Make decisions

You may have lots of things you would like your organisation to do over the coming years but, after the creative stage of opening up options, the strategic planning process also requires organisations to prioritise and make firm decisions.

Keep mission-focused

Now is the time to prioritise certain issues and courses of action over others. Keep your mission, your values and your users’ or cause’s needs firmly in view. You should opt for the services or products (outputs) which are most likely to bring about the outcomes you want.

Strong leadership is also needed at this stage to reach consensus. It is the board of trustees’ job to make the final decisions about the organisation’s strategy.

Leading the decision-making process

Taking a firm line on decision-making may be difficult. You are likely to have to disappoint some people because their particular ideas aren’t taken forward. To counter this, make the decision-making process as clear as possible, based on rational discussion and analysis rather than weak assumptions or personal preferences.

Questions to explore

Ask yourselves:

  • What are our priorities? Should we improve the quality of existing services, experiment, continue as we are, retrench, expand, collaborate?
  • What is realistic and achievable in the next few years?
  • Are there quick wins to make in the next year?
  • What ideas could be taken forward in a more gradual way, left to emerge or revisited later?

Tools

There are a range of tools that you might find useful:

What next?

Once you have a clear list of priorities, you need to communicate your strategy and implement your strategic plan across your organisation.

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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