Strategic planning is an organizational tool that provides a chapter with a big picture view of what it is now, what it hopes to be in the future, and what steps it will take to get there. Strategic planning involves a series of steps designed to help a chapter define its future.
Keep in mind that strategic planning is a constantly evolving process as a chapter changes and grows. You will need to go through the process on a regular basis to ensure that your chapter is meeting its objectives and taking the necessary steps to grow and succeed.
Benefits of a Strategic Plan
A strategic plan gives Board members and general members a clear vision of the chapter's goals for now and the future. Specific benefits of creating and using a strategic plan include the following:
- Develops a broad outlook of your goals
- Provides a road map for the chapter's future
- Sets clear progress markers along the way
- Identifies and warns of potential upcoming threats
- Shows where and when help is needed to meet your goals
- Helps evaluate the journey to make improvements along the way
How to Create a Strategic Plan
You can create a strategic plan for your chapter in three steps. As you are creating it, make sure you consider how you will implement the strategic plan into your chapter. Implementation can be the most difficult stage of a strategic plan. Chapter leadership must demonstrate a strong commitment to the strategic plan and clearly communicate the plan’s values and importance. To ensure progress, establish and monitor benchmarks and timelines.
Ask the question, “Who are we and what do we really want?”
To answer that question a chapter must focus on itself by looking at the following areas:
- Value statement
- Mission statement
Ask the questions, “Who else is out there? What do they really want? Can we work together? Do we have similar views, values?”
To determine these answers a chapter must focus on an environmental assessment. A way of doing this is by doing a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis assesses:
Ask the questions, “How are we going to get there, what do we need to do, and with whom?”
To answer these questions focus on the following:
- Priority objectives
Samples to Get You Started
Samples of Chapter Strategic Plans
Use the samples below to guide the creation of your chapter's strategic plan.