and On the Road to Success
Chora’s Strategic Plans are “living”, forward-looking documents to be fine-tuned as implementation advances. With a clear operational emphasis, they help guide staff on what to do next. Chora’s Strategic Plans are underpinned by a rigorous assessment of the strategic situation and by benchmarking analysis.
Three key functions for managing any successful organization are setting expectations, assessing capability and capacity, and measuring performance. Many non-profit organizations set lofty expectations, without first assessing capability and capacity, or developing tangible ways to measure performance and progress. Successful organizations integrate all three functions. Strategic planning delivers the first of these managerial functions by setting realistic expectations and charting the path to achieving your vision. Strategic planning identifies how your organization can best transition from what it is to what it aspires to be. It requires determining ambitious but realistic goals, measurable intermediate results, and appropriate benchmarks to gauge progress along the way.
In broad outline, strategic planning is an integrated process comprising six steps:
- Assessing current internal/external situations and preparing staff and Board for planning;
- Laying out an achievable and inspiring vision as well as drafting statements that define where you wish to be at the end of the planning period and demonstrate the value of outcomes to your target audiences;
- Setting measurable objectives that propel you from where you are to where you want to be;
- Building consensus among staff, chain of command, and Board to support the plan;
- Drafting annual operating and fiscal action plans to achieve strategic plan objectives;
- Designing instruments to evaluate and communicate progress, and develop the flexibility to adapt the plan to evolving circumstances.
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