Strategic Plan Template
The first step in the strategic planning process is to address the questions “Where are we?” and “What do we have to work with?” Examination of recent history and changing contexts (both internal and external) of the state, organization, program, or sub-program allows participants to assess current positions. Answering the question of what we have to work with involves consideration of strengths and weaknesses and determination of how to capitalize on strengths.
The next step in the process is answering “Where do we want to be?” As the articulated vision stems from the values of those involved in the process, it is essential that this step involve all of those who will have a stake in the achieving the vision. For businesses, agencies, and programs, the vision is then translated into a mission statement: a broad, comprehensive statement of the purpose of the company, 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.
The next step in the planning process is the articulation of goals. Desired long-range conditions of well-being for the business, state, community, agency, or program, goals indicate the intended future direction of the state, agency, or program. An example of a state goal is that all children and families be healthy in 5 years, while one for a company may be to achieve greater than 50% market share.
After articulating the vision and determining goals, 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. For example, a very small office should recognize that its size could be both a weakness and a strength. The size would limit it to strategies that do not require large human resource commitments, but would allow it to use strategies requiring speed and teamwork. Recognition of relative strengths and weaknesses is key in identifying promising strategies that will have a good chance of succeeding.
Strategic Planning Templates
The collection of strategic planning templates can also be accessed below: