Do you need a new strategy?

NCVO’s Strategy and Impact Team have put together a quick quiz to help you decide whether you actually need a whole new strategy right now.

Here are six statements which may or may not apply to your organisation. Give each statement a score in the box from 1 to 4, where:

  • 1 means ‘my organisation is not at all like this’
  • 2 means ‘my organisation is a bit like this’
  • 3 means ‘my organisation is a fair bit like this’
  • 4 means ‘my organisation is a lot like this’

In my organisation …

1. There are people that have significantly different views about why the organisation exists 
2. There is a feeling that the world is changing faster than we can cope with 
3. We have trouble explaining what we do to other people 
4. We feel like we are struggling compared with other organisations in our field 
5. People/teams/departments are pulling in different directions 
6. Our services are not delivering the results that we really want 

Add up your total score.

8 points or less

You have a good strategic plan, well-communicated. We would caution against launching into a new strategic planning process without double-checking with other people whether this is really needed. 

9 to 13 points

You have a fairly good strategic plan already, and it’s quite well-communicated. You may only need to improve one or two aspects of it, such as any statements where you scored 3 or 4, or perhaps you should concentrate on other matters for the next year or so.

14 to 18 points

Your strategic plan could certainly be better. If you scored 3 or 4 for any of the questions, you should certainly look at those elements very soon, and you may find it best to review your strategic plan in full over the coming year.

19 points or more

Your strategic plan needs improving. You should get started as soon as you can.


If you’re new to strategic thinking and planning or feel overwhelmed by different priorities, this quiz is a quick and easy way to start thinking about whether a strategy is what your organisation most needs.


Each organisation is unique and complex and is likely to be facing a range of different challenges which this quiz won’t reflect. You know your organisation; trust your instincts.

When to use it

This tool is useful when you are considering whether to undertake a strategic planning process. You could also use it tolook inside your organisation to assess your strengths and weaknesses.

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

This quiz is featured in our introduction to strategic planning, Thinking Ahead.

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


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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