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Development of the Plan:

After the environmental scans have been completed, the guiding group meets to develop the final plan for change. This group, consisting of no more than thirty people, should be comprised primarily of agency staff representing all facets of the agency. In larger agencies, sub-groups may be created, with additional members added to the sub-groups, to address various functions of the organization, with their work-products then merged into a master strategic plan for the agency by the guiding group. Through this process, consensus is reached on:

1.   The vision for children, families, and the community.

The environmental scan data is used heavily by the group. This vision is an explicit statement of the hopes for children, families, and the community.

2.   The mission statement for the agency, its reason for being.

Again, environmental scan data is used. Here, the agency is explicitly stating its reason for being and defined its unique contribution to the attainment of the vision.

3.   The specific initiatives, which the final strategic plan will address.

4.   Measurable objectives that will be used to track the progress of the strategic initiatives, as well as;

(a)  Discrete activities

(b)  Timelines

(c)  Persons responsible for assuring that the work is done

5.   Scheduling of review dates at the four, eight, twelve, and eighteen month points to:

(a)  Track progress on the plan

(b)  Identify any new activities needed to achieve success

(c)  Celebrate the successes with staff

(d)  Report the progress status to the community

6.   The plan to communicate the plan to stakeholders and to the general community.

This step is critical. The strategic plan’s initial development is the product of the guiding group and no one else. Strategies for informing elected officials, the media, the public, and others need to be crafted. The agency has asked them to use their valuable time to participate in the process and, in turn, needs to provide accurate and complete feedback to them about the final strategic plan and about how the process is progressing.

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