Alliance for Nonprofit Management has a quick frequently asked questions on strategic planning. So what is strategic planning?

Strategic planning is a management tool, period. As with any management tool, it is used for one purpose only: to help an organization do a better job – to focus its energy, to ensure that members of the organization are working toward the same goals, to assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. In short, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. (Adapted from Bryson’s Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations)

It is a pretty important, especially when you lead a new team, new business or existing organization with changed directions. The FAQs cover board and specific questions, such as:

  1. What is strategic planning?
  2. What are the key concepts and definitions in strategic planning?
  3. What are the basic steps in a strategic planning process?
  4. What do I need to know before I start the planning process?
  5. What are the individual roles in a planning process?
  6. What’s in a mission statement?
  7. What’s in a vision statement?
  8. What is a situation assessment?
  9. How can we do a competitive analysis?
  10. What is a strategy and how do we develop one?
  11. What should a strategic plan include?
  12. How do you develop an annual operating plan?
  13. How do we increase our chances of implementing our strategic plan?
  14. Should I use an external consultant?
  15. How do I use retreats in the planning process?

Frequently Asked Questions on Strategic Planning

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