The key components of a strategic plan are:
- Goals – Specific accomplishments that when met achieve a larger overall result.
- Strategies – The methods used to achieve the goals.
- Objectives – Think of objectives as “milestones” along the way of implementing strategies.
- Tasks – Various tasks assigned to individuals to implement the overall plan.
Resources– The people, materials, products, technology, money, etc. required to implement the strategies.
Throughout the process of strategic planning, it is critical to reference the mission, or overall purpose, of the organization. Consider the major influences that affect the organization. This could be achieved by conducting an environmental scan, or a SWOT Analysis. SWOT is an acronym for determining an organization’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Along the way, involve the right people in the planning. Get input from everyone who has responsibility in carrying out parts of the plan. Also involve those who are responsible for reviewing or authorizing the plan, for example board members.
The goals and objectives should be SMART– specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, and performable in an appropriate timeframe. It is imperative that the plan addresses responsibility, and never think that you can’t deviate from the plan. The plan is a guideline and can be adjusted accordingly. Attach review dates to the goals to see if they are being achieved, as well as to the plan in its entirety, to accommodate for changes in your organization.
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