Developing the plan is a process that may involve discussion with a number of different stakeholder groups and should take place over a period of time. Whilst it is important to document your plan in written form to provide consistent guidance and a reference point for the organziation, this should remain an active process. Your plans should be regularly reviewed to ensure that you are able to anticipate and adapt to challenges and changes in the internal and external environment.
Successful results-accountability efforts involve strategic planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. The strategic planning process is designed to answer the following questions:
Where are We Now?
Strategic planning is about having a clear direction to steer towards but also being able to respond to changes as necessary. To do this your organisation needs to have information about the challenges, opportunities and future trends, inside and outside. (Learn more)
Where Do We Want to Be?
It is essential that this step involve all of those who will have a stake in the achieving the vision. For agencies and programs, the vision is then translated into a mission statement: a broad, comprehensive statement of the purpose of the agency or program. States and communities may not have mission statements, as they may have multiple purposes. If unable to design mission statements that can encompass multiple divergent goals, planners should articulate several separate mission statements reflecting different goals. (Learn more)
How Will We Get There?
After articulating the mission and vision, planners must address means of reaching their goals. This step involves articulating strategies for achieving results. Strategies should reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the entity engaged in the planning, as these are helpful in identifying promising strategies. (Learn more)
How Are We Doing?
The final step in the process is measuring or evaluating results. Were the goals and objectives met? Was the problem solved? This allows the community or organization to engage in an ever-repeating cycle of improvement. The expansion, contraction, elimination and modification of programs and organizations are often influenced by evaluation findings. Visit the section on Research & Evaluation for more information.