Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Planning Process BY htst_17 1. INTRODUCTION TO STRATEGIC PLANNING Strategic Planning Process Defined Successful RBA efforts involve strategic planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation (which will ultimately provide data that will be used in future planning and implementation efforts). Strategic planning, an essential first step in the development of a results-based accountability system, is defined as the process of addressing the following questions: Where are we? What do we have to work with? Where do we want to be? How do we get there?

This process is undertaken by states, organizations, programs, and sub-programs. The steps involved in developing a strategic plan are described below. Although this process appears systematic and rational, it is often iterative and evolves substantially over time. Further, it is subject to political pressure and will be modified accordingly. Some strategic planning efforts may not include all the steps described. The elements and process described in the next section should be modified depending on context. Components of a Strategic Planning Process

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 f 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 agencies and programs, the vision is then translated into a mission statement: a broad, comprehensive statement of the purpose of the 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 lanning process is the articulation of goals. Desired long-range conditions of well- being for the 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 by the year 2010. 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 mall 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 rapid dissemination of information throughout the organization. Recognition of relative strengths and must include consideration of methods of goal measurement. Some strategic planning processes include this step; others leave this question to be addressed by a separate process. Addressing goal measurement involves articulation of objectives, indicators, and benchmarks.

Objectives are the short-term conditions needed to achieve desired conditions of well-being for children, families, or communities in the long term. Indicators are quantifiable measures of progress; they provide numeric assessment of the desired conditions of well-being (see Indicators Tip Sheet for further details). Benchmarks are target levels of performance expressed in measurable terms and specified time frames, against which actual achievement is measured. 2. CASE STUDY APPROACH TO PROBLEM SOLUTIONS The Harvard Business School Case Study approach grew out of the Langdellian ethod.

But instead of established case law, business professors used real life examples from the business world to highlight and analyse business principles. A typical Has-style case study is a short narrative (less then 25 pages), most often told from the point of view of a manager or business leader embroiled in a dilemma. Case studies provide readers with an overview of the main issue, background on the setting (typically the individual, company/institution, industry, and larger environment), the people involved, and the events that led to the problem or decision at hand.

Cases can be written entirely from the point of view of a single actor or protagonist and based on interviews with the people involved, while others can be developed from public sources. Still other case studies can be disguised versions of actual events or composites based on the faculty authors’ experience and knowledge of the subject. Cases are used to illustrate a particular set of learning objectives, and (as in real life) rarely are there exact answers to the dilemma at hand. The case study teaching method engages readers in active learning by putting them squarely in the hoes of real people wrestling with real dilemmas.

Students read the case studies and accompanying articles and come to class prepared to argue and defend their advice for the protagonist. As students read a case, prepare assignments, and actively participate in class discussions and exercises, they learn how best to approach and solve the problems described in the case. Instructors may assign questions prior to class to focus students on the particular issues they plan to address in the class session. A class session can include student-led presentations, xercises, role plays, debates, guest speakers, and summarizing lectures.

One of the hallmarks of a case discussion is the dynamic interaction between students, who engage in presentations, lively debate and ad hoc role plays. Instructors identify students who hold opposing views and ask questions designed to stimulate debate, or they can assign them to various stakeholder groups with different points of view of the problem or situation at hand. Instructors encourage input from both sides of the issue until the students uncover most or all of the learning points identified in advance by the instructor. Instructors will lead students to experience an “aha” insights.

The case study teaching method is appropriate for undergraduate, graduate, continuing legal training, executive education, and professional development courses, workshops, and seminars. Case studies are typically accompanied by teaching manuals or notes, which outline the basic premise of the case study, how it can be used within a course, learning objectives, assignment questions, a typical class discussion flow, and key takeaways. Teaching notes will often provide board plans, informational slides, exercises, and updates or epilogues o the case study.

Faculty authors may also provide supplemental materials, such as “what happened next” cases, role play instructions and exercises, videos, or suggested readings. A case study discussion typically requires at least one class session to fully implement. Some multi-part cases or multi-player role plays will require more time. 3. BUSINESS COACHING No matter what field you’re in, the principles of coaching remain the same. In that respect, Business Coaching is very similar to sports coaching.

In sports, a coach pushes an athlete to achieve optimum performance, provides support when they are xhausted and teaches the athlete to execute plays that their competition does not anticipate. A sports coach will make you run more laps and make you worker harder than you would on your own, even when you don’t feel like it. A sports coach will tell it like it is and they will listen. Fortunately, a Business Coach does many of the same things, but in a way that is focused on creating a successful business. The role of a Business Coach is to coach business owners to through guidance, support, accountability and encouragement.

Business Coaching helps owners of small and medium sized usinesses with their sales, marketing, management, team building and so much more. Most importantly, Just like a sporting coach, your Business Coach will make you focus on the game. A Business Coach and a Business Consultant often get put into the same category but in fact they are very different. In its essence coaching is all about asking questions and consulting much more about having an area of expertise. Consultants are generally brought in to fix a problem or provide some sort of report in an area of expertise.

In this type of relationship there is little transfer of knowledge from onsultant to client and can be shorter term. They roll up their sleeve’s and get at the work for the client. Coaching is all about the transfer of knowledge from coach to client and also about being a sounding board, cheerleader and confidant. It is also about bringing new strategies, tactics and methodologies to your client that they can then utilize in moving them self forward towards their goals. Coaches provide accountability and make sure the client is doing what they need to get where they want to go.

There is an old Chinese proverb that reads… “Give a man a fish and you eed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. ” Business Consultants are experts in a specific pinpointed industry. A Business Coach empowers you, the Business Owner, to achieve previously unimaginable goals by transforming your organization, inventing a new future and possibility thinking. We share best practices with respect to business processes and strategies, however it is ultimately your organization and the results are tenfold when you and your team accomplish them versus a consultant that “fixes” the issue at hand.

Business Coaching Is: Business Consulting Is: Entire Organization) (Usually 1 on 1) Possibility Thinking Fixing / Changing Inventing a New Future Reporting Being Extraordinary Fixing Breaking up the “Status Quo” Broken Eliminate Fears / Past Beliefs Good/Bad Powerful Communications Right/Wrong Being Powerful Information Taking a Stand Systems Creating Breakthroughs Business Knowledge Dealing with Breakdowns Ordinary Conversations Being in Action Somethings Wrong Having an Accountability Partner Leveraging Strengths Developing a Strong Company Culture Integrity Based Setting Empowering Goals No focus on the Past or Outside Proactive Vs.

Reactive 4. FINDING YOUR CONSULTING NISCHE; DEVELOPING COMPETENCIES The first step in becoming a consultant is finding your niche. What type of advice can you provide or what kind of services do you offer that clients are willing to pay for? It is important to look broadly at your experiences and knowledge base to define your space in the consulting marketing place. Assessing Your Skills Consultants often have skills in strategy, operations, design and information technology. Your first step should be to take a functional inventory of what you have done in your current and previous employment.

Look beyond your Job titles and classification. Think of it as creating a resume focused on experiences, not a chronology of where you worked. You should also consider skills that are specific to your industry. For example, if you work in the technology arena you should consider the “brands” of software and hardware. Or if you are in the Human Resources field, is your experience with organizational development or benefits? Another consideration is what part of the business your skills support. Are you the hands on implementation person, are you best working at the design level or can you help usinesses strategize?

Expertise Above all else, your clients look to you to have an above average, even excellent, grasp of the issues on which you consult. Make sure that you are 100% sure that you can provide the necessary expertise, experience and skills in your chosen field. Competition Do your market research. Check how many other consultants are operating in your area in the same field. While you may believe that simply by being the best, you can achieve results, the law of averages in this case works against you. The more competition you have, the smaller your piece of the proverbial pie is likely to be.