Planning: How will we get there?


USSA Clubs can use this simple map for mapping out and implementing a strategic plan annually. The Board of Directors (or equivalent) is responsible for initiating and driving this process.

May/June: Host leadership retreat or workshop

  1. Discuss organizational life cycle.
  2. Perform SWOT analysis.
  3. Get input from parents and athletes. (other key constituents?)
  4. Analyze organizational, athletic and community results from the previous season.

July: Draft strategic objectives

  1. Make a comprehensive list, with input from board, staff, parents, etc. of all the things you have been talking about as initiatives for club improvement. This is the time to brainstorm all the things the club should do.
  2. Categorize the strategic objectives.
    1. Consistent with existing committee, organizational or program structures. OR
    2. Create some strategic structure (such as):
      1. Overall organizational objectives
      2. Board development objectives
      3. Leadership and staffing objectives
      4. Programming and athletic objectives
      5. Facilities and equipment objectives.

August: Finalize, prioritize and consider factors for all strategic objectives

  1. Board and staff leaders review the comprehensive strategic objectives and further consider the following factors for each objective:
    1. Collaborative/Political
    2. Organizational Capacity
    3. Financial/Budget.
  2. Prioritize and organize the list into one year, three year, and five or more year objectives based on the factors considered above.
  3. Review the final objectives and make sure they are drafted SMART
    1. Specific
    2. Measurable
    3. Action – oriented
    4. Realistic
    5. Timed.
  4. Formally approve (Board or equivalent) final objectives now categorized, prioritized and timed.

September: Solicit feedback from constituents, budget, and delegate

  1. Create a list of 10-20 key constituents and strategic partnerss.
    1. Local municipality leaders, town council member(s), County Commissioner
    2. Key advisors with institutional knowledge and history
    3. No less than three patrons or users, such as parents or clients
    4. No less than your top three donors
    5. Board members of main strategic partners
    6. Resort leadership/owners
    7. Local school representatives
  2. Delegate board, staff, key volunteers to contact list above with the following script: Script: Our club has initiated a strategic planning process. Here is a list (present the finalized spreadsheet of strategic objectives after board has reviewed, considered and approved in August) of strategic objectives the board (or equivalent) and organization are considering. Point each constituent to parts of the strategic plan where you have interaction with them or they are likely to have interest (for example, schools might be most interested in more rec or after school programming and goals, or academic support for athletes missing school). These objectives have already been considered and approved by the board/organization and we are now looking for input and feedback from our partners and constituents in the community. We also want our partners and constituents to better understand our plans and help identify available resources, collaborations, and general community support and awareness regarding where we are heading as an organization. We will be taking this feedback into consideration and plan to draft an official and public strategic plan prior to the start of the 2013-2014 winter season. 
  3. Taking into account community feedback from constituents, revamp and finalize strategic objectives and further identify the collaborative/political, organizational capacity, and financial/budget factors for each objective. Identify existing resources, potential collaborations, and more specific timelines for each objective.
  4. Begin integrating projected financial and budget information for each objective.
  5. Specify board or staff leadership and accountability for each objective.

October: Finalize objectives and specifics and plan for both internal and public formats

  1. Merge (in spreadsheet or draft plan)
    1. Strategic objectives
    2. Primary considerations for each/most important feedback from the community
    3. Staff or board leader for each – delegation
    4. Tasks
    5. Strategies
    6. Goals (for each objective, the specific step-by-step goals per that objective)
    7. Timelines
    8. Strategic budget projections
  2. Determine what is the easiest, most cost effective and most user-friendly way for your Club to draft this strategic plan for public use and internal use (may be separate).

Early November:

  1. Finalize, print (or equivalent) and distribute strategic plan both externally and internally.
  2. Make sure plan goes to all constituents, especially those who gave input.

Late November - April:

  1. Follow up and solicit on going feedback
  2. Continued implementation of strategic plan objective, goals and tasks
  3. Accountability regarding objectives, goals, responsibilities and timelines


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