UTLINE OF A
This article was excerpted from CRE’s publication Management Without Precedent, Readings to
Strengthen Community-Based Organizations
Edition, published 1995.
he outline that follows presents an annotated format for developing a strategic plan. It isstructured as a set of questions pertaining to each step in the process: setting up theprocess; affirming your mission; conducting an internal and external situation analysis;lishing your vision for the organization; and developing, refining and implementing the planitself.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 toagree on what you hope planning will achieve and make sure that the process you design willmeet those needs. If it is possible to include, structuring in an opportunity to solicit client input onthe effectiveness (or deficiencies) of your current programs and on what their new and emergingneeds are can be invaluable. Similarly, incorporating evaluative data on your programs andoperations can assure that you ground your assumptions about the organization’s “strengths andweaknesses” 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 (perhapsincluding 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. Oncea planning retreat is over or the plan itself is drafted, the very real work of translating the plansto 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 ofDirectors to keep its eye on the “forest” of the plan, to hold itself and the staff accountable forprogress implementing the plan even amidst the “trees” of daily operations.I. PREPARATIONA.
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.
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.
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
Strategic Planning Process