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28. Comprehensive Outlineofa Strategic Planning Process

28. Comprehensive Outlineofa Strategic Planning Process



Strategic planning templates & examples, Business, Finance, planning, Vision, Mission, Plan, objectives, strategy, swot, pest, Business plan, Strategic planning, bcg matrix

Strategic planning templates & examples, Business, Finance, planning, Vision, Mission, Plan, objectives, strategy, swot, pest, Business plan, Strategic planning, bcg matrix



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    28. Comprehensive Outlineofa Strategic Planning Process 28. Comprehensive Outlineofa Strategic Planning Process Document Transcript

    • COMPREHENSIVE OUTLINE OF A STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS This article was excerpted from CRE’s publication Management Without Precedent, Readings to Strengthen Community-Based Organizations, 2nd Edition, published 1995. T he outline that follows presents an annotated format for developing a strategic plan. It is structured as a set of questions pertaining to each step in the process: setting up the process; affirming your mission; conducting an internal and external situation analysis; establishing your vision for the organization; and developing, refining and implementing the plan itself. Depending upon the time and resources your organization is able to dedicate to the process, your approach can be as concise or elaborate as you wish to make it. The important thing is to agree on what you hope planning will achieve and make sure that the process you design will meet those needs. If it is possible to include, structuring in an opportunity to solicit client input on the effectiveness (or deficiencies) of your current programs and on what their new and emerging needs are can be invaluable. Similarly, incorporating evaluative data on your programs and operations can assure that you ground your assumptions about the organization’s “strengths and weaknesses” in some objective reality. To sort through various options for your planning process, set the goals and agree on how to proceed, it is wise to appoint a planning task force (perhaps including both Board and staff members) at the outset to design and manage the entire process, using the following outline as a guide. Finally, a strategic plan is only as good as the follow-up to the planning process itself. Once a planning retreat is over or the plan itself is drafted, the very real work of translating the plans to your daily activities begins. To the extent that staff leadership - and really staff at all levels - can establish ongoing work priorities which are rooted in the vision and plans for the organization, you will assure progress towards achieving your goals. It is also incumbent upon the Board of Directors to keep its eye on the “forest” of the plan, to hold itself and the staff accountable for progress implementing the plan even amidst the “trees” of daily operations. I. PREPARATION A. Expectations for the planning process 1. What outcomes are desired of the planning process? 2. What would you be satisfied with as the result(s) of planning? B. Management & Board commitment 1. Is the timing right for your organization? 2. Are you willing and able to spend time and money on a planning process? 3. Are you committed to following through with implementing the plan? C. Participants 1. Whose input is needed for the various stages of the planning process? 2. How should you invite and prepare them to participate in the process? D. Logistics 1. What format is most appropriate: periodic work sessions; weekend retreat? 2. What time of year is best? 3. Where can you hold the work session(s)? 4. What is your budget for the process? How will you raise it? Comprehensive Outline of a Page 1 Strategic Planning Process
    • II. MISSION A. Organization’s purpose 1. What were the watershed events in the history of the organization? 2. What has been the purpose of the organization? 3. Whom do you exist to serve? 4. What are the values and philosophies underlying how you deliver your services? 5. What specific outcomes do you seek as a result of your work? B. Competitive advantage 1. Why are you the most appropriate organization to carry out this mission? 2. What uniquely situates you to serve the purpose and clients identified? 3. What distinguishes you from other organizations in your service and/or geographical area? 4. What do you offer to the community that other organizations don’t or can’t? III. MARKET ANALYSIS A. Client demographics 1. What is your geographic area of service? 2. Who are your clients? How would you describe the people you serve in terms of: a. ages? b. ethnic/racial identity? c. languages? d. income levels? 3. How are the demographics of the people you serve changing? What trends do you see? B. Client needs/expectations 1. What are the needs of people in your community? 2. What do other services, programs and organizations in your community provide? 3. What community needs do your programs currently serve? 4. How are the community’s needs changing, and how must your services adapt to those changes? 5. Are all prospective clients aware of the services available to them from your organization? from other organizations? 6. How would people in your community describe your program(s)? What is their opinion of your organization? C. Funding prospects 1. What is the market for funding your services? 2. Is there opportunity for charging fees for your services? 3. Who is your competition in the funding arena? 4. What is your niche in making the case to funders? IV. INTERNAL ANALYSIS: STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES A. Programmatic 1. What does your organization do extremely well? What are you known for? 2. What unique qualities does your staff bring to the programmatic work of the organization? 3. Which programs are less successful? Why? Comprehensive Outline of a Page 2 Strategic Planning Process
    • 4. Where are gaps in your program staff’s abilities, talents, performance? 5. Have any programs languished due to lack of attention and development? 6. How do you monitor the quality of your programs? Is there opportunity to receive client feedback? 7. What do clients think of your programs/services? B. Administrative 1. Have the following systems kept pace with your organization’s development? Are they serving you well? a. Bookkeeping b. Budgeting c. Financial management & decision-making d. Personnel management e. Client record-keeping f. Fundraising record-keeping g. Overall office management 2. Who in your organization handles administrative responsibilities? 3. Is there efficiency in administrative areas of your operations? 4. Are staff skills in various areas being maximized? C. Managerial/Personnel 1. What is working well in terms of staff management? 2. What is the state of employee morale? 3. Do all employees and Board members know each other? Is this satisfactory for all parties? 4. Are there opportunities for dialogue among senior staff, program and support staff, and your Board? 5. Do various levels of program staff have input on program planning and implementation? Are their ideas listened to and acted upon? 6. Sense of purpose/mission: a. How is the mission communicated throughout all levels of staff and Board? b. Do all employees know what the goals/priorities of organization are? 7. Are there systems for offering feedback on staff performance at all levels? D. Physical facility 1. Is your location accessible to those you intend to serve? 2. Is your space appropriate for your programmatic activities? 3. Is your work space conducive to staff productivity and efficiency? 4. Is there unused potential in your space? 5. Are there improvements that can be made at a reasonable cost which might improve program? staff functioning? 6. Does your office equipment maximize efficiency at a reasonable cost? V. ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS A. Political situation 1. What trends are you observing at the Local, State, and Federal government levels? 2. What are the implications for funding? for receptivity to your program? 3. Are Local political leaders aware of your clients’ needs? 4. Do Local political leaders know about your organization? Do you keep them informed? What is their opinion of your programs? Comprehensive Outline of a Page 3 Strategic Planning Process
    • 5. Are there any anticipated changes in the political situation? What would the implications of those changes be? B. Economic situation 1. What impact is the local economy having on your clients and their needs? 2. What impact is the local economy having on your funding situation? 3. What impact is the local economy having on your pool of prospective employees? 4. Are regional or national economic trends having an impact on your clients, funding, or employees? 5. What changes are anticipated in the local economic climate? in the regional or national economy? What will the implications be for your organization? C. Competitors/collaborators 1. Competitors: a. Who are your competitors? b. For what do they compete with you? c. How do you measure up to those competitors re: (1) quality of programming? (2) fundraising? (3) public awareness? d. Can the market for services and funding support you and your competitors? e. Are there opportunities for redefining your niche vis-a-vis your competitors? 2. Collaborators and allies: a. What organizations, programs do you collaborate with? In what ways? b. What are the advantages to these collaborative efforts: (1) for your clients? (2) for your organization? c. Are there untapped opportunities for joint efforts — (1) in programming? (2) in fundraising? (3) in advocacy? d. How might these collaborative relationships be enhanced? VI. VISION A. Brainstorm the future 1. Programs and services a. What kinds of programs, services will you offer? b. How many clients will you serve? c. What kinds of client needs will you address? d. What will be the impact of your work? What will be your outcomes? 2. Staffing a. What size staff will you need? b. What skills, training will you need on staff? 3. Location and space a. Will your current facilities be adequate? b. What improvements would be ideal? 4. Budget and funding a. What will your budget level be? b. Who will your primary funding sources be? 5. Administrative infrastructure Comprehensive Outline of a Page 4 Strategic Planning Process
    • a. What improvements will be made in your internal systems? b. What kind of staffing will you have to handle administrative functions? B. Consider your competitive advantage 1. What programs are you best suited to undertake, given your strategic advantages? 2. How might your staff resources and talents be best utilized? 3. How might your available location and facilities be best put to use? 4. What will you be most likely to raise funds for? 5. What can your administrative infrastructure best handle? 6. What can’t you reasonably undertake? a. What should you say “no” to? b. Where can you refer clients for the services you aren’t best suited to provide? C. Prioritize 1. What programs and services are: a. most needed by your clients? b. most closely aligned with your mission? c. most feasible given your current resources and constraints? d. you most committed to continuing, undertaking, pursuing? 2. In what program areas can you have the greatest impact? 3. What changes in program, staff, location, funding and/or administrative functions could leverage the most impact on your community? 4. What will be your priorities in terms of: a. programs and services? b. staff development? c. fund development? d. development of administrative infrastructure? VII. STRATEGIC PLAN A. Objectives/Goals 1. Based upon the priorities set, what goals and outcomes can you set for 3 years from now in the areas of: a. programs and services? b. staff development? c. fund development? d. improvement to physical facility? e. development of administrative infrastructure? 2. Based upon your 3-year goals, what interim goals must be set in each of these areas for the next year? B. Budget 1. What are ballpark estimates of the personnel costs involved in pursuing the interim and longer-term goals identified? a. For the next 12-18 months, provide details by line item. b. For future years, estimate total personnel costs: salaries, fringes, and consultants. 2. What are similar estimates of other than personnel costs? a. For the next 12-18 months, provide estimated expenses by line item. b. For future years, estimate total administrative and overhead expenses. 3. What specific sources of funding might be pursued? a. foundations Comprehensive Outline of a Page 5 Strategic Planning Process
    • b. Local and State government funds c. Federal funds d. individual donors e. fundraising events f. membership dues g. fees 4. How much might be raised from each of these sources? How certain are these prospects? 5. What underlying parameters might you want to establish to ensure diversification of funding? C. Action Planning 1. To achieve the interim goals identified (including raising the funds needed to pursue these goals), what action steps must be taken? 2. When must these action steps begin? When must they be completed? 3. Who will be responsible for what activities - a. at the Board level? b. at the senior staff level? c. at the program staff level? d. at the administrative, operational and/or support staff levels? 4. How can activities between these levels be coordinated? D. Contingency Plans 1. If you are unable to raise the level of funding desired, how will you modify your plan to allow for maximum impact with more modest resources? a. If you can only raise 1/3 of the projected funds? b. If you can raise only half the anticipated funds? c. If you can raise 75% of the projected funds? 2. What contingency plans can be made to guide the organization in the event that: a. you are unable to hire the necessary skilled personnel? b. your organization sustains a change in leadership at the staff level? c. your organization sustains a change in leadership at the Board level? d. your physical facility is no longer available? VIII. DRAFT, REVIEW, AND ADOPT THE PLAN A. Draft the plan 1. What format for presenting the strategic plan will be most useful in guiding Board and staff in its actions? 2. Who will serve on a subcommittee to capture the products of the group’s work in an easy to use format? 3. When can the draft plan be completed? circulated to Board and senior staff? B. Review the plan 1. By what date can all relevant players come together to discuss the draft plan? 2. What revisions need to be made? 3. By what date can all necessary revisions be completed? C. Adopt the plan 1. Who should approve the plan? 2. At what meeting can the plan be approved? 3. To whom and by when should the approved plan be distributed to all relevant parties? Comprehensive Outline of a Page 6 Strategic Planning Process
    • 4. How can all line staff be apprised of the plan and their role in its implementation? IX. IMPLEMENT THE PLAN X. MONITOR AND REVISE THE PLAN A. Monitoring progress 1. At what intervals should you review progress in achieving goals and action steps outlined in the plan? 2. Who should be responsible for monitoring progress in the areas of: a. program goals and outcomes? b. infrastructural development? 3. What mechanisms applied at what time intervals will allow for monitoring the financial side of the plan? a. Variance reports: actual versus budgeted revenues and expenses b. Fundraising reports c. Cash flow projections for 3, 6 and 12 month time frames B. Revisions to the plan 1. At what intervals should the plan be reviewed for possible revision of goals and priorities? 2. Who should be responsible for coordinating the review and revision? 3. How will action steps for revised goals be developed? 4. Who will need to be informed of the revisions? 5. When will a new plan need to be developed? Comprehensive Outline of a Page 7 Strategic Planning Process