Does your strategic plan include broad, long-range goals that define what your program wants to accomplish and short-term objectives that are specific and measurable? Are the goals and objectives based on your program’s critical documents? Strategic planning is a great opportunity to bring stakeholders together, provide focus for the program and ensure that everyone is on the same page. When creating your strategic plan, consider the following:
- Achieve buy-in before you begin. Include all stakeholders in strategic planning to establish buy-in from the beginning. 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. 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.
- 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 that 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 information will specifically describe how it will look when each goal is achieved.
- 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 community assessment, self-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.
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