SDS Consulting is skilled in supporting organisations in assessing and articulating their strategies. Our understanding of our client’s needs is rooted in careful analysis and an awareness of the socio-cultural context of their work. We work together with our clients in participative processes to help them think through longer-term objectives and plan for resilient programming despite a changing environment.
WHAT IS A STRATEGIC PLANNING?
Strategic planning is an organisational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organisation’s direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organisation is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organisation is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.
WHAT IS A STRATEGIC PLAN?
A strategic plan is a document used to communicate the organizations goals, the actions needed to achieve those goals and all the other critical elements developed during the planning exercise.
DEVELOPING STRATEGIC PLANS
SDS supports its clients throughout the development of multi-annual strategies for entire organisations or individual programmes. We do this through facilitation of brainstorming sessions, workshops, and stakeholder consultations. Throughout the drafting process, synthesize inputs from multiple sources, and support the development of implementation and accountability plans. We have experience in working with clients on multi-annual strategic plans, as well as advocacy, fundraising or communication strategies. In all these instances, we make sure to connect the plans to M&E systems, collaboration tools, the Theory of Change and existing or future work plans.
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
SDS is aware that a strategic planning process requires considerable participatory thought and planning. SDS ensures that many possible options are considered before settling on a plan of action and determining how to strategically implement it. In the end, an organisation will settle on a strategy that is most likely to produce positive and that can be executed in a cost-efficient manner with a high likelihood of success, while avoiding undue financial risk. The development and execution of strategic planning are typically viewed as consisting of being performed in three critical steps:
Strategy Formulation – In the process of formulating a strategy, SDS will first assess an organisation’s current situation by performing an internal and external audit. The purpose of this is to help identify the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis). As a result of the analysis, SDS focuses on how to best allocate the company’s resources.
Strategy Implementation – After a strategy is formulated, SDS in collaboration with the client, establish specific targets or goals related to putting the strategy into action, and allocate resources for the strategy’s execution. The success of the implementation stage is often determined by how well the chosen strategy is clearly communicated throughout the company and getting all its employees to “buy into” the desire to put the strategy into action. SDS understands that effective strategy implementation involves developing a solid structure, or framework, for implementing the strategy, maximizing the utilization of relevant resources, and redirecting marketing efforts in line with the strategy’s goals and objectives.
Strategy Evaluation – It is important for organisations to evaluate the performance of a chosen strategy after the implementation phase. Strategy evaluation involves three crucial activities: reviewing the internal and external factors affecting the implementation of the strategy, measuring performance, and taking corrective steps to make the strategy more effective.