PRA believes that the Strategic Plan is the very first and most critical element of the high performing organization. The Strategic Plan is a practical, action-oriented guide based on an analysis of internal and external factors. It is issue-oriented, usually spans multiple years and, most importantly, it directs operational planning and resource allocation. A PRA designed Strategic Plan:
- Provides a common direction for everyone in the organization
- Helps to ensure that actions taken are mission and vision-driven
- Helps to ensure that actions taken are consistent with the organization’s core beliefs and values
- Assists the organization with building on strengths and eliminating barriers that might impede progress
- Provides an opportunity to identify alternative courses of action and select the best course of action from the options
PRA consultants work with the responsible manager to fully articulate a vision statement that charts a course to take the organization from ordinary to extraordinary performance. We assist with the development of reasonable, attainable goals that identify for each constituency its role in achieving the new performance standards. We develop and implement a communications plan the articulates the new vision and direction and engages the individual to meet the challenge.
The Operational Plan (OPS) plan specifies what must be accomplished within a given time period to move in the key directions specified in the Strategic Plan. It identifies in greater detail what can be done within the time period (usually 1 year or less). It guides the activities of everyone in the organization; that is, everyone should be able to see how their efforts are leading to successful accomplishment of the plan. An OPS:
- Links strategic plans to daily operations so that the day-to-day work of the organization is consistent with the mission, will lead to the vision, and will address the key strategic directions.
- Requires that the organization be realistic about the scope of work to be undertaken by linking planned actions to available resources.
- Provides for ongoing assessment of progress and identification of barriers so they can be addressed in a timely manner.
- Provides a basis for accountability.
The OPS plan is the implementation vehicle – it brings the strategic plan to life. When designing an OPS plan, PRA seeks and obtains input from programmatic experts, implementation partners, policy makers, and program constituents. Our primary loyalty, however, is to the strategic plan – ensuring that the OPS plan moves the organization to the higher levels of performance envisioned by the strategic plan.