Moving Your Strategic Plan Forward
A strategic plan provides an important map for where your organization is heading. Creating the plan is only the first step. Successful strategy planning must include steps to move the initiatives in the strategic plan forward.
Here’s what we’re discovering about making progress with your strategic plan:
Designate a strategic plan lead. Have one person coordinate your internal efforts. This person will monitor the progress of objectives, be available for resources and questions, and have the overall responsibility for the implementation of your strategic plan.
Create teams to lead the specific initiatives of your strategic plan. “Survey staff to learn about their interests,” says Lisa Perkins Smith, ACET’s Manager of Operations & Strategy. “Then try to match them to initiatives they’re interested in."
Develop small teams. For each team, have a designated leader with one to two additional members to act as supports. Develop eligibility criteria. Some companies want new employees to have at least 6 to 12 months at the company to give them time to develop the knowledge and history to do this work well.
Keep the strategic plan in the forefront. “Keep referencing the strategic plan from a leadership perspective. Leadership needs to be on board to give staff time to do this work,” Lisa says. “Give updates at your monthly or quarterly staff meetings. It’s exciting to see progress and it encourages teams to keep moving forward.”
Work on one part of your strategic plan at a time. Most strategic plans identify a number of strategies. Create teams for one third or one half of the strategies at first. Mark progress. Then create teams for additional strategies so that you can incorporate employees who weren’t eligible in the beginning. “It’s important not to take on too much so that you can make progress,” Lisa says. “Make it easy for teams to move forward.”
Document your progress. Consider creating a quarterly or semi-annual report. “Show what’s being accomplished,” Lisa says. “Celebrate your successes and identify what’s next.”
If you’re looking to create and/or move your strategic plan forward, please contact ACET at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a free initial consultation!