The Strategic Planning process is one of the most important parts of my job at Fedcap. It sets the forward direction of the agency. I take pride in the fact that our plans don’t “sit on the shelf.” Our plan drives our work, we live by it, it stretches us, and it evolves to meet the unanticipated environmental demands. Our intent is to implement best practices, resulting in optimal impact.
A good strategic plan is creative and requires research, a deep understanding of the current market and an informed sense of the emerging markets. It involves intentional and well-planned outreach to staff and key stakeholders. It requires synthesis of data, smart direction setting and corporate agility. It’s an exciting process—aspirational and satisfying.
I am convinced our Strategic Plans have accomplished our goals because we understand that structure creates the foundation upon which strategy rests. It is the backdrop against which our strategic initiatives are measured.
Structure translates into:
- Strong and responsive corporate services operating at optimal level—human resources, finance, technology, procurement, legal and facilities.
- Measurement and Analysis: Understanding our impact is foundational to success. At Fedcap, we employ a process that results in Metrics That Matter—our agency wide system for analyzing outcome data as compared to contract requirements, national trends, and our own goals. MTM drives our ongoing quality improvement efforts; we are continuously honing what and how we measure.
- Frequent communication: Communication to both internal and external stakeholders is an important piece of our strategy. Our bi-annual financial and programmatic release is a cornerstone of our communication to stakeholders. Our strategic plan is the basis for orienting new employees to the organization. It is also disseminated and reinforced on a regular basis, for example, serving as the backdrop to our internal, year-long Leadership Academy and as the impetus for our bi-annual and much-acclaimed Solution Series.
- Ongoing Discovery and Research: A strong strategic plan is fluid and evolves based on continuous learning and predictions of changes in existing markets and the discovery of emerging markets. While this may seem like guesswork, it is at its core—educated and informed guesswork.
- Accountability: Strategy combined with accountability is the secret sauce of success. Metrics that Matter, daily data dashboards, and our quarterly “Corporate Week,” drives agency leaders toward aggregate and granular analysis of our outcomes and our impact.
As we close in on the end of our 2020 plan, and begin to design our 2025 direction, these elements of strategic planning success are in the forefront of our thinking.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.