Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. It is the formal consideration of an organization’s future course. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:
“What do we do?”
“For whom do we do it?”
“How do we excel?”
In order to determine where it is going, the organization needs to know exactly where it stands, then determine where it wants to go and how it will get there. The resulting document is called the “strategic plan.” In that process, the group should formulate a vision, mission and values.
The vision defines the desired or intended future state of an organization or enterprise in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction. Vision is a long term view, sometimes describing how the organization would like the world in which it operates to be. The mission defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its Vision. It is sometimes used to set out a ‘picture’ of the organization in the future. A mission statement provides details of what is done and answers the question: “What do we do?” The values represent the beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organization’s culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decision are made.
There are many approaches to strategic planning but typically a three-step process may be used:
Situation – evaluate the current situation and how it came about.
Target – define goals and/or objectives (sometimes called ideal state).
Path – map a possible route to the goals/objectives.
If elected, I will urge the groups I work with to develop and implement a strategic plan for the future of this commonwealth.