Get ready

Before you embark on a strategic planning process, it’s important to make sure you are clear about how you will develop your strategy. Thinking about your approach will help you make sense of what a new strategy will mean for your organisation and what you can get out of it.

How will you tackle it?

Here are a few issues to consider:

  • a formal, designed strategic planning process or an emergent strategy?
  • a top-down approach led by the trustees and senior managers or a more collective process?
  • how much will be written down? Read more about communicating your strategy.
  • what’s your budget?
  • what’s your timescale?
  • who will you involve? [link to anchor below]
  • what information will you use: what do you already have and what do you need to collect?
  • what strategic planning exercises will you carry out?

[anchor]

Involving others

Think about who needs to be involved in creating your strategy, how, and to what extent. For example, you may want to consult your service users or provide opportunities for your other stakeholders to play a part. You could decide to ask some of your other stakeholders – funders, partners, supporters -  for views on what the organisation does well, what it could do better and who to collaborate with. A stakeholder analysis will help you identify who to involve in your strategic planning process. Read more about participation techniques on the NCVO website.

A timetable and a team

It's important to draw up a clear and timed plan for developing your strategy and to put together a team to lead the process. While your trustee board is ultimately responsible for the organisation and should drive the strategic planning process, a small team of representatives from across the organisation (perhaps including users, if appropriate) is probably the best bet for making it happen.

Once you've decided what information you need to gather, the techniques you’ll use to gather it, and which key activities will need to happen, your strategic planning team will need to identify some tasks and milestones - such as arranging and planning meetings, away days, consultation events and surveys.

What next? Clarify your organisation’s purpose.

What are your experiences of strategic planning? Share your triumphs and tribulations with our network members or write your own tips by commenting on this page.

Last updated at 17:54 Mon 12/Apr/10.

Discuss

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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