How do we get from here to there?
Step 4 in the strategic planning process is implementation. In this step, what you are seeking to discover is how are you going to accomplish these changes?
The end result of this step is what you've been waiting for: your strategic plan!
Experience has taught us that without a concrete plan of action even the best intentions can be thwarted in the busyness of day-to-day agency management. We need something simple and concrete to keep us on track. Community Literacy of Ontario recommends creating a checklist with step-by-step actions we can take to actually accomplish what we set out to do. We show you a sample implementation chart later on in this section.
Implementation is a key step in the strategic planning process. For some more wise advice, please click here to read “Translating Vision into Action” at www.charityvillage.com/cv/research/rstrat16.html.
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In the implementation step you need to decide:
- What you plan to accomplish
- What to do every step of the way
- Who will do what
- When it will happen
- How you will know you were successful
The final product is your strategic plan!
How you go about it
In order to identify the specific steps the agency must take, begin by thinking backwards from the goal to where you are now, and then identify what is necessary to fill in the gap. Sound familiar? This is exactly what most practitioners do on a regular basis when they develop individual training plans with adult learners. It's the very same concept. This step can be completed by an individual or with others working in a group.
The following questions can help guide your thinking when setting out steps the agency must take to reach it goals.
- Is any specific information required? Is a consultation required? With whom? (Write down, “Gather information about _____”.)
- Is additional professional development required? What kind of training is needed, and how will you offer it?
- Is stakeholder input necessary? How will you obtain that?
- What decisions need to be made and what actions need to be taken?
- Are there new contacts to be made, or partners to be sought?
- Is there a need to prepare information to share with others? What information and in what form?
- Are new tools or documents required?
- What feedback will you seek?
- Is there a need to get approval or buy-in from others? How will you do that?