Strategic Plan Step 5: Writing Your Plan
Every organisation should have a written plan for its future development, documenting the outcomes of the strategic planning process. Your plan should outline how the organisation plans to achieve its aims and objectives. It should demonstrate that there is effective control and management of the organisation by including a governance section with examples of controls.
It is important that your written plan is ‘bought into’ by your full organisation by involving people at the earliest stages and is not merely a paper exercise. There are a range of organisations that can guide you in deciding what type of written plan is most relevant for your organisation’s needs, and can assist you in developing such plans.
Check out the Training and Support section of this site for a list of contacts who can help. Members of the Developing Governance Group can also provide practical assistance.
The extent and detail of your written plan will depend on the nature and size of your group or organisation, but the following are headings to guide you in structuring your strategic/business plan:
Contents of a strategic plan document:
A summary of the plan; you may wish to make this summary something you can promote outside the organisation, to build support and keep stakeholders informed.
The purpose of the plan; background about where the is in its development; brief statistics about the numbers of staff/volunteers; a description of service users (snapshot).
Cover the (new) mission, vision and values for the organisation – this is the backdrop for the plan; say how you use these important statements.
Provide a concise review of the current health of the organisation; summarise the strengths and weaknesses and their implications; make sure you cover key achievements in the previous period. Ensure you provide an overview of governance arrangements.
Outline what the challenges are for the future (external opportunities, threats, other player potential, stakeholder needs etc.).
Strategic aims and priorities for change for the next three years
Cover the main areas of work the organisation needs to focus on for the next three years. Each objective should have key tasks and outcomes associated with it – from which you can develop annual goals and teams and individuals can develop their work plans.
Delivering the plan (resources and timetable)
This is where you need to be convincing about the organisation’s ability to resource the plan. Attach a budget and a ‘timeline' to show when and how the strategic objectives will be met and how they will be managed (covering all the main areas of work of the organisation).
For further information on strategic planning and the other stages in the process, click on the links below: