A strategic plan typically includes several key elements:
Mission statement: A brief statement that defines your organization’s purpose and overall goals.
Vision statement: A statement that describes your organization’s desired future state.
SWOT analysis: An assessment of an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats. Twokin Consulting often uses a SWOT analysis for a range of projects to get a sense of what is working well and what is not.
Goals and objectives: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets that your organization aims to achieve in the short and long term. In Twokin Consulting's experience, often goals are not mapped out in a SMART format.
Strategies: High-level plans or actions that your organization will take to achieve its goals and objectives.
Tactics: Specific actions, resources, and timelines that will be used to implement the strategies.
Performance measures: Metrics that will be used to track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. Twokin Consulting often suggests creating a dashboard that is regularly updated.
Implementation plan: A detailed plan for how your organization will execute the strategies and tactics, including roles and responsibilities, timelines, and budget. The best strategi plan is the one that is linked to your budget.
The strategic plan serves as a guide for decision-making and prioritization, and it's reviewed and updated regularly to align with your organization’s current situation and future goals. The frequency of updating a strategic plan can vary depending on your organization, but it is generally recommended to review and update the plan on a regular basis. A common practice is to update the plan every 3 to 5 years. Twokin Consulting would suggest annual reviews and tune-ups of the plan. Factors that can influence the frequency of updating a strategic plan include:
The rate of change within your organization or in the external environment. If your organization is experiencing rapid change, it may be necessary to update the plan more frequently to keep up.
The level of achievement of the previous strategic plan. If your organization has achieved most of its goals, then it's time to update the plan.
The length of the planning horizon. If the plan has a long-term perspective, it may be reviewed less frequently than if it is shorter-term.
The size and complexity of your organization. Larger and more complex organizations may need to update their plans more frequently to ensure alignment and coordination.
In any case, it's important to review the plan regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and aligned with your organization's current situation and goals. Twokin Consulting also says it is a good practice to involve key stakeholder (e.g., board members, staff, faculty, clients) in the review and update process to ensure that the plan reflects their perspectives and needs.
Twokin Consulting specializes in helping supporting colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations in brainstorming strategies and ideas for improving operations.