The one minute guide to strategic planning
Strategic plans help us optimise the use of the scarce resources available. (No matter how much resources we have, we always think is it scarce!). They help us make the maximum impact.
All planning covers three steps:
• Where do we want to go?
• Where are we now?
• How do we get there?
1. Where do we want to go?
This would mean
• SMART objectives.
2. Where are we now?
The most common way to analyse this is the SWOT analysis, where strengths and weaknesses (SW) are for the internal and opportunities and threats (OT) are the external factors.
3. How do we get there?
3.1. The critical mass
To be able to get where we want to, we need to have an effective strength, in terms of size (called critical mass) and resources.
First determine the critical mass for success.
3.2. The resources
The resources needed to get there, sometimes called the ‘needs analysis’, to make our critical mass.
What are the
… resources required to reach where we want to/make our critical mass.
3.3. The stakeholders
The stakeholders are anyone who is affected by our action.
They can be
• Passive or active.
• Positive or negative.
Once the stakeholders are analysed, we need to immediately classify them according to the power they have to influence our action—either by support, opposition or inertia. (‘core’ and ‘non-core’ stakeholder classification is important, but irrelevant when it comes to action).
Based on the power analysis, decide who our allies, opponents and sympathisers would be.
4. Accessing resources: Human
Resources can be
• What we already have.
• What we need to have, but don’t.
5. The resources that we do not have can be accessed by
• Training present staff.
• Hiring new staff.
• Outsourcing (consultants).
6. Accessing resources: Financial
Financial sources need to be diversified.
• No single individual or institution should contribute more than 5% of the income
• No single sector of the economy should contribute more than 30%.
• No region/country should contribute more than 30%.
7. Time management
Of all the resources that we have, time is the most perishable.
Systems and procedures
• Support our work.
• make routine work easier, so that our creative time can be best used for new tasks (‘emergencies’)
• Help us make the best use of the time that we have.