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Creating a Strategic Plan

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A strategic plan provides the overarching, system-wide goals and strategies that should guide an organization for 3-5 years. To achieve organizational excellence, a strategic plan is the basis for aligned goals, which can be cascaded to all units and monitored through a scorecard process. Alignment of organizational priorities, goals, and actions is a key purpose of the strategic plan.

Define Priorities and Expectations

The strategic planning includes development of a shared vision for success. This vision is accomplished through intentional engagement of internal and external stakeholders and multiple feedback loops that achieve consensus across the broader organization. 

The organization’s leaders are engaged first, to establish high level priorities and expectations for the strategic planning process. Core elements of the process are identified and leadership provides guidance on the scope of activities and desired sequencing. At a high level, strategic plan development occurs in three phases.  

Creating a Strategic Plan in 3 Stages

  • Define the scope: mission, vision, values, goals, and strategies 
  • Construct draft work plan with leadership and with feedback from the board 
  • Form Strategic Planning Advisory Committee to guide and frame the work and final plan
  • Gather input on perceptions and priorities from stakeholders via focus groupssurveys, and an environmental scan using existing data.
  • Analyze survey and focus group data and present findings to advisory committee 
  • Develop, refine or validate the mission, vision, and values / core beliefs 
  • Define the vision with measurable goals 
  • Select high level strategies for success in alignment with strategic goals 
  • Create a feedback loop with stakeholders to review and provide input into the final plan 
  • Review the stakeholder input with the advisory committee and revise the plan, as needed 
  • Support the presentation of the finalized plan to the board for approval and adoption 

Strategic Planning process by month

Clear language

The futuristic nature of an organization’s strategic plan can sometimes lead to ambiguous language and goals. Ensure statements like “Become the market leader” are replaced in the final version of the strategic plan with concrete statements like “Increase consumption of services by __ target customer.”

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