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Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning. Day 1. Presented by Eileen Flanagan & Marcia Nedland On behalf of NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal. Introductions:. At your table: Introduce yourself Share ONE expectation for the workshop

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Presented by eileen flanagan marcia nedland on behalf of nys division of housing community renewal

Presented by Eileen Flanagan & Marcia Nedland

On behalf of NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal


  • At your table:

    • Introduce yourself

    • Share ONE expectation for the workshop

    • Each table will then share the TOP THREE expectations during report out

Training objectives
Training Objectives

  • Connections

  • Six Steps

  • Design a Needs Assessment plan

  • Specific data sources, tools & techniques

  • Plan formats & options

  • Tools & new ideas

  • DHCR requirements


Day 1

Opening Session

Overview: DHCR Requirements

Needs Assessment

Designing approach

Six steps

Practice finding data and interpreting data

Common Pitfalls

Day 2

Recap & questions

Strategic Planning

Seven components

Plan Critique

DHCR Requirements


Ground rules
Ground Rules

  • Be on time

  • Participate actively, don’t monopolize

  • Speak one at a time

  • TURN OFF your Cell Phone

  • No side orders, please

  • Ask hard questions

  • Have fun

Dhcr requirements needs assessment
DHCR Requirements: Needs Assessment

Answer at least these major questions:

What housing is needed (based on conditions)?

What customer services are needed?

What community renewal activities are needed?

Dhcr requirements strategic plan
DHCR Requirements: Strategic Plan

3-year plan that includes:

  • Summary of needs assessment

  • Mission

  • Outcomes, measures of success and report on results since last application

  • Strategic goals

  • Programs and services

  • Production goals

  • Resources and potential partners

Strategic planning
Strategic Planning

What are some attributes of a useful strategic plan?

Write 2-3 thoughts, each on a separate index card.

Each thought should be only a few words.

Write BIG!

Use marker if you have one.

Strategic planning1
Strategic Planning

What are some attributes of a useful strategic plan?



Explains what you are going to do and why

Management tool

Basis for measuring success

Process develops clarity and alignment

Strategic planning2
Strategic Planning

What are some attributes of a useful strategic plan?

Keeps you focused on outcomes

Tests, affirms, corrects and codifies intuition and theory of change

Keeps you attuned to market forces and customer attitudes

Phases of planning and components of a plan document

Phases of Planningand Components of a Plan Document

Phases of strategic planning
Phases of Strategic Planning




Components of the plan document
Components of the Plan Document

7. Resources

6. Production Goals

5. Programs and Services

4. Strategic Goals

3. Outcomes and Measures

2. Mission

1. Summary of Needs Assessment

Phases of strategic planning1
Phases of Strategic Planning






Needs assessment1
Needs Assessment

  • Systematic

  • Gap Analysis

  • External Environment

  • Opportunities & Threats

Current State


Desired State

Updating an existing plan
Updating an Existing Plan

  • Review existing plans

  • Decide outcomes for next/new plan

  • Decide what parts to update

  • Customize your approach

Outside help
Outside Help?

  • Help with what?

  • Be clear about needs

  • Look for resources – internally, externally

Organizing the process
Organizing the Process

  • Existing studies

  • Budget & time line

  • Resources

  • Assign tasks & accountability



Needs Assessment Plan

Needs Assessment Summary

Six steps to a useful needs assessment

Six Steps to a Useful Needs Assessment

Six steps
Six Steps

  • General Trends

  • Intuition = Questions

  • Data Collection

  • Refine Questions

  • Data Analysis

  • Data Interpretation & use

Tips before you get started

Tips before you get started…

Know your geography

Tips before you get started2

Tips before you get started…

No data is perfect

Tips before you get started3

Tips before you get started…

Look at the whole picture

Tips before you get started4

Tips before you get started…

Don’t get lost in the data

Step 1 general trends

Step 1: General Trends

Let other people work for you

How do you stay informed1
How do you stay informed?

  • Knowledgeplex

  • Enterprise Community Partners

  • NeighborWorks America


  • Realtors & Home Builders

  • Government RSS feeds

  • SONH

Step 2 intuition questions

Step 2: Intuition = Questions

Value what you thinkyou know, test it.

Use what you know ask questions
Use what you know, ask questions

  • Use your knowledge to frame your questions.

  • Customers: Who? Needs? Where?

  • Competition: Who? What? Similarities/Differences

  • Market size?

  • Changes in market?


Turn your intuition into research questions

Turn your intuition into research questions

Write down 2-3 research questions that would test your assumptions – page 34

Tab 8 resources
Tab 8: Resources

  • Page 104: Common Research Questions

Step 3 data collection

Step 3: Data Collection

Data is only useful if it answers your questions

Data sources
Data Sources

  • Brain storm data source ideas

  • Primary vs. Secondary data

  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative

  • In-house customer data

Needs assessment and strategic planning

Step 4 refine your questions

Step 4: Refine your questions

Data collection often adds new questions

Refining questions
Refining Questions

  • Do data collection, don’t over-do data collection

  • Time frame for collection – initial, review, revise needs, collect

Step 5 data analysis

Step 5: Data Analysis

Figure out what is meaningful about the data – usually in relation to your questions

Analysis gives context and meaning to data
Analysis gives context and meaning to data…

  • Comparisons – geographic (peers, regions)

  • Change over time

  • Spread, range & central tendencies

  • Visual tools – maps, charts, graphs

  • Tab 8: Page 108

Step 6 data interpretation use

Step 6: Data Interpretation & Use

This is the “so what?” phase

Have we learned anything that changes what we believed
Have we learned anything that changes what we believed?

  • Strengthen:

    • Program design

    • Service/product mix

    • Implementation

    • Delivery techniques

    • Marketing & outreach

Needs assessment and strategic planning


Summary of Needs Assessment


1 summary of needs assessment
1: Summary of Needs Assessment

The point of this component is to give the reader an understanding of the market forces that are influencing your decisions throughout the rest of the plan document.


1 options for organization
1: Options for Organization

Lead with standard categories 1 2 3 4

Lead with research questions ? ? ? ?

Lead with findings ! ! ! !

Lead with SWOT

Lead with Stories


1 review
1: Review


1 review1
1: Review


1 review2
1: Review


Common pitfalls of needs assessment
Common Pitfalls of Needs Assessment

  • Lots of data, no idea what to do with it

  • Starting from scratch

  • Done without linking efforts

  • Surveys…not the only primary source

  • Do it to prove it!

  • Do it only for the funder

  • Overwhelmed by data