What is Strategic Planning?
Put simply, Strategic Planning is where an organisation plans what it wants to do and how it wants to do it over the next few years. It often involves:
Reviewing past performance and previous Plans to see how the organisation has performed to date
Consulting with members of the organisation to see how it is managed from within
Consulting with those using the organisation's services to see how effective it has been in meeting their needs
Identifying the aims and objectives for the organisation over the next few years
Defining the aims and objectives as measurable outputs (SMART)
Assigning responsibilities and timescales for achieving the outputs
Establishing a management system that can put the Strategic Plan into action
Establishing a system for the regular review of the new Strategic Plan to ensure it is meeting its SMART objectives
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Our strategic planning services are used mainly by public bodies and development agencies who need to evaluate past performance and/or plan for the future implementation of programmes. It often involves extensive consultation and meetings with stakeholders and programme participants.
|Samples of Strategic Planning
Northwest Regional Drugs Task Force
Strategic Plan 2005-2008
The Northwest Regional Drugs Task Force (NWRDTF) is the responsible body for tackling issues associated with illicit drug use and underage drinking in the Northwest region. As part of the Strategic Plan, we consulted, through group workshops and one-to-one interviews with agencies throughout the region, including An Garda SÃochÃ¡na, HSE, Revenue Commissioners - Customs and Excise, Dept. Education and Science, Dept. Social Community and Family Affairs, Probation and Welfare Servcie, VEC, FÁS, County Councils, Area Partnerships and the voluntary sector.
The Strategic Plan listed a large number of agreed actions, including those referring to management structure, staffing, location, action programmes, membership and publicity. All of the actions were tailored specifically to the particular needs of the Northwest region and were to be implemented using models of good practice identified during the Strategic Planning process.
The Strategic Plan was printed, published and submitted to the National Drugs Strategy Team. It can be downloaded here.
County Childcare Committees
Strategic Plans 2007-2010
We worked with the County Childcare Committees in Sligo, Longford and Roscommon to develop their Strategic Plans 2007-2010. As part of the process, we held strategic planning workshops and interviews with agencies such as Dept. Social Community and Family Affairs, POBAL, FÁS, County Enterprise Boards, VEC's, NVCO's, LEADER companies, Community Fora, schools board of management, the farming pillar, Trade Union representatives, HSE, Traveller community representatives, County Councils and County Development Boards. We also held workshops and interviews with community-based and private childcare providers.
Each of the Strategic Plans identified aims and objectives particular to the needs of each county, including those relating to new service development, quality, training, information, networking, social inclusion, capacity building and strategic review.
All of the plans were submitted to the Office of the Minister for Children and each received noteworthy approval and praise from the co-ordinating body. An example of the executive summary of one such plan, the Roscommon County Childcare Committee Plan, which was printed, published and launched by the Minister is provided here.
MSRRDC Strategic Planning
MSRRDC refers to the LEADER/NRDP company Mid South Roscommon Rural Development Company Ltd. In 2004, the MSRRDC wanted to identify the potential development support needs of its funding region. This was an enormous task that would require strategic planning exercises to be carried out with 17 different geographic areas (9 parishes sub-divided into 17 areas.) We were appointed to undertake the assignment, based upon our knowledge of community development and the fact that we possess the resources to be capable of carrying out an assignment of this scale. The Strategic Planning exercise entailed meeting with all 17 areas individually to introduce the process- each area was represented by several community groups and representatives. We then developed a social & community questionnaire that was agreed on and approved by each area. In association with each area we distributed 10,000 questionnaires in total among the local population. We collated the results and presented them to each of the 17 communities. While there were many similarities, the results from each community were based mainly upon the particular needs of the local area. Finally, we worked with each community to develop a Strategic Plan for future development, based upon priorities, needs, costs and timescales. These Plans have already played a significant role in community development within the Mid South Roscommon area.