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Strategic Planning

Strategic planning involves identifying goals and developing a process to best meet those goals. This seemingly simple process helps organizations make better use of their resources while improving efficiency and accountability.

Once developed, a strategic plan guides the effective allocation of resources and provides a framework for decision making. This helps ensure that organizational resources are allocated appropriately so that strategic goals and objectives can be met. This is particularly important when resources are scarce and choices must be made between competing priorities.

Effective strategic planning requires the active participation of key organizational stakeholders, both internal and external. Participants should include the governing body, administrators, employees, community leaders and individuals served by the organization.

Finally, strategic planning and budgeting should work hand in hand. In order to successfully implement a strategic plan, proper funding is needed to make an organization’s established priorities a reality.

A useful strategic plan should be:

  1. A set of priorities: Setting priorities allows for the plan to be adjusted according to changing needs and resources.

  2. Achievable, measurable and time sensitive: It’s better to do a few things well than many things poorly. The plan should contain goals that are measurable and include deadlines.

  3. Flexible and responsive to changing conditions: The plan is a road map that may contain unforeseen detours such as an unexpected crisis, new opportunities or changes in resources.

  4. Short and simple: Plans that read more like a book will sit on a shelf. Remain focused on what needs to be accomplished the most.

  5. A unit, not a menu: A useful plan is not a wish book. Everything in the plan needs to be accomplished.

  6. The means to an end, not an end in itself: The plan is the process by which it reaches its destination; it is not the destination.

  7. Based on a three to five-year period: The strategic plan should be a living document that has a one-year drop off and a new year added, so it always covers the same time period.

Financial Forecasting

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