— tion of at least quality year- system (WIA and beyond). Action Plan developed with round youth internships for This action plan will address: activities and timeframes WIA youth and an increase in • Initiatives to expand/improve specified quality year-round internships existing WIA youth service • October 2001—Quarterly for school-to-career youth by delivery system. progress reports submitted to %. • Expectations for how the One- WIB staff and reports made at • Improved coordination among Stop Career Centers and the regularly scheduled Board youth serving partners as youth system will more fully meetings evidenced by at least formal- integrate. ized agreements between the • Specific efforts to move the Youth Council and various Youth Council into a leader- partners specifying how ship position within the linkages will be improved. community. • Increased utilization of the One-Stop Career Centers by youth, especially drop-outs, by % and an % increase in positive satisfaction ratings by youth customers. 2. Increased awareness of the Youth Council as a leader in youth work- force issues as measured by: • Quarterly release of printed and/or web-based press releases, statements, an- nouncements, etc., on issues impacting our future work- force (i.e., MCAS); on current events of the Youth Council; and on successes made in improving the youth delivery system. • Organization or co-sponsor- ship of at least 1 yearly medium to large scaled event that highlights a youth workforce issue or program. 3. Advocacy role: Statements or announcements advocating for youth on specific issues. Note: Sub-committee to develop more specificity to these scorecard measures, including the assignment of numerical goals. 26 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • 2ND STRATEGIC RESPONSIBILITY AND MEASUREMENT INITIATIVE TIME FRAMES Adult Basic Workforce Skills System Responsibility: Newly formed Sub- 1. Development & dissemination of Expand the REB’s leadership role to Committee of the Board of Directors a comprehensive information & include the development of a more and REB staff (B. Sperry & VISTA referral database of Basic Educa- integrated and responsive system that Volunteer to be hired). tion, Literacy & workforce readi- builds and develops the adult basic ness services to facilitate the referral educational and workforce readiness Sub-committee to include represen- of customers. skills within our region’s labor supply. tation from the Strategic Planning 2. Development of customer Committee, Community Colleges, feedback mechanisms to continu- • Establishment of an on-going Community-Based Organizations ously improve the adult education and dynamic compact of and other interested groups. system. community-based organiza- 3. Increased awareness of the REB tions, employers and educators as a leader in local workforce issues with a common interest in this related to education, as measured issue to meet the changing Timeframes: by: needs of the workforce. • September 2001—REB • An improvement over current • Development of an action plan, Subcommittee formed awareness gathered in which includes strategies, plans • September 2001—“Compact” baseline data of % by 2004. for implementation (including participants identified • Quarterly release of printed piloted demonstration projects) • January-February 2002— and/or web-based press and desired outcomes that will Action Plan developed with releases, statements, an- improve the adult education activities and timeframes nouncements, etc., on issues delivery system. This plan will specified impacting our workforce include: • March 2002—Quarterly (i.e., local response to • Identification of key skill levels progress reports made at MassINC reports); on current to be included (i.e., reading, regularly scheduled Board events of the adult education; language, math, computer meetings and on successes made in literacy, problem-solving, improving the adult educa- communication, etc.) and tion system. baseline measures and require- • Organization or co-sponsor- ments for an effective system. ship (e.g., with Labor) of at • Gathering of baseline data least 1 yearly medium to regarding current awareness of large scaled event by that the REB as a leader in work- highlights education’s impact force issues related to education on workforce or a program. and specific efforts to move the 4. Increase in local, state, and REB into a leadership position private investment to expand basic within the community. educational services in our region by %. Note: Sub-committee to develop more specificity to these scorecard measures, including the assignment of numerical goals. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 27
  • 3RD STRATEGIC RESPONSIBILITY AND MEASUREMENT INITIATIVE TIME FRAMES Information Access Responsibility: Primarily a REB 1. Information Access Plan approved Become the primary source for staff activity (with potential consult- by the Board in September 2001. regional workforce development ant, and/or student interns). Strategic 2. Recognition of data access system information. Planning Committee member, P. as a primary source of workforce Daboul, to provide assistance to information, such as: • Centralized, electronic, web- REB staff. (C. Abramowitz, R. based clearinghouse of Neveu, B. Sperry) • Number of Web site hits, relevant and reliable work- • User comments and survey force information. Reviewed by One-Stop Career data, • Encompass a combination of Center Committee and Executive • Number of organizations one-stop access to existing Committee. requesting to be hyper-linked on-line databases (i.e., DET, to the Web site, MISER, BLS, and others); Timeframes: • Other measures identified in value-added interpretations of • December 2001—Plan that the information access plan. existing data; and REB outlines activities to build the generated data from surveys, system, how it will be Career Centers, etc. marketed, and targeted • Focus of information would implementation dates be on employer labor short- • February 2002—Progress ages and skill needs by reports made at regularly industry cluster, labor supply scheduled OSCC and information, available training Executive Committee in the region by skill areas, meetings career ladder opportunities within targeted industries. • Coordinate with committees responsible for the Youth Focus and Adult Basic Skills initiatives to meet data requirements. Phase I: Build the System • Identify where the sources of information are, how data from the sources will be accessed, and what mecha- nism will be used to respond Note: Sub-committee to develop more to queries. specificity to these scorecard mea- sures, including the assignment of • Phase II: Establish Distribu- numerical goals. tion Channels and Awareness • Create awareness of the system and establish it as a frame of reference. • Market the system. • Identify organizations and individuals that can make the best use of the information and provide regular distribu- tion. 28 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • 4TH STRATEGIC RESPONSIBILITY AND MEASUREMENT TIME FRAMES Community Awareness and Responsibility: Ad-hoc sub- 1. Improvement over current Support committee of the Executive Commit- awareness gathered in baseline data tee and REB staff of % by 2004. Increase community-wide awareness (C. Abramowitz, B. Sperry, and B. 2. Quarterly release of printed and/ of the REB’s role in workforce Ward). Also, member from the or web-based press releases, development and expand public and Strategic Planning Committee. statements, announcements, etc., on private resources. issues impacting our workforce. 3. Improved relationship with local/ • Increased awareness among state legislators as measured by: employers and business Timeframes: leaders, community-based • December 2001—Marketing • Voting support for critical organizations, and political plan approved by Executive line items in State budget, partners, via development of a Committee with activities and • Local elected official support marketing/ communication timeframes specified on key decisions points (i.e., plan with specific strategies • January 2002—Implementa- Career Center operator and desired outcomes. This tion of marketing strategies decisions, WIA planning and Plan will include: • February 2002—Progress allocation of resources, and Reports made at regularly • Joint sponsorship of at least 1 Gathering of baseline data scheduled Executive Commit- yearly event on an issue regarding current awareness tee meetings impacting local workforce. of the REB’s critical role in workforce development 4. Involvement and support of issues. business leaders in the community: Strategy for dissemination of information to the • Number of direct contacts community. made Tactics to address: • Number of businesses • Legislative/political utilizing services efforts to result in • Level of support at annual improved relationships events with political partners. • Greater involvement and 5. Increase in funds to the REB’s support of leaders in the budget overall of %, with at least % community. being comprised of new alternative • Fund raising efforts that public and private investments, by result in increased 2004. alternative sources of funding, both public and private to support the REB’s vision and mission. Note: Sub-committee to develop more specificity to these scorecard measures, including the assignment of numerical goals. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 29
  • Commonwealth Corporation Empowering People and Businesses to Learn, Earn, and Succeed Commonwealth Corporation is a quasi-public organization responsible for administering and delivering a wide range of public and privately-funded initiatives designed to meet the labor needs of businesses; improve current and emerging workers’ skills; foster career success through lifelong learning; and retain, sustain, improve, and create job-generating businesses. Commonwealth Corporation operates the following three programmatic divisions: Business and Employee Services; Workforce System Services; and Center for Youth Development and Education. For more information about Commonwealth Corporation, visit our web site at Massachusetts Workforce Board Association and Workforce Investment Boards Massachusetts Workforce Investment Boards (WIB’s) play a pivotal role in directing the comprehensive state workforce develop- ment system and resources. The WIB’s are the private sector driven local policy boards comprised of business executives and owners, chambers of commerce and entrepreneurs, school superintendents, college presidents, local labor leaders, city managers, heads of the local welfare, DET and other state agencies, as well as consumers of these services. As each local WIB implements these roles they are supported by one another through the Massachusetts Workforce Board Association, Inc. (formerly the Regional Employment Board Association) The Association is an independent vehicle to review and provide information, facilitate communication both between each WIB and region as well as other workforce development partners. The Association works with the WIB’s to develop system-wide policies and provides a vehicle and forum to voice common concerns and develop solutions to common problems. About the Authors: Workforce System Services, Division of Commonwealth Corporation Workforce System Services (WSS), under the direction of Vice President Eleni Papadakis, conceived and supported the develop- ment of this project. WSS works with all facets of the workforce development system to develop, implement, and promote quality career development programming in Massachusetts. This work includes administration of WIA Title I adult programs, the provision of consultation and technical assistance, staff training and professional development, clinical client services, resource development support, and the development and implementation of population- and industry-specific demonstration programs. Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards is one component of WSS’ broader efforts to assist workforce boards to fulfill their leadership role on behalf of the workforce development system and its customers. In addition to Ms. Papadakis, Training Coordinator Gregg McCutcheon, and Western Massachusetts Field Consultant Sharon Grundel supported the creation of this guide. Julie I. Siciliano is Associate Professor of Management at Arleen Damon is a consultant specializing in Project Manage- Western New England College. She holds B.S.B.A. and ment, Organizational Effectiveness, Program Design, Team M.B.A. degrees from Western New England College and a Building, and Workforce Development. Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently working as a consultant with Workforce System Services to provide technical assistance to board Her research focuses on board of director involvement in members and staff of the Massachusetts Workforce Board strategic management, the relationship between formal Association in areas of strategic planning, performance planning and performance, and strategy implementation management and local board capacity building. In that issues. Her work has been published in the Journal of capacity she is also implementing other key initiatives such as Business Ethics, Journal of Nonprofit Management and a demonstration project for Continuous Quality Improvement Leadership, Journal of Management Education, and Journal in a career center setting. of Education for Business. She is author of The Board’s Role in the Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations In addition, Ms. Damon currently provides technical assistance (Garland Publishing) and is co-author of Strategize! to nine National DOL Skill Shortage Grantees as an associate Experiential Exercises in Strategic Management (South- with Workforce Learning Strategies and continues to work Western Publishing), and Management: Responsibility for with other non-profit organizations in the Boston Area such as Performance (McGraw-Hill). Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD). Before entering academia, Professor Siciliano held manage- Prior to consulting Ms. Damon launched one of the first career ment positions in marketing and sales. In her consulting centers in Boston as the Director of Boston Career Link and practice, she assists both nonprofit and for-profit organizations served as an Interim Executive Director of the Metro South in governance, strategic planning, and organizational West Regional Employment Board. From 1986 to 1994 she restructuring. worked with the Department of Employment and Training as an Area Director. 30 © 2001 Commonwealth Corporation
  • Phase 1: Analyze Board Phase 2: Review Strengths and Weaknesses Environmental Trends and Projections Phase 3: Create/Review Mission Statement Phase 4: Identify Strategic Issues and Strategic Initiatives Phase 5: Create a Strategy Scorecard Practical Strategic Planning for Workforce Boards 31
  • Commonwealth Corporation The Schrafft Center 529 Main Street, Suite 110 Boston, MA 02129 617–727–8158 Fax: 617–242–7660 TDD/TTY 1–800–439–2370 (Verizon Relay Service) Commonwealth Corporation is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Jane Swift–Governor Angelo R. Buonopane–Director, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development and Chair, Commonwealth Corporation’s Board of Directors Jonathan Raymond–President