Strategic planning within your organization

By - June 2, 2016

The season of strategic planning is fast approaching, as many organizations review and update the plan in advance of starting annual budgeting. It is a great time to realign the Board of Directors, management team and the overall direction of the organization.

There are a variety of methods and software solutions that can be used to facilitate the planning session, but there are a few key things to identify in the process.

  • Confirm the mission and vision statement of your organization. Does the mission and vision make sense? What is your current status? Are you still headed in the right direction? Where are you going? If they don’t align, is it because you have started to head in the wrong direction or has the business evolved and statements need to be updated?
  • Determine the goals, objectives and tasks. How are you going to achieve the mission of the organization? If the goal is the be, “the best,” how is, “the best,” defined? And what can reasonably, with a bit of a stretch, be achieved in the planning horizon? Be sure to include goals beyond just financial or strictly, “numerical,” goals.  Although, they can be more difficult to measure, think outside the box to the drivers of your business (i.e. financial, technology, people, and customer).
    • Goals –  Typically, 2-3 years in term and they should support your overall mission of the organization. Goals are often determined by a combination of the executive management team  and the Board of Directors. Many organizations utilize, “SMART,” goals which include:
      • Specific – State exactly what you want to accomplish (who, what, when, where, why).
      • Measurable – How will you demonstrate and evaluate the extent to which the goal has been achieved?
      • Attainable – Stretch and challenging goals within ability to achieve outcome.
      • Relevant – How does the goal tie into your key responsibilities
      • Timely – Set 1 or more target dates, the, “by when,” to guide your goal to successful and timely completion.
    • Objectives – Primary objectives can be determined during the planning session to help the planning teams start their process. Throughout the planning horizon additional objectives will be added as needed and in support of goals, generally they are 12 – 18 months in duration.
    • Tasks – Often the, “to do,” items are determined outside of the planning session, by the managers and their teams and typically are 3-6 months in duration.
  • Ongoing monitoring. Once the plan has been established and approved, the real work begins. Completing the task items, assignments, monitoring and reporting process to assure that you are meeting the organization’s goals.

To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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