Tribal members often don’t understand or engage in their leadership’s efforts to tackle economic, social, and cultural challenges.
A robust strategic planning process provides an opportunity for tribal leaders to articulate their plans and tribal members to help prioritize challenges and develop solutions. When done well, the planning process can be just as important as the resulting plan. It can help tribes achieve greater understanding and support of their strategic plan, improving the likelihood of its success.
Planning Process Considerations
There are several key elements of an effective strategic planning process.
Incorporating inputs and feedback will help structure a plan responsive to community needs.
- Inputs inform front-end plan considerations of mission, vision, and community needs.
- Feedback refines plan priorities, goals, and strategies once plan elements have been developed.
Another key to creating a successful strategic plan is incorporating input from the council, management, staff, and tribal members. Council and management participation can be achieved through initial interviews and subsequent planning sessions. Secure online surveys and public workshops can help promote staff and tribal member engagement. Gaining diverse perspectives can provide valuable insights while helping to increase plan buy-in, a critical component to implementation success.
If key elements of a strategic plan aren’t communicated to stakeholders clearly, the plan can’t serve as an effective management tool. Preparing a plan summary can help those involved better understand, track progress on, and manage the plan’s implementation.
A comprehensive strategic plan encompasses the following components:
- Mission and core values
- Long-range vision
- Long- and short-term goals
- Historical review and analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)
- Community needs
- Annual action steps
- Key performance indicators
Strategic plans often fall short of expectations when they lack the detail needed to guide implementation. While most plans address mission, vision, goals, and objectives, many omit action steps and key performance indicators, including measures of:
- Outcomesimpact of services provided
- Outputquantity of services provided
- Efficiencycost or quantity of services per full time equivalent or capita
Effective strategic plans also include a discussion of factors and events that define the tribe’s situation and clear steps to create the desired changes.
Pulling It All Together
If your staff and members are involved in the strategic planning process, then they’ll be more likely to understand, endorse, and help implement the plan.
We’re Here to Help
For more information on how to improve your organization’s strategic planning process, contact your Moss Adams professional.