Essential Tips: Strategic Planning

Tip #1:  Achieve buy-in before you begin.

Include all stakeholders in strategic planning to establish buy-in. Staff from a variety of positions (teachers, family service workers, center directors, home visitors, management staff, etc.) will bring a different point of view. Also invite members from your Policy Council and Board of Directors as well as community partners. Ask everyone to complete a survey prior to strategic planning. Be sure the survey includes questions about what they want the program to accomplish for children, families, staff and community.

Tip #2:  Create a list of your program’s strengths and challenges.

This list should contain valuable information to establish your program’s goals and objectives. The challenges represent potential goals and the strengths represent potential strategies to achieve the goals. Also take time to review your program’s mission, vision and guiding principles. Ensure they accurately reflect what you are working to achieve. Finally, for each goal and objective, in addition to timelines and persons responsible, include a “success indicator” column.  This will specifically describe how it will look when each goal is achieved.

Tip #3:  Review and utilize your programmatic data.

Strategic planning is a great time to collect and review key programmatic documents as a group. Critical data includes items such as your self-assessment, community assessment, child assessment data, CLASS data, ongoing monitoring data and family engagement data, just to name a few. Review this important data when creating your goals and objectives.

Looking for someone to facilitate your program’s Strategic Planning and end up with a written strategic plan? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at