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:
- What is strategic planning?
- What are the key concepts and definitions in strategic planning?
- What are the basic steps in a strategic planning process?
- What do I need to know before I start the planning process?
- What are the individual roles in a planning process?
- What's in a mission statement?
- What's in a vision statement?
- What is a situation assessment?
- How can we do a competitive analysis?
- What is a strategy and how do we develop one?
- What should a strategic plan include?
- How do you develop an annual operating plan?
- How do we increase our chances of implementing our strategic plan?
- Should I use an external consultant?
- How do I use retreats in the planning process?