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structure of a strategic plan

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of ways to structure a strategic plan. You hear the terms goals and objectives a lot, but they mean different things to different people. Take out jargon like world class, best possible, state of the art, maximize, succeed, and so on, and cut vague or unspecific phrasing. Schools often have set boundaries, missions, and budgets. Your values should align with your vision statement and highlight your strengths while mitigating weaknesses. Objectives are the turn-by-turn directions of how to achieve your goals. They are action items, often with start and end dates. It’s important for leaders to get input from the group as a whole, but they don’t necessarily need approval from everyone — that will slow down the process. “If you do not consider the additional costs or revenues your plan is going to drive, you may be creating a plan you cannot implement.”. Also, do not ignore negative information you may learn. Providing Training and Technical Assistance, Center for Community Health and Development. KPIs can be both financial and nonfinancial measures that help you chart your progress and take corrective measures if actions are not unfolding as they should. But strategic plans can come in many forms, shapes, and sizes; they are not a “one size fits all” document. Development of the Strategic Plan and Stakeholder Involvement. For a nonprofit, the strategic plan’s purpose is mainly how to best advance the mission. It’s really the concept of what the intention of the terms are [that is important],” says Denise McNerney, President and CEO of iBossWell, Inc., and incoming president of the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP). “I want to keep it simple, so organizations can be successful in achieving [the strategic plan],” McNerney explains. Objectives: Objectives support goals, and they’re usually quantitative and measurable. For example, your goals might be the following: Each goal should have a stated outcome and a deadline. While many organizations have both mission and vision statements, it’s not imperative. If you hold a meeting, make sure you and other key planners are prepared to handle the feedback and discussion that will arise. However, you will likely need to include some basic sections, regardless of the particular method you choose (even if the order and way you present them vary). Join us for a re-imagined, innovative virtual experience to get inspired, get connected, and see what's possible. It merely illustrates the component parts common to such plans. That said, make the effort to edit and refine your mission statement. It includes the goals you want to accomplish and an outline of how you intend to fulfill them. For example, it’s common for a private organization to use financial, customer, internal, and learning and growth perspectives. Breaking down the process further, some strategic planners use the terms strategies and tactics to label ways to achieve objectives. We would all like to accomplish every goal, but sometimes we do not have enough money to do so. The answer (or answers) to the first question — where are we now? He always writes summaries last, after he has all the data and information he needs for the plan. You need to find the balance between the process and the final product. A One-Page Plan is just that – a single page overview of your plan, priorities, and direction. Goals should be precise and concise statements, not long narratives. “The vision is the highest-ordered statement of the desired future or state of what you want your business to achieve,” McNerney explains. The process of marketing planning within an organization will differ, depending on whether a strategic marketing plan or an operational marketing plan is utilized. The following sections walk you through how to write common sections of a strategic plan. “It’s like drawing a map for your company. Avoid broad statements that could apply to any company or industry. One way to make that journey is through strategic planning, the process by which a group defines its own "VMOSA;" that is, its V ision, M ission, O bjectives, S trategies, and A ction Plans. Because it functions as a review of the entire document, write the executive summary after you complete the rest of your strategic plan. Promote the three key product areas on the website and in email newsletters. For example, if a vision statement is “No child goes to bed hungry,” the accompanying mission would be to provide food banks within the city limits. You may choose to focus on innovation, customer intimacy, or operational excellence (or a combination of some of the a… You can use many models and formats to create your strategic plan (read more about them in this article). You can take many approaches to the process and consider differing ideas about what needs to … Note that this figure does not attempt to portray the definitive marketing plan. Overcoming adversity is one way for companies to grow. In addition to the basic sections that go into any strategic plan, when forecasting five years into the future, put one- and three-year checkpoints into the plan so you can track progress intermittently. Note that objectives can cover several areas. Another way to look at it: Verb (action) + adjective (description) = noun (result). Communicating your strategic plan. This template can help your university or school outline your strategic plan. “Conflict is part of strategic planning,” Bryson admits. Other terms similar to KPIs include performance measures and performance indicators. Do not overcommit, and do not ignore the little details that help you reach your goals. Each goal should reflect something you uncovered during the analysis phase of your strategic planning process. Sometimes you think you know where you want to go, but you’re not really sure,” McNerney says. In this example, your objectives could be: Approach three new possible clients each month. The group should include people from various departments at different levels, and the planning process should be an open, free discussion within the group. Soon to be by Smartsheet. After you’ve finalized your plan, you’ll need a tool to help track and manage all the different aspects of your business or project, as well as keep you accountable and measure progress. Writing about your industry helps you identify new opportunities for growth and shows you how you need to change in order to take advantage of those opportunities. Hiring and Training Key Staff of Community Organizations, Chapter 11. Before creating your strategic plan, you need to decide on the structure you will use. “The terms are all over the map. Each theme is captured within a strategic goal, and collectively, they provide an overview of what NCATS plans to accomplish to achieve its mission. For example, your ideal customer five years ago might not be the same as the current standard or the one you want in five years. This is your chance to define the way your company will make decisions based on goals, culture, and ethics. “If you have a plan that’s really lengthy, you should have a summary,” says Jim Stockmal, President of the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP). Strategy Development 101: Strategic Plan Example. It’s just what works for your organization. “Your plan has to be aligned with your culture and your culture needs to be aligned with your plan if you’re going to be successful in implementing it.”. You can think of them this way: Goals: Goals are broad statements about what you want to achieve as a company, and they’re usually qualitative. You can communicate your plan to stakeholders in the following ways: Hold a meeting to present the plan in person. Strategic planning starts with defining a company mission. Your elevator pitch is … If you distribute it outside of your company, you might want to attach a confidentiality waiver. If you want a one-page executive summary, this template can help you decide what information to include. It is typically created at divisional or company level. Bryson says that strong facilitators often ask the following questions: What is the situation we find ourselves in? Strategic planning is a fundamental component of organizational management and decision making in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. When writing your performance indicators, pay attention to the following: Define how often you need to report results. Every KPI must have some sort of measure. Your entire organization and stakeholders should be able to remember and understand your goals. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Free your team from content sprawl with Brandfolder, an intuitive digital asset management platform. An example goal: Increase website fundraising. A strategic plan is a dynamic document or presentation that details your company’s present situation, outlines your future plans, and shows you how the company can get there. The answers to this question help you outline the many routes you can take to achieve your vision and match your strengths with opportunities in the market. To achieve all the goals outlined in your strategic plan, you need the right people in place. iBossWell, Inc.’s McNerney reiterates that there are not hard and fast definitions for the terms goals and objectives, as well as many other strategic planning concepts. These aspects of the plan outline a strategy for achieving success and can include the following: Vision statement about what the company will look like in the future, What is happening (both internally and externally) and what needs to change. How are matters inside your company? “Ideally, [the mission statement is] something that describes what you’re about at the highest level,” McNerney says. Does the performance measure support the strategic outcomes? A strategic plan is for the big picture, not for a particular project for an organization. The strategic planning process takes time, but the payoff is huge. You should be able to defend your plan and reinforce its key areas. After you come up with your goals and objectives, you need to figure out who will do what, how you will market what they do, and how you will pay for what you need to do. “The values are the core of how you operate [and] how you treat your people, both internally and externally. Developing a Strategic Plan and Organizational Structure, 15. Structure of a Strategic Plan McNerney says many organizations do not really consider or are not honest about their company’s values when working on strategic plans, which can lead to failure. For example, if your goal is to achieve success as a strategic planner, your objective would be to write all sections of the strategic plan in one month. Remember, several objectives and action steps will likely come from each goal. “It’s the reason you exist or what you do.”. VMOSA is a practical planning process that can be used by any community organization or initiative. University Strategic Plan. What are your competitors doing? “It often can be helpful to have a really good facilitator to organize and pursue strategic conversations,” says Professor John M. Bryson, McKnight Presidential Professor of Planning and Public Affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and author of Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. Included on this page, you'll find details on what to include in a strategic plan, the importance of an executive summary, how to write a mission statement, how to write a vision statement, and more. One of the first steps is committing to a process, then determining how you’re going to do it,” McNerney explains. Also called an elevator pitch, the company description is a brief outline of your organization and what it does. Getting your plan to the right stakeholders at the right time is crucial to success. Some goals might even be quarterly, monthly, or weekly. This template can help you visually outline your strategic plan for your nonprofit. For example, tracking visitors to a website, customers completing a contact form, or the number of proposals that close with deals are all performance indicators that keep you on track toward achieving your goals. STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN: Human Resources 2 of 16 Goal HRS.1 - Improve Human Resources (HR) service delivery Objective HRS.1.1 - Ensure Human Resources is staffed and structured appropriately to Learn how the flexible, extensible Smartsheet platform can help your organization achieve more. For more information about writing marketing plans, this article can help. Some should go out five to 10 years, others will be shorter — some significantly so. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of writing a strategic plan, what to include, common challenges, and more. But a local government may use public safety, public works, transportation, and quality of life. “It’s important for facilitators to lead by asking questions,” Bryson says. Team troubles can also occur when one or more members does not think the plan is important or does not buy into the process. Smartsheet is an enterprise work execution platform that is fundamentally changing the way businesses and teams work. Then there are finances. “One of the most important elements when you’re starting the strategic planning process is to get some clarity on the nomenclature. It’s imperative to make sure the mission statement accurately fits the organization. Structure of the Strategic Plan. If you don’t know what is going on around you, how can you stay competitive?” explains McNerney. Think about goals with varying lengths. In addition to a SWOT analysis and other sections that go into any strategic plan, a nonprofit needs to keep an eye on changing factors, such as funding. You should include the following sections: An execution plan that identifies who manages and monitors the plan, An evaluation plan that shows how you plan to measure the successes and setbacks that come with implementation. Some planning specialists use the term strategic objectives or strategic priorities when referring to goals, but for clarity, this article will use the term goals. Get up and running fast with streamlined implementation and solution building to address your immediate business needs. “Strategic planning is a prompt or a facilitator for fostering strategic thinking, acting, and learning,” says Bryson. A KPI dashboard can help you set up and track your performance and for more information about setting up a KPI dashboard, this article can help. When planning ahead for your business, it’s important to look around. Improving Organizational Management and Development, Chapter 9. Outlines the goals, priorities, and strategies to meet the mission. The familiar Smartsheet interface that is designed for how people actually work leads to rapid and broad adoption across your organization. Below are questions to ask your team as you craft your vision statement: What impact do we want to have on our community and industry? Company core values, sometimes called organizational values, help you understand what drives the company to do what it does. In many cases, the sections of a strategic plan build on each other, so you may have to write them in order. Additionally, remember that there are many terms for the same object in strategic planning. This could include management, the board of directors, owners, and more. The plan may be in the form of a document, a presentation, or another format. Over 78,000 brands and millions of information workers trust Smartsheet to help them accelerate business execution and address the volume and velocity of today's collaborative work. Download One-Page Executive Summary Template. Listed below is the strategic planning process: Instead, strategic planning experts use many names for the different sections of a strategic plan. Include the plan in new employee onboarding. Improving Organizational Management and Development. Goals form the basis of your strategic plan. This Above Figure presents an annotated example of a strategic marketing plan. Pinpointing values will help you figure out the traits of the people you want to hire and promote, as well as the qualities you’re looking for in your customers. The CPSC updated the 2018–2022 Strategic Plan Adjust the new plan accordingly. A business strategic plan is not just a one-off business document created in a single setting. Do you have the team members to accomplish the objectives you have outlined in order to reach your goals? No matter what, do not dwell on setbacks and remember to celebrate successes. A strategic marketing planoutlines the overall strategy within a market, connecting customers, competitors and what the organization is capable of achieving. For example, phrases like “delivering a wonderful experience” could apply to many industries. You can choose from many templates to help you write this section. The mission provides items to act upon, and the vision offers goals to aspire to. He says it is easier to cut than to create something. The mission statement explains what your business is trying to achieve. Begin with looking at your life as it is now. The Strategic Plan defines the evidence and performance data that will be used to monitor and assess program effectiveness. “It takes some time and money to do [a thorough industry analysis], but the lack of that understanding says a lot about the future of your organization. Sometimes the consensus can take priority over what is clear. The CEO naturally assumes a prominent role on the planning team, setting the vision, driving that vision, and enforcing results. The first stage prepares you for the rest of the strategic planning … The context of strategic planning involves the needs of the business organization, including the need for the organization to ensure that its operations properly match the conditions of the market. Highlight the plan in a company newsletter. What some people call a goal, others call an objective. Be wary of cutting and pasting either from plans from past years or from other similar organizations. All reasonable entities who will be involved in the transaction where these strategic plans will be used must find the document understandable.If you are a non-profit organization, you have to be aware on how to develop a detailed and properly formatted non-profit strategic plan All Rights Reserved Smartsheet Inc. If you’re not looking at the world around you, you’re missing a whole dimension about what should inform your decision making,” McNerney advises. How will we interact with others as a company? The vision should be clearly attainable if you follow the goals and objectives you outline later in your strategic planning plan. Illustrative example of a strategic marketing plan. Assign people who will be responsible for certain tasks and tactics necessary to achieve your goals. Information about developing a strategic plan and organizational structure, recruiting and training staff and volunteers, and providing technical assistance. Every company is unique. Elevator Pitch. The operations plan maps out your initiatives and shows you who is going to do what, when, and how. Even with the differences, the same planning process and structure should be in place for schools as it is for other types of organizations. Keep your focus on what you can act on. A strategic plan is a dynamic document or presentation that details your company’s present situation, outlines your future plans, and shows you how the company can get there. For example, a substance abuse prevention coalition is trying to keep teens from starting to drink or use drugs, and proving the coalition’s methods work is often difficult to quantify. They describe how you will measure the progress needed to arrive at the destination you outlined in the goal. Remind people of your company’s mission, vision, and values to reinforce their importance. Whether you are a nonprofit, a school, or a for-profit entity, strategic plans will look at where you are and how you will get to where you want to go. Note the data source where you will get your information to measure and track. The company description should include the history of your company, the major products and services you provide, and any highlights and accomplishments, and it should accomplish the following: Highlight what makes your company unique. Strategic planning in a school is different from others because there are no markets to explore, products to produce, clients to woo, or adjustable timelines. Only the CEO has the force to drastically change the company’s alignment. “Not everyone has a vision statement,” McNerney says. Some performance indicators can go into your strategic plan, but you might want to set other goals for your organization. Pay attention to your company culture and the readiness you have as a group, and adapt the planning process to fit accordingly. In planning, sometimes there is power in … A strategic plan needs a clear statement of your company’s purpose, its reason for existing in the first place. © 1994-2020 The University of Kansas. Use the goal example from earlier: Increase total revenue by 5 percent in three product areas by the third quarter of 2020. Many companies’ values sound like meaningless jargon, so take the time to figure out what matters to your company and push beyond generic language. From 2018 to 2022, FEMA will focus on three main Strategic Goals and invite the whole community to adopt these shared “You need to make sure someone is good, so there needs to be a vetting process,” he says. It requires multiple steps (specifically a process) before it is presented to executives and other stakeholders of the company. Arthur A. Thompson and A. J. Strickland have described four basic approaches to formal strategic planning: 1. This helps transform your goals and objectives into a reality. See why Smartsheet is the platform you need to drive achievement, no matter the scale of your ambition. In this section, you’ll learn a lot about your company and the people who work with you. Your goals are where you want to go. Mission statements are about the present, and vision statements are about the future. The key is to include what is important to you. Build those checkpoints into the plan. Recruiting and Training Volunteers, Chapter 12. The areas above the red dotted line are the strategic parts of the plan. A marketing plan describes how you attract prospects and convert them into customers. A business plan is usually done for different reasons, such as investment research, and covers general concepts about the company such as business model, sales model, financing required and others, however, a strategic plan reflects the Strategy and operations to achieve specific objectives. The facilitators also need to be able to handle conflict and diffuse situations by separating idea generation from judgement. Vision statements should be short (a few sentences). A clear vision statement can help all stakeholders understand the meaning and purpose of your company. While writing your strategic plan, you should think about how to share it. Once you know what you do well, you can exploit your strengths to your advantage. “Get in front of employees and present the plan [to get everyone involved].” Hofmeyer explains his research has shown that people stay with companies not always because of money, but often because they buy into the organization’s vision and want to play a part in helping it get where it wants to go. Look at the positive instead of what you will give up. As with any team activity, there will be challenges. What do you want to do more or less? Once you write your vision statement, communicate it to everyone in your company. Describe how you will communicate the plan to key stakeholders. If you have a failing project and need to turn it around, this article might help. They are set in statement and purpose with no ambiguity about whether you achieve them or not. Goals, Priorities and Strategies. — addresses the foundation of your organization, and it can serve as an outline for the following sections of your strategic plan: Identification of competing organizations, Industry analysis (this can include a SWOT or PEST analysis). If strategic planning isn’t the CEO’s passion, it’ll never happen. If you need assistance writing a comprehensive implementation plan for your organization, this article can guide you through the process. Bottom-Up Approach: Initiatives in formulating strategy are taken by the various units or divisions of an organization … 3 -4 overarching goals aligned with mission. Performing this analysis will help you figure out what you do best and how you compare to your competition. There are both internal and external values looking at your employees and coworkers, as well as customers and outside stakeholders. If your mission statement could define many companies in your line of work, it is not a good mission statement. She uses a basic diagram that she calls the strategic plan architecture. The answers to this question help you identify your goals for the future of the business and assess whether your current trajectory is the future you want. Our world-class consulting team is here to help your organization realize the lasting advantage of Smartsheet. Next, gather your planning team. 15. The following checklist will help you keep track of what you have done and what you still need to do. It can also function as a type of tagline for your organization. If not, you may need to hire personnel. Creating a strategic plan isn’t only for businesses. The plan author is responsible for writing and putting the final plan together and should work with a smaller group of writers to establish and standardize the tone and style of the final document or presentation. Be prepared for what you discover about yourself. The Community Tool Box is a service of the. What do you value most in your life? This is the output of strategy planning and may be developed at the level of an organization, department or team. In a for-profit organization, the marketing department works to promote the company’s product or services to bring in new revenue. 2. If you have access to a plan from a previous year, see how your department did in meeting its goals. One of the best tools we use to help communicate an organization’s strategic direction and long-term focus is a One-Page Plan. This process takes time and reflection. You want to make sure the plans align. If you are looking for a strategic … Think of goal writing as a formula: Action + detail of the action + a measurable metric + a deadline = goal. Vision statements should accomplish the following: Look at and project about five to 10 years ahead. A summary of it should go into your strategic plan. When you finish your departmental plan, make sure to submit it to whomever is responsible for your company’s overall plan. Without it, the process cannot succeed. There is no set time period for a strategic plan, but five years can be a sweet spot. You can also create a strategic plan to help guide both your professional and personal life. Strategic planning is the practice of looking forward, outside the immediate future for your organization, to reach a particular set of goals. Mission statements should not be vague or generic, and they should set your business apart from others. 5. While this may seem basic, the company description changes as your company grows and changes. Some funding sources have finite beginnings and endings. The first step in writing a strategic plan for your department is to pay attention to your company’s overall strategic plan. Use self-service reports and dashboards in Smartsheet to provide real-time visibility into resources, status, and performance, so you can rapidly align operations with strategy. Do your best to keep it from your competitors. Check out these templates to help you get started with a financial plan. ‌ ‌Download University Strategic Plan Outline – Word. ASP’s Stockmal has some questions for you to ask yourself about picking performance indicators. While the specific terminology varies, basic sections of a strategic plan include the following in roughly this order: Some plans will contain all the above sections, but others will not — what you include depends on your organization’s structure and culture. Your first step is to identify themes, which are sometimes similar to perspectives.These themes are buckets or categories that define the overall structure of your strategic plan. Your research might show you should not go in a direction you might want to. It should be short enough that it can be read or heard during the average elevator ride. Writing a strategic plan for a school can be difficult because of the variety of stakeholders involved, including students, teachers, other staff, and parents. “If you choose to shortchange the process [and not talk about capacity and finances], you need to know what the consequences will be,” explains McNerney. Business architecture is important, which Stockmal says is “building the capabilities the organization needs to fulfill its strategy.” He adds that nothing happens if there is no budget workers to do the work necessary to drive change. Every organization is slightly different.”. Go deeper than saying family, happiness, and health. Jump-start new projects and processes with our pre-built sets of templates, add-ons, and services. This section is the bulk of your strategic plan. “After the meetings are over, you have to turn your strategy into action,” says Stefan Hofmeyer, an experienced strategist and co-founder of Global PMI Partners. The development and execution of strategic plans is a well-thought-out plan performed in three critical steps:

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