Managing an association is just like running a small business. Your association will soon begin the annual budget planning process. This year in addition to the budget we will also be adding strategic planning. What does that mean, and what will be happening? Simply stated, strategic planning is a process we use to determine where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. Every successful business has a plan and vision for the long and short future. Creating a plan includes these steps:
- Assessing our current position. We will identify our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Knowing where we are now will help get us where we want to be in the future.
- Identifying our purpose. This will become our “mission statement.” For example, “Our association exists to ensure the highest possible quality of life for all residents.”
- Setting goals that identify what we need to achieve the mission. Our goals will be specific and measurable, and will provide an indication of how we’re doing as we progress. We will try to adopt three goals for 2019.
- Deciding how to meet our goals. We may have to allocate resources, create committees, or undertake other tasks to achieve our goals.
- Developing an action plan. Each step will require a specific action plan. For example, if a committee is needed, who will serve, exactly what tasks will be assigned, and when will the results be needed?
- Monitoring and updating our plan. We’ll review the strategic plan regularly. If we learn that our earlier ideas and goals were shortsighted or uninformed, we’ll update accordingly.
- Sharing the outcome of our goals. At the annual meeting we will communicate the process of the planning session, the goals that were set and the progress and/or outcome for each goal.
Completing this goal setting process will aid us in the creation of the budget as well. With a clear road map, we can more accurately assign association funds to meet our goals. Since this process with take some extra time, please plan for the fall board budgeting meeting to be extended by an additional 30 minutes. Thank you for being an involved and engaged board member. We look forward to creating a vision for the future with you.