Strategic Plan Step 4: How Will We Get There?
The next step in developing a strategic plan is to work out how to get from where the organisation is at present, to where it wants to be in the future.
Creating a roadmap for achieving the strategic objectives will involve the management committee in:
- Setting objectives;
- Resourcing the organisation;
- Agreeing or approving operational/work plans; and
- Ensuring appropriate systems and structures are in place.
Your objectives outline how each aim will be achieved. They should be SMART:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Timebound
Your SMART objectives will guide the organisation on:
- What will change or be achieved? What impact do you want to make?;
- In what way? By how much?; and
- When? By what date?
Your objectives must relate to the strategic aims. It is important to check at this stage that all factors, internal and external, which have a bearing on the objectives set for the future work have been taken into account.
View Worksheet: Developing strategic objectives
Resourcing the Organisation
The Management Committee and those involved in the planning process must take into account the resource implications of the plans. They must review what is possible within the organisation's available resources and where or how additional resources could be procured. This may also highlight gaps in resources such as people required, equipment, or facilities, as well as financial limitations.
Agreeing Operational / Work Plans
The operational plan outlines the day-to-day programme of work based on the aims and practices of the strategic plan. It may also be referred to as an "action plan", "work plan" or "implementation plan". This is normally done annually. The detail of the operational plan is linked to each objective of the organisation and will provide information on:
- what will be done;
- who is responsible;
- how it will be done;
- with what resources:
- human - volunteers, staff, users, management
- physical - premises, location, equipment
- what success will look like or what targets should be reached.
- how will impact be measured? For more information please see Inspiring Impact.
Ensuring Appropriate Systems and Structures
The organisation needs to ensure that the necessary structures are in place to facilitate the implementation of its aims and objectives. The structures include the shape of the organisation, the roles within it, the rules, procedures and policies, and management structures.
They should define who is accountable, to whom and for what.
The organisation may need to plan for changes and developments in its existing structure as a result of its future priorities and aims.
This may involve reviewing, for example:
- how staff, volunteers and management are organised;
- resources such as money, equipment, premises; and
- training requirements.
- how outcome measurement will be built in from the beginning of the work.
For further information on strategic planning and the other stages in the process, click on the links below: