Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organisation is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.
A strategic plan is a document used to communicate with the organisation its goals, the actions needed to achieve those goals and all of the other critical elements developed during the planning exercise.
Generally, there are four (4) key components included in an organisation’s Strategic Plan. These are:
Vision: outlines what the organisation wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be. It is a long-term view and concentrates on the future. It can be emotive and is a source of inspiration.
Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organisation, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its vision.
Values: Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organisation. Values drive an organisation’s culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made.
Strategy: Strategy, is a combination of the ends (goals) for which the organisation is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there. A strategy can be seen as the path an organisation has chosen to take to make its way towards the end vision. The most important part of implementing the strategies ensuring the organisation is going in the right direction which is towards its vision.
Traditional strategic planning process
There are many different ways an organisation can go about strategic planning for the future. Theoretically a strategic plan in the business world should follow a process which goes through the following steps:
- Set your Mission and Objectives (Purpose and what you want to achieve)
- Environmental Scanning (External factors to consider)
- Formulating Strategy (Create a plan)
- Implementing Strategy (Execute the plan)
- Evaluation & Control (Review and change if necessary)
Documenting your strategic plan
The strategic planning document which defines your club’s/organisations objectives and action plans does not have to be a 30 page document either. Your document can be as simple as one or two pages detailing a little background to the plans and then listing the objectives and action plans in bullet points.
Formulate your objectives and actions to achieve them
Strategic Planning for sporting clubs/organisations should mainly revolve around the formulation of specific, measurable goals and objectives (short, medium and long-term) and the activities and initiatives that clubs need to implement in order to achieve these objectives.
Once clubs/organisations have determined their short, medium and long term objectives, simply formulate activities and tasks to achieve each of the objectives.
Most clubs/organisations will seek to identify the following objectives:
3-4 Short-term Objectives and 2-3 strategies for each objective
3-4 Medium-term Objectives and 2-3 strategies for each objective
1-2 Long-term Objectives and 2-3 strategies for each objective
Once you have defined your objectives and the activities and tasks to be undertaken to achieve them it is really important to allocate responsibility to completing the task to an individual or if that is not possible to a committee or sub-committee. If one is directly responsible for undertaking a task it is unlikely it will be commenced, let alone successfully completed.
Communicating your strategic plan
Once a club/organisation has formulated its objectives, the tasks and activities it is really important that it circulates the plan to the club members and stakeholders so everybody understand the direction and focus of the club/organisation.
Review your plan and delivery success
The club committee should review the progress of the strategic plan delivery almost every committee meeting to ensure that it remains in focus. Often strategic plans are formulated, objectives set and then the hustle and bustle of daily club operations takes focus from the objectives and then inevitably few of the objectives are achieved.