South Carolina State Library

Introduction to Strategic Planning
Prepared for the Chester County Public Library January 9, 2006

Overview of the Presentation
Part One: Part Two: Part Three: Part Four: Part Five: The Basics The Context for Change A Tool for Managing Change Why Plans Fail Doing a Plan: What’s Involved


Part One: The Basics
 Definition - Strategic Planning  Steps in the Process  Components  The Benefits

A Definition of Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is the process by which the guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future

Key Characteristics
 Full regard for external influences / a strategy for change – not for retaining the status quo  Prepared by the “guiding members” of the organization  Long-range, optimistic and focused on a preferred future  Broadly based comprehensive review of services  Driven by benefits and outcomes; focused on attainable goals

Overview: Steps in the Strategic Planning Process
1.Where Are We Now? 2.How Did We Get in this Situation? 3.What Will Likely Happen if We Continue As We Are? 4.Where Do We Want to Go? 5.How Do We Get There? 6.How Do We Know We’re There? • Situation Audit • Environmental Scan • Research • Vision / Values • Goals • Strategic Directions • Action Plans • Monitoring

Why Do A Strategic Planning
 Concentration of resources on key areas  Ability to deal with and manage change  Improved decision-making and management effectiveness

Strategic Planning: Benefits for the Library
 Renewed sense of purpose (Vision, Goals, Priorities)  Enhanced communication and leadership  Enhanced perception of the library’s value  Positioned to play a significant role in community development

Discussion Question #1

How could a strategic plan benefit your library?


Embracing Change – The Library Context
Part Two: The Context for Change

The Changing Library Environment
1. 2. 3. 4. Higher Expectations/Fewer Resources Technology Alternative Information Providers Changing Role of the Library as a Leader / Community Developer 5. Partnerships 6. New Management Approaches 7. Restructuring Among Library Providers

“Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”
U.S. President Grover Cleveland, 1905

The phonograph…is not of any commercial value.”
Thomas Edison, remarking on his invention to assistant Sam Insull, 1880

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977.

The Critical Balance in Strategic Planning
Managing for Change • Adaptability • External Forces • Continued relevance Managing for Stability • Desired features • Valued attributes • Core values


Discussion Questions #2
What are the most significant changes affecting your library?

Has the library been able to effectively respond to these changes?

The Strategic Plan – A Tool for Managing Change
Part Three: Review

Situation Audit
“Where Are We Now?”

 Profile of Existing Services  Historical Changes in Services

Environmental Scan
How Did We Get in This Situation?” “What Will Likely Happen if We Continue As We Are?”
 SWOT  Trends and Best Practices  Local Factors Affecting Changes

The Components of the Strategic Plan
Vision and Values for Library Services The Library’s Mission Goals for Library Service Strategic Directions

Action Plan

Action Plan

Action Plan

Action Plan

Action Plan

Action Plan

Library Strategic Plan Operational Plans Monitoring and Evaluation


 The Vision describes a preferred future that is realistic and attainable but also optimistic. The Vision retains all that is positive about the library today but also enhances and improves the library to create a better future.  Values describe core beliefs that are the foundation of the organization and affect day to day operations.


 Mission describes the Public Library’s reason for being by answering three questions: (1) What is the library’s function? (2) Who does the library serve? (3) How does the library fulfill its function?



 Goals are broad statements that define attainable accomplishments that will allow the library to realize its Vision. Goals bridge the gap between the present and the preferred future of the library.



 Strategic Directions describe the broad initiatives necessary to achieve each goal.


 Action Plans are the tasks necessary to pursue each Strategic Direction. Action Plans are specific, measurable, tied to a schedule and often assigned to departments for implementation.




Strategic Directions

The Library and its Branches, rooted in Chester’s vibrant and healthy communities, are meeting places and destinations that enliven their neighborhoods, enhance understanding of cultural diversities, and link people to one another, thea sense ofas an institutionand Position to Libraries Chester’s past, to their shared future. that is continually relevant and vital to the success of Chester’s future, providing essential services for vibrant, healthy, sustainable and diverse communities.
Information Gateway: Develop Commu nity Facilitie s Marketin g& Commu nication 24

Communit y & Civic Role

Strategic Directions:
Communi ty & Civic Role Information Gateway: Develop Communi ty Facilities Marketing & Communic ation

Action Plans:

• Promote the Libraries’ Civic Role • Service Assessment • Target the Underserved Segments of the Community • Enhance Access to Heritage Records • Staff Role – The Heritage Records • Staff Role – The Information Navigator

• E-mail and Chat • Customer Training • Needs Assessme nt • Customiza tion

• Building & Design Concepts • Facility Standards and Guidelines • Facility Review

• Marketing Plan • Communicati ons Plan


Discussion Questions #3
How current are your library’s Vision, Mission and Goals? Do you have an effective plan for dealing with your library’s future?


Why Plans Fail

Part Four:

Why We Fail #1

Ineffective Vision


An Effective Vision for Strategic Planning
1. Embraces Change As Opportunity 2. Reasonable and Rewarding 3. Relevant to the Community and the Specific Challenges to be Addressed 4. Directly Tied to Goals / Strategic Directions and Ultimately Recommendations

Why We Fail #2

No Follow-Through – Poor Implementation


Effective Implementation and Evaluation
County/Local Strategic Plan Library Strategic Plan Action Plans Implementation Strategies
 budget staffing  schedules  programs/ser  accountabi vices  marketing lity Capital / Operating Budget 

Performance Measures


Why We Fail #3

Poor Leadership


Leadership Qualities
 Clear Vision  Willingness to Embrace Change  Desire to Reposition the Library in the Community  An Effective Communicator

Why We Fail #4

Poor Communication


Your Strategic Plan
 A Statement of Purpose  An Opportunity to Speak to the Community Leaders, Your Users and Library Staff  A Means to Reposition the Library as a Key Player in the Community’s Development


Discussion Questions #4
If your library has done a strategic plan, was it successful? Why / why not? If your library has not done a strategic plan, what are the barriers to doing the plan?

Part Five

Doing A Plan – What’s Involved

Creating a Plan: Who is Involved
The Authors of the Plan Advisors and Observers Review and Comment
 The Board  Senior Management Staff  External Library Organizations  Municipal Politicians and Staff  Library Staff  Library Users  The General Public


Creating a Plan : Roles & Responsibilities
Facilitator Writer

 Design the process and facilitate Board/senior staff discussions  Document discussion and prepare report  Prepare the Environmental Scan

Researche r

Creating a Plan : Other Considerations
 Outside Assistance  Timing  Monitoring and Updating  Resources


Discussion Question #5

What are the options for your library to prepare a strategic plan?


Thank You
Dr. Curtis R. Rogers Director, Division of Statewide Library Services SC State Library 803-734-8928