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Creating the right strategy process for your organisation

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Do you need a new strategy?

Whether you need a new strategy or not depends on how well your current strategy is working.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Does it still describe your purpose well?
  • Can you use it to make good decisions?
  • Does the direction described still feel right for the world around you, especially if there has been a lot of change?
  • Have you grown or become smaller?
  • Are your relationships with other organisations changing?
  • How much have your sources of income changed?

Asking these questions will help you decide whether it is the right time to develop a new strategy.

You may decide your vision and mission are still right, but the goals that sit beneath need to change. Or that your values don’t feel right any longer. You can pick and choose the parts of your strategy that you need to work on.

A change in leadership can also lead to a review of your strategy.

Considering the scale of your strategy development process

Developing a strategy can take a lot of time and energy, but it doesn’t have to. How much work you put in will depend on these questions:

  • What do you want to look at in your strategy development? For example, are you planning to review your vision and mission, or do they still feel right?
  • How many people do you want to engage and involve?
  • How much time and support are you able to find?
  • How quickly do you need to work? Do you have a fixed deadline?

Make sure you have time and resources for both the strategy development process and to carry out changes that will result.

Decide who will plan and run your strategy development process. This could be a small team including staff, trustees and volunteers.

Having someone to champion your strategy process can be very helpful. This person will encourage others to get involved and reflect on how things are going as you move through the process.

Overview of the strategy development process

Developing a strategy will involve the following steps.

1. Set the direction of your organisation. In order to make decisions, you first need to be clear on the future you want to contribute to and what you want to achieve.

2. Understand your landscape and conditions. How you make change will be influenced by the world around you as well as your strengths. Understanding both are important for making good decisions.

3. Make good decisions. With a clear direction in mind and an understanding of your landscape and conditions, you can then make decisions about what you will focus on.

4. Document your strategy. Once you’ve made decisions, you’ll need to document your strategy in order to communicate it and plan your activities.

5. Put your strategy into action. With a strategy in place, you can plan the steps you’ll take (and set priorities and objectives) so everyone understands their role.

6. Evaluate and adjust your strategy. It’s important to check how you’re doing against your strategy to understand what’s working well and what you may need to do differently.

Selecting the tools that are right for you

There are a number of tools that can help you understand your landscape and conditions and make decisions. You can access the tools we share in this section. These can be used by organisations of all sizes.

Each tool describes how it can be used so you can decide what resources you have available, and select tools to meet your organisation’s needs.

Last reviewed: 04 July 2022

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 04 July 2022

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