Having worked with some of the most successful schools in the world -- from North America to Australia -- I noticed they have one thing in common: A great strategic plan. Strategic planning isn’t just for businesses and non-profits. Any school with a mission to succeed in the best educational interests of their students must have a plan to get there.
A strategic plan helps a school define what it intends to achieve when it comes to their student success objectives and organizational goals. A combination of good planning and communication will ensure that all stakeholders including parents, teachers, administrators, principals, board members and community are all striving for the same goals. Successful strategic plan implementation requires proper management of budgetary and time resources, the creation of high-output teams and the consistent monitoring of all progress.
Here are 7 reasons why strategic planning for schools is so critical:
1. A Strategic Plan articulates a shared vision, mission and values
This enables all stakeholders to work towards a common vision. A leading cause of employee discontent (for businesses, non-profits, and even schools) is that employees don’t understand how the work they’re doing helps their organization. With a well communicated and executed strategic plan, everyone is informed of their school’s goals and how their actions are contributing to the achievement of these goals.
2. A strategic plan effectively organizes schools and their staff
The plan encourages commitment by showing staff members that their work is essential, part of a larger strategy to help their school succeed.
3. A strategic plan defines how success is measured
In order to achieve success, it’s important to know what success means. A school with a strategy can monitor its progress toward key outcomes and evaluate where and how it may have gotten off track. Using a strategy implementation software like Envisio can help.
4. A strategic plan aids a school’s board with governance decisions and provides direction for the future
With a plan in place, the board has a roadmap which it can track, evaluate and modify to facilitate better governance decisions and provide direction for the future of the school.
5. A strategic plan increases communication and engagement
In large organizations like schools communication is critical so that everyone understands his or her responsibilities and departments are effective in coordinating their efforts. As an additional benefit, the plan helps with fundraising, as well. Donors are more likely to support a school that has a clear vision and a strategy to make it happen.
6. A strategic plan keeps everyone in a school—from teachers to administrators—connected
A well implemented and communicated plan holds all staff accountable for their actions and encourages collaboration.
7. The best reason of all for strategic planning comes back to every great school’s number one priority: Students
Best of all, strategic planning provides a framework so that the most important priority of the school – Students’ educational achievement is taken care of.
What are the reasons that drive your school to engage in strategic planning?