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Demystifying the Strategic Planning Process. Arthur H. Wolf MPMA Conference Taos, NM September 21, 2006. WHAT is Strategic Planning?. Strategic Planning is the way in which an organization: Agrees on a vision of where it wants to go and what it wants to achieve

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demystifying the strategic planning process

Demystifying the Strategic Planning Process

Arthur H. Wolf

MPMA Conference

Taos, NM

September 21, 2006

what is strategic planning
WHAT is Strategic Planning?
  • Strategic Planning is the way in which an organization:
    • Agrees on a vision of where it wants to go and what it wants to achieve
    • Ensures the vision meets the needs of its audiences and community
    • Ensures that it identifies the resources needed to fulfill the vision
    • Allows sound decision-making in response to changes in environment

aam expectations
AAM Expectations
  • Lack of institutional planning is among the leading causes of tabling motions in accreditation decisions
  • An accreditable museum engages in current, comprehensive, timely, and formal planning for its future
  • A wide range of formats and nomenclature is acceptable

some other plans
Some Other Plans
  • Master Plans relate to longer term consideration for development of facilities, finances and program expansion over periods of up to ten years
  • Annual Plans are the work plans that tie to annual budgets and support larger strategic objectives
  • Implementation Plans are specific operational plans made to achieve parts of Annual or Strategic Plans

why do strategic planning
WHY do Strategic Planning?
  • Focus and reaffirm your Mission
  • Define your Vision for the future
  • Review and affirm (or not) your existing or proposed programs
  • Educate and involve your Board, Staff, Volunteers and Community
  • Define and prioritize Goals, Strategic Objectives and Action Plans

who needs to do strategic planning
WHO needs to do Strategic Planning?
  • Any museum that is responsive to challenges, sees opportunities, and wants to serve its stakeholders
  • Any museum that wants or needs to sustain its operations in the future
  • Any museum that needs to change in order to survive
  • Any museum that wants to attain AAM accreditation
  • Any museum that doesn’t have a plan

aligning emma




Thanks To Will Phillips






the process
The Process
  • Must set goals and establish strategies to achieve them in support of Mission/Vision
  • Must assign resources and responsibilities for each strategy
  • Needs to suit your timetable
  • Can be intensive or extensive
  • Can be inclusive or exclusive
  • Will need to be iterative
  • Requires commitment of all involved
  • Can require $$ as well as time

getting started
Getting Started
  • Who needs to be involved?
    • Consider your size, location, history and reasons for planning
    • Consider who can help you the most
    • Consider who can create barriers to your success
    • Consider whether you can do it all internally or need help with facilitation and coordination

getting started10
Getting Started
  • What is your timetable?
    • Are you updating a prior plan?
    • Are you contemplating major change?
    • Do you need to coordinate the plan with your annual budget process?
    • Are there external pressures?
    • Can you maintain your current operation while you are planning?

getting started11
Getting Started
  • Formalize the process
    • Propose a timetable with individual responsibilities, specific events and activities and expected results
    • Obtain Board approval and support for the timetable and process
    • Engage stakeholders
    • Document both the process and product
    • Obtain Board approval for the plan
    • Implement through annual budgets
    • Build in periodic reviews and updates

know yourself first
Know Yourself First
  • Compile what you know about your museum and audience needs
    • Benchmarking data from annual operations and comparisons to others
    • Results of listening sessions, focus groups, formal interviews, and surveys
    • Formal self-assessments or external assessments

know yourself and others first
Know Yourself (and Others)First
  • Compile what you don’t know about your museum or what is to come
    • Look at local, regional and national trends
    • Look at community needs assessments
    • Review what you do know
    • List what you perceive are unknowns about the future
    • Identify issues for consideration

start with what works best
Start With What Works Best
  • Evaluate which processes, programs, and products work the best in all respects (part of self-assessment)
  • Consider why they are successful
  • Put everything else on the table for discussion

sample process
Sample Process
  • Data gathering and analysis including interviews and focus groups
  • Initial Board retreat- re-affirms Mission and initial Vision for 3-5 years
  • Communication of results
  • Initial draft of Goals and Strategic Objectives
  • Board and Staff discussions and work sessions
  • Assessment of needed resources and responsibilities for their development
  • Final draft of Goals and Strategic Objectives presented for Board discussion
  • Final Plan Presented to Board for approval
  • Communication of Plan to stakeholders
  • Implementation within annual budgets

sample goals and objectives
Sample Goals and Objectives
  • Goal 1: Programs
    • Objective: Expansion of services
  • Goal 2: Collections
    • Objective: Increase in collections care
  • Goal 3: Facility
    • Objective: Planning for expansion
  • Goal 4: Financial
    • Objective: Identification of new revenues
  • Goal 5: Organizational Development
    • Objective: Initiate Succession Planning

tools to use
Tools to Use
  • Teamwork and Outside Help
    • Charter committees to review and assess specific issues relating to Goals and Strategies (Internal and External)
    • Commission studies if needed
  • Look at other Plans
    • AAM Information Center
    • Other Community Organizations
    • Museums in other markets

tools to use18
Tools to Use
  • Organizational Relationships Matrix
    • Program Partners
    • Funding or Sponsorship Partners
    • Training and Development Partners
    • Contracting Partners
  • Decision-making matrices
    • Identify tasks and responsibilities
    • Identify ultimate responsibilities
    • Delegate responsibility

tools to use19
Tools to Use
  • Inspirational/Aspirational
    • BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals
    • STEP Program – Survive, Thrive, Excel, Persist
    • VPC Factor – Vision, Passion, Commitment among stakeholders

sample annual measurements
Sample Annual Measurements
  • Quantitative – numerical counts of what you consider important
  • Qualitative
    • Plans in place and updated
    • Budgets managed to expectations
    • Annual goals accomplished
    • Board/Executive Evaluation
    • Surveys
    • Press and Awards

measures of greatness
Measures of Greatness
  • Superior Performance
    • Achieve and surpass annual goals
  • Distinctive Impact
    • Community recognition and inspiration
  • Lasting Endurance
    • Sustained high performance and growth of programs and people

See Jim Collins’ Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005

why planning fails
Why Planning Fails
  • Ignorance of stakeholder needs and interests
  • Poor organization of the process
  • Unclear expectations
  • Undefined roles and responsibilities
  • Unrealistic and unsustainable goals and objectives
  • Complacency regarding implementation
  • No mechanism for review and renewal

the main thing
  • The Main Thing is to keep your Main Thing your Main Thing