The Strategic Plan is a document that provides the vision and direction for our organization. It articulates the values, goals, objectives, strategies, and policies of the organization. The Strategic Plan is intended to be used as a guide for all members of the organization.
The strategic planning process includes:
- Identifying the needs of the community in which we operate
- Developing an organizational mission statement
- Defining our core values
- Determining our long-term goals
- Establishing short-term goals
- Creating a strategy that will help us achieve those goals
- Reviewing the plan periodically to ensure it remains relevant and effective
VMOSA (Vision, Mission, Objective, Strategies, and Actions Plan) is a useful tool for helping organizations set goals and plan their actions towards achieving them.
VMOSA has five components:
Vision – What do you want your organization to become? (or the dream)
Mission – Why are you here?
Objectives – What do you need to accomplish? (and how much)
Strategies – How can you get there?
Actions – Who will do what, by when?Let's look at each of these five components in more details with the help of examples.
1. Vision - What do you want your organization to become? (or the dream)
The vision should provide a sense of direction for your organization. A good vision helps your organization define its identity, establish relationships with the public, create credibility among other organizations and individuals, and identify areas where improvement may be needed.
How does your organization see itself in 10 years' time? What would be your ideal situation? What could happen to change this picture?
Here are some vision statements:
- Our vision is to have a clean, safe, sustainable world. We envision a world where people live healthy lives, enjoy beautiful places, and work together.
- We aim to make a positive difference through education, preservation, research, and outreach.
- We aspire to promote the highest standards of quality, safety, and efficiency in our products and services.
2. Mission – Why are you here?
An organization’s mission is a clear statement about who they are, why they exist, and how their activities contribute to society. This statement must be simple and concise.
What do you hope to accomplish with your organization?
Make sure that your organization’s mission addresses the values that matter most to its stakeholders.
Here are some examples of the mission statement:
- We work to preserve the environment and educate the public on environmental issues.
- We strive to empower patients and families affected by cancer.
3. Objectives – What do you need to accomplish? (and how much)
Objectives are measurable outcomes or results that indicate whether your organization is making progress toward accomplishing its mission. Objectives provide the basis for measuring performance against stated goals and providing feedback to staff, volunteers, board members, donors, and others.
Your objectives should include both quantitative measures and qualitative indicators. Quantitative measures are numbers such as number of new volunteers, percentage of donations used for specific purposes, and number of community events attended. Qualitative measures are things like “increase awareness of breast cancer” or “reduce hospital readmissions.”
For example, one objective might be “to increase the number of breast cancer survivors participating in volunteer programs.” Another objective might be “To reduce the rate of hospital readmission within 30 days after discharge from an acute care facility.”
4. Strategies – How can you get it done?
Strategies are the tactics you use to achieve your objectives. They include actions, policies, procedures, and resources.
For example, if your strategy is to increase the number of volunteers, then you might set up a committee to develop strategies for recruiting more volunteers. Or, you might decide to hold a special event to attract volunteers.
5. Actions – Who will do what, by when?
The actions component of your plan lists all the individual tasks that you need to complete to reach your organizational goals. It includes everything from creating a website to hiring a marketing manager. The actions should also include time frames, so you know exactly when each task needs to be completed. For example, “Create a website” could mean “Start working on the site in January 2012.”
In summary, the strategic planning process helps organizations identify their current strengths and weaknesses, create plans to improve those areas, and implement the plans. An organization’s strategic plan provides guidance for the long term and guides direction over time.