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Blog > Strategic Planning Framework

Strategic Planning Framework

posted on Sep 20, 2016

by Maria Lahiffe

All organizations should have a strategy in place for how they will achieve their mission. Your plan should articulate specific goals and describe the action steps and resources needed to accomplish them.

The strategic planning process consists of a number of stages. (Vakil, 2009)

Stage 1: Get Agreement

Nothing will happen without buy-in. Strategic planning should be a team effort, with team members directly accountable to the most senior leader in the organization.

Stage 2: Confirm Mandate and Conduct Stakeholder Analysis

Everyone involved in the strategic planning process should confirm the organization’s mandate: what the organization is, what it does, and what it does not do.

Stage 3: Review Mission, Vision and Values

Make sure these continue to accurately reflect the mandate and stakeholder interests. These change with time

Stage 4: Environmental Analysis

The next stage of the strategic planning process is to analyze the internal and external environments, to scan for emerging issues, monitor existing issues, and forecast trends. This is also the stage when risks, both internal and external, are assessed for probability and likely severity of consequence.

Stage 5: Define Strategic Issues

“Strategic issues are key questions facing the organization which most fundamentally affect its policies, programs, and services.” they need to be connected firmly to the organization’s mission, vision, and values.

Stage 6: Strategy Formulation and Plan Implementation

Once the issues have been defined, the team needs to design a plan to address them. The plan is a blueprint, defining specific SMART goals and defining the specific actions and resources needed to reach them.

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Source: Vakil, T. (2009). Planning and Organizing for Results. In V. Murray (Ed.), The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada (pp. 301-331). Markham, ON, Canada: LexisNexis Canada Inc.
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