Six Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Strategic Planning Process

by Amarachi Kejeh

amarachi kejeh may 2024 headshot

I love dreaming BIG…and so do most organizations! However, dreaming BIG for our organizations also requires us to think DEEP about the process we use.

Here are six essential questions to ponder deeply before kicking off your next strategic planning process:

WHY?
This speaks to our intentions and priorities:

  • Why are we looking to develop a strategic plan at this time?
  • What does success look like to us?
  • What are ‘must-haves’ vs. ‘nice-to-haves’?

WHO?
This speaks to the participants:

  • Who on our team should support this process (and what are their responsibilities)?
  • Who should provide input and/or co-develop this plan (internally and externally)?
  • Who reviews and approves the strategic plan?

WHAT?
This speaks to resources and activities:

  • What resources do we have available to support this process (e.g. budgets, tools, networks)?
  • What constraints do we face (e.g. limitations, risks)?
  • In what ways do we engage our stakeholders (internally and externally)?

WHEN?
This speaks to timelines:

  • When does our strategic plan need to cover (e.g. 3, 4, 5 years)?
  • When do we aim to complete our strategic plan?
  • How much time do we realistically need to do this well?

WHERE?
This speaks to locations and logistics:

  • Where will our activities be held (e.g. in-person, virtual, hybrid)?
  • Where would we communicate to our stakeholders (e.g. emails, socials, events)?
  • How will we ensure accessibility for all participants (e.g. physical and tech)?

HOW?
This speaks to monitoring and implementation:

  • How will we obtain the resources and support needed for implementation?
  • How will we monitor progress with our strategic plan?
  • How will we stay nimble and adapt our strategic plan as needed?

As you can see, running a strategic planning process requires a lot of DEEP thinking. The decisions we make will impact our people and shape our long-term direction. As a result, we should be very intentional about our strategic planning process.

By addressing these six questions, you are on your way to dreaming BIG well!

About Amarachi Kejeh

Amarachi Kejeh (MBA, FP&A) is an award-winning strategy consultant and educator. Her DIY Strategic Plan program helps nonprofits develop their strategic plan like a pro—at 10% of consulting fees.

She has had the privilege of working with dozens of organizations—from agriculture and education, to health care, humanitarian aid and more—across North America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. 

Her program offers a triple win: save costs, learn with your team, and walk away with a strategic plan that works. That’s a win, win, win! 

Learn more at www.amarachikejeh.com/diystrategicplan