The well written strategic plan performs several important, functional purposes:
- Causes the organization's stakeholders to think about, discuss and put down on paper their goals for the library's future
- Sets measurable, defined and time specific goals
- Allows the board, director, staff, volunteers and customers to know where the organization is going and keeps the director, staff and the board accountable
- Defines what is "success" for that library
You need to define what success looks like. How do we know we are a successful library if we have not defined success?Five-year plans are too long -- if you make no changes, and if the plan simply stays in a file in a cabinet, then it is dead and pretty useless after a few years.
A strategic plan is organic, it is changeable, evaluated and evolved.
How does a Strategic Plan differ from a 5-Year Plan or a Long-Range Plan?
Sets goals for the coming weeks and months
An organic document
Defines the strategy of the library
Steps to a Strategic Plan
- Brainstorm and Dream: Put it all on the table. There are no wrong answers. This will give you insight into where each person sees the library going
- Organize: Take each idea and assign it to a "department" that could include Buildings & Facilities, Staff, Collection, Resources, Outreach, Training, Technology, Programming/Instruction. At this time you are not removing anything from the list. Just organizing.
- Prioritize: This is where you place the items in order of which are going to be the most important in each category.
- Plan: Create goals and objectives and describe how you are going to get there and when you want to arrive. This is where you define the changes you need to make.
- Commit: Everyone involved in the process of implementing this plan must buy in to the plan. They should have had input into the plan and now is the time for them to take ownership of the plan and invest personally into the plan's success
- Implement: Don't waste your time or energy by creating a plan that you cannot or will not implement. Many organizations create a plan just to have a plan. "A plan on the shelf is just shelf paper." -- Berstler
The plan should:
- point you in the right direction
- allow you to make course corrections
- guide you to decisions
- promote the overall goals
[Andrea Berstler. The firstname.lastname@example.org]