Strategic and operating plans that clearly establish your priorities—and work for your organization
Strategic Planning is the most popular tool businesses and nonprofits use for defining their direction. Guided by the organization's mission and approved by its board, the strategic plan serves as a compass for making decisions.
Successful strategic plans, those that get used, fit the needs of the organization and are readily accessible. They are simple enough that those involved see the relationship of the key strategies to the mission; they're focused enough to provide a consistent direction; yet they're broad enough to allow management some leeway in making operational decisions.
“We were too caught up in the present to focus on the future. Now that we’ve made a plan, everything is falling into place—including the finances.”
For nonprofits, approving the strategic plan is technically a function of the board. The level of staff participation in the development of the plan varies widely, but most organizations recognize the value of including the staff (and, sometimes, constituents).
Oliver Tessier & Associates will propose a strategic planning process that can be customized to your needs and resources. We will then manage the agreed-upon process, facilitate planning meetings, and make recommendations for a well-balanced plan with measurable outcomes. If you choose, we will draft the final form of the plan in presentation and distribution formats.
The operating plan, or the annual business plan, is management's statement of the specific steps it will take in a given time period to support the direction set by the strategic plan.
Ideally, the operating plan is management's first step in defining its goals for the next fiscal year. That plan becomes the guideline on which the annual operating budget is based, and it includes the indicators by which management performance will be measured.
Once a structure is designed for the annual planning and budget process, it is easily integrated into routine operations, promoting awareness of planning and evaluation throughout all activities.
Oliver Tessier & Associates will help you develop a template for annual operating plans that you can use and refine each year. We are prepared to coordinate the work of participants in the planning process and to make recommendations that ensure the operating plan directly supports the strategic plan.
The degree to which Oliver Tessier & Associates is involved in your planning depends on you: for some clients, we do everything from the preliminary research to drafting the plan; for others we simply outline the process, facilitate the planning sessions, and provide a summary.