Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Process

Dr. Raymond uses several strategic planning approaches, including Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (Bryson, 2004) and The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution (LaPiana, 2008) as well as strategic planning tools developed by other nationally prominent authors. The strategic planning process developed for a particular client depends on the client’s needs, preferences, and resources. Ideally, the process is conducted over several months in a series of facilitated planning meetings with additional activities between meetings.The process results in a guiding plan of action for the organization. Goals for the planning process include developing an appropriate strategic plan and increasing the capacity of the organization to effectively conduct and implement planning processes.

A typical planning process (described below) is adapted for each organization based upon, at a minimum, past experiences with strategic planning, assessment of organizational needs and interests, and organizational resources (time, financial, human, etc.). A less intensive planning process can be conducted and still yield useful results, however there is a minimum amount of resources that the organization must be able/willing to commit, otherwise the planning process will not be sufficiently complete.

The Results

Because this is a systematic planning process that utilizes extensive data (both objective and subjective) and includes a monitoring plan, it improves organizational decision-making processes and increases the likelihood of organizational success. Dr. Raymond has conducted this process with organizations that have little or no experience in strategic planning and they have found the process and the resulting plan to be extremely beneficial at focusing the activities of the organization.

Typical Strategic Planning Steps

1.  Identify organizational mandates (informal and formal).

2.  Conduct stakeholder analysis.

  • Identify the individuals and groups that have an influence on the organization.
  • Characterize and assess the nature and status of the relationship between the organization and each of its stakeholders.

3.  Develop (or review) organizational vision, mission, values, and principles statements.

4.  Conduct a situational analysis.

  • Scan the external and internal environments to identify and assess factors that can influence the organization.
  • Gather information on the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Gather information on the challenges and opportunities presented by the external environment.

5. Identify and prioritize strategic goals and priorities.

6. Formulate strategies and action plans to address strategic goals and priorities.

7. Develop a plan for monitoring strategic plan implementation and updating the plan.

Dr. Raymond’s Role

  • Review organizational and other relevant documents.
  • Meet with staff and others for planning activities, including stakeholders.
  • Develop strategic planning meeting agendas (and necessary materials).
  • Facilitate strategic planning meetings.
  • Assist in developing feasible strategies and action plans.
  • Develop the written strategic plan (including review and revision of draft).
  • Assist in implementation and monitoring of the plan, if needed.

Possible Strategic Planning Options
(can be modified based on client needs, preferences, and resources)

Below are two possible options to consider for engaging in strategic reflection and planning.

The first option requires less time and cost and will result in the opportunity to engage in some focused, although limited, strategic planning. The deliverable for this option is a brief strategic plan.

The second option involves more staff and board time and cost but will result in a much more comprehensive review of strategic issues facing the organization. This more comprehensive process will result in a comprehensive strategic plan that provides detailed goals, objectives, and actions for addressing strategic issues identified during the planning process.

Option #1: On-a-shoestring-budget strategic planning

Timeframe for completion: can be completed in one month


  • Review relevant organizational documents
  • Conduct pre-retreat planning meeting with selected staff and board members
  • Facilitate two 1/2-day strategic planning retreats of senior staff and board members
  • Compose a brief strategic plan containing information generated during the planning retreat and including initial action plans
  • Present strategic plan to the board

Option #2: Multi-month comprehensive strategic planning process

Timeframe for completion: several months


  • Review relevant organizational documents
  • Conduct initial planning meeting with selected staff and board members
  • Collect data needed for the planning process
  • Facilitate multiple strategic planning meetings of senior staff and board (two 1/2-day planning retreats as well as additional planning meetings of several hours duration each)
  • Develop a strategic plan (contents finalized based on planning approach selected by client)
  • Present strategic plan to board

For a complimentary consultation, contact Dr. Raymond at 305-774-7056 or