Strategy is about defining the direction your organisation wants to take and then allocating the resources and managing the risks to get the organisation to where it wants to be. Organisations need to analyse their external environment and look at their existing strengths and weaknesses as part of this process.
A business plan is a detailed plan showing how resources will be managed to achieve the strategic plan. It includes detailed operational and financial information such as budget projections, which indicate how the organisation will resource its activities and be able to meet is objectives in the future. Business plans often cover a 3 year period. A business plan is also used to present its feasability of a particular new initiative.
Principle 3 - An effective board will provide good governance and leadership by ensuring delivery of organisational purpose
The board has ultimate responsibility for directing the activity of the organisation and delivering its stated purposes. It will do this by:
Organisations need to have information about the challenges, opportunities and future trends, inside and outside. So whether your organisation is just starting up or is already established, the first step in the planning process is to assess the external and internal position of an organisation. A SWOT analysis is one method commonly used to identify.
S - Strengths
W - Weaknesses
O - Opportunities
T - Threats
They may be as a result of internal developments (e.g. loss of key staff or Management Committee expertise) or external developments (e.g. a reduction in funding sources). The leadership role of the Management Committee in ensuring that the organisation is able to move smoothly through a period of change is crucial
Managing change effectively
Voluntary organisations encounter many milestones including:
Thinking strategically as a management committee involves analysing the organisation's internal and external environment and being responsive to change. Sometimes the challenges which these present will require making some difficult decisions regarding activities, services or the overall role or function of the organisation.
In these circumstances, the committee must be able to stand back and take a strategic view of the options open to them.
Sometimes organisations are forced to close down because their funding has been cut, and no substitute money can be found.
The first stage in development of a strategic plan for the organisation involves determining who needs to be involved in the planning process.
The Management Committee needs to decide who should be involved in the strategic planning process. Generally, it should involve as appropriate:
Those involved in the strategic planning process must start with reviewing the present circumstances and characteristics of the organisation.
In order to plan for the future, you first need to reach a common understanding of the present circumstances. To answer this question you will need to focus discussions on two key areas:
- Analysing the external and internal environment; and
- Reviewing (or developing) the vision, mission and values of the organisation.
1. Analysing the External and Internal Environment
Every organisation develops its own way of documenting their strategic plan. However, it is often useful to have a look at the approach taken by other similar organisations for useful ideas on presentation and structure.
Many organisations include their strategic plans on their websites. You may find it useful to look at the following examples from: