This is the third in a series on the Why and How of Creating a Strategic Plan for our ministries. We began with the why and in our last post we shared the first three steps in preparing a Strategic Plan. Today we continue with the next three steps:
Step 4: Establish priorities
Now that we have collected and analyzed the data collected we can begin to set priorities. The priorities should become very apparent during our analysis step. Also, reviewing our mission and vision statements will be a critical step in establishing priorities. As we establish our priorities we will be setting the stage for our next step in our Strategic Planning process:
Step 5: Set Goals
Our goals should be created based on the desired end results for our children and families. As we approach this step of goal setting I would encourage each of us to use the acronym SMART: Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Time-related.
A great rule-of-thumb is the rule of Three – set three Goals that will be the primary focus of our Strategic Plan and work toward their completion.
Step 6: Create an Action Plan
Steps 1 – 5 have given us a clear picture of where our ministry is currently and where we would like to go in the future. Now, to accomplish our goals we must take action. However, the action we take should be planned and deliberate in order to accomplish the goals we have set. That means we need to create an Action Plan.
This action plan may evolve as we move forward but we should keep our strategic plan in mind as we move forward. The strategic plan contains the guiding principles leading to our desired destination. The action plan becomes the road map filled with actionable steps that will accomplish the goals described in the strategic plan. Our great benefit of utilizing this process is that it will keep us from jumping on every new idea that comes our way.
What do you think? What would be some of the specific things you would include in an action plan?
Check back soon for the completion of our Strategic Planning Process.