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Setting objectives in strategic planning

The task for strategic planners in setting objectives is to engineer the change that is needed to ensure that the organisation is well-positioned for the future and will continue to be viable and relevant to the needs of its stakeholders. Sport and recreation organisations that remain static, when all around them is changing, may find themselves with a difficult and uncertain future.

In setting objectives, strategic planners should consider how the organisation can be developed to improve services, programs, events and facilities

So in setting objectives think about how organisations can be developed through:

Strategic planners need to be mindful of the fact that organisations, in view of their limited resources, may need to carefully consider and to concentrate their efforts on achieving the changes that are most necessary. A strategic plan may be impossible to accomplish if it has a vast and confusing array of objectives. It is often the case that strategic plans are produced with many pages of objectives and strategies. They look impressive but the length and complexity is not a formula for success.

One way that strategic planners can decide upon many competing objectives is to look at:

  1. What changes are most fundamentally needed now for the health of the organisation
  2. What opportunities for change present themselves

Opportunities are often discovered through the SWOT analysis session. Opportunities may arise because individuals with special skills arrive at the right moment (e.g. a builder), or because a new and difficult problem has galvanized members into action, or perhaps because a new source of income had become available.

SWOT sessions are an important method for determining new objectives and that is why it is good to have some individuals in the SWOT team who have experience of strategic planning.

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