IFA Strategic Long-Range Planning Overall Approach
Ideas for Action LLC, has found that regardless of size or infrastructure, organizations of all types benefit from having a strategic long-range plan and planning process that links decisions about timeless mission, long-term direction, mid-range goals and operational priorities in a cohesive, repeatable process.
The IFA model is based on the balance between what doesn’t change –timeless core purpose and core values, and the vision that drives change – what the organization seeks to be or become within a 10-30 year horizon, a big goal and a vivid description. This approach balances that vision with a set of assumptions about the relevant 5-10 year future environment. These statements, (which also serve as annual calibration points), predict future conditions and critical uncertainties impacting the organization and its stakeholders, and serve as a basis for developing 3-5 year mid-range goals, which articulate measurable outcomes, along with barriers that the organization may face in seeking those outcomes. Finally, an organization must have an effective annual operational planning process that specifies how discretionary resources (people, dollars, time) are to be allocated in order to make progress toward the organization’s vision.
We also strongly recommend an annual review of the long-range plan, identifying changes in the relevant environment, reaffirming direction, and evaluating progress.