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Strategic Planning Process: An Overview

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1 Strategic Planning Process: An Overview
As we discussed in previous slides, strategic planning is a process which involves a number of successive steps. It is a long and resource intensive process. It requires a number of policy dialogues, planning meetings, and advocacy meeting.

2 Learning Objectives Identify and understand the strategic planning process steps Understand the interdependence and importance of sequencing of the process steps By the end of this session, participants will be able to Identify and understand the strategic planning process Understand the interdependence and importance of sequencing of the process steps

3 Planning to Plan Take stock of planning environment Gain commitment
Form a planning team Define the planning task The first step in the strategic planning process is “planning to plan.” We need to get organized before we start a long and expensive strategic planning process. We need to take a stock of the planning environment in order to be more efficient and responsive. You will be able to react more quickly to situations and problems as they arise if you can anticipate them. Commitment of the leaders and top management is a must for the planning process to be successful. We should form a multi-sectoral planning team that will be responsible for creating the strategic plan. A multisectoral team should represent the government (MOH, MOF, MOE, MOP), donors, commercial sector, NGOs, community, and so forth. These team members should have expertise, commitment and time to conduct the planning process. It is always good to make everyone aware of the planning task and what it involves. Also, the strategic planning process should be situation specific and government should take a lead in it.

4 Process Steps A long-term funded strategic plan Strategy
Implementation Strategy Development Strategic planning involves four main steps: identifying the sector's goals and objectives, understanding the existing situation, developing a comprehensive and feasible strategy for achieving this goal, and integrating this strategy into the operation of the sector and monitoring and evaluating the performance on a continuous basis (Refer to the flip charts on strategic planning concepts and terms and process map.) Planning is the process of Identifying the sector’s stated goal and objectives, based on this assessment. Prioritization of needs is an important component of setting a goal. Assessing the current situation in order to identify and understand critical RH needs, the prevailing service environment, and program requirements. Developing a strategy to overcome prevailing problems and achieve desired goal. A strategy/strategic approach can have a number of strategic interventions. Integrating this strategy into the operations of a program or system by breaking them down into specific activities and assigning roles and responsibilities. All these steps lead to a long-term funded strategic plan. The formulation of the plan is a continuous cycle of improvement. Situation Analysis Clarification/Development of Goal and Objectives

5 Clarification/Development of Goal and Objectives
Assessing the current goal Developing a goal Determining quantified objectives Goal clarification/development involves three tasks: Assessing the current goal. Developing a goal. If we are not satisfied with the current goal, we develop a new goal or modify the current goal. In case no goal is specified, we develop a new goal. We need to conduct the stakeholder analysis for the clarification and development of the goal. Stakeholder meetings help determine what is important to us based on data and analysis; in other words, what we want to achieve. Once the broad goal is clear, we need to determine quantified objectives to achieve the goal. These objectives are established on the basis of an analysis of historical data. Various methods such as trend extrapolation can be used to analyze the historical data and project for the future. Stakeholder Analysis, Trend Extrapolation

6 System Diagnosis Model/SWOT Analysis
Assessing environmental and internal components Identifying factors responsible for the current situation A situation analysis looks specifically at situations that may be relevant to the RH sector including the factors that are responsible for the current level of performance. Since the analysis explains the current situation, it helps to identify opportunities for changing that situation. We can use the system diagnosis model and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis for understanding the current situation. We also use various methods such as root-cause analysis and ranking of identified factors to identify critical factors for strategy formulation. Root-cause analysis helps determine the critical factors responsible for the current level of performance. We will talk about these techniques in the session on strategy development. We will talk about these methods in greater detail in Session 6. System Diagnosis Model/SWOT Analysis Root-cause Analysis

7 Strategy Development Brainstorm
Review experiences of other countries/locales Developing alternative strategies using identified factors Selecting a strategy for implementation Feasibility analysis Cost-benefit estimate Strategy development involves Developing alternative strategies using factors identified under system diagnosis. Brainstorming and reviewing experiences of other countries/locales) are used for developing strategic alternatives. Selecting a strategy for implementation. We conduct a feasibility assessment and use cost-benefit estimates for selecting a strategy. We will talk about the feasibility assessment in the session on strategy development.

8 Strategy Implementation
Developing an action plan Preparing a financial plan Mobilizing resources Designing a monitoring and evaluation system Implementation of a strategy involves Developing an action plan and specify results Developing financial plan Identifying funding sources and mobilizing resources Designing a monitoring and evaluation system We use different tools and methods, such as budgeting, Gantt chart, and resource requirement matrix, to develop an action plan. We will talk about these tools and techniques in the session on strategy implementation. Budgeting, Gantt chart

9 Strategic Planning Steps
How do we measure our progress? How do we get there? Where we want to be is determined by identifying a goal and key objectives. How we get there is determined through a strategy or strategic approach. The strategy needs to be comprehensive so we can have a number of interventions to implement the strategy. The strategy represents our strategic approach and directs us toward the achievement of the goal. A specific action plan will identify the right people doing the right things at the right time in the right way. How we measure our progress is determined through establishing a monitoring and evaluation process that reviews program outcomes, budgets, resource controls, and reporting systems against predetermined benchmarks; for example: Budget against actual expenditures Quantitative benchmarks against actual program output/outcomes Where do we want to be?

10 How Do We Stay Strategic?
Reevaluate opportunities Scan the environment Ask critical questions Open lines of communication Take corrective actions A common misconception is that when your strategic plan is adopted, your planning is complete. A better view is when your plan is adopted, a new phase of planning has begun. Remember that implementing the plan, monitoring progress, making midcourse corrections, and updating your plan are all part of the strategic planning process. We can stay strategic by Reevaluating opportunities: environment is very dynamic and unpredictable. We need to continuously look for opportunities. Scanning the environment: it helps identify emerging threats and opportunities Asking critical questions: for example, before allocating resources for any intervention, we should evaluate how this intervention is going to help in the achievement of set objectives. Opening lines of communication: we should initiate multisectoral dialogues and communication between different levels. Taking corrective actions on a continuous basis.

11 Summary Being strategic means Looking for the impact Being analytical
Making choices Applying judgment Being strategic means looking for the impact. Always link activities and inputs to goals. See the big picture Develop a vision Involve an array of stakeholders Be analytical, encourage information-based decision making, and make choices: Choices come from inherent limitations on resources: program effort is limited, and financial resources are limited. Apply judgment. We should always propose realistic and feasible strategic interventions and activities. We need to apply judgment regarding the implementability. We will talk about the clarification/development of goal in the next presentation.

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