steps of school strategic planning

The word strategy’ derives from the Greek word strategos The Greek term referred to the civil-military officials elected by the citizens of Athens to assume leadership during times of war. The strategoi were expected to prepare and implement overall, top-level plans in order to achieve the long-term goal of winning the war (through battles, negotiations, or any other means available, according to the changing situation). They were not directly in charge of daily short-term operations of managing troops to win specific battles, which was the responsibility of lower ranking officers. This was (and still is) referred to as ‘tactics’, another military term, derived from the Greek word tactica, which means the art of disposing and maneuvering forces in combat from its military roots, strategic planning has kept at least two essential characters.

Seven Steps to Successful Strategic Planning in a private School

  • Does your school have a strategic plan?

  • Is it real or a fabrication of management's imagination ?

  • Does it sound nice, sitting in the office somewhere having no effect whatsoever on day-

  • To-day operations ?

  • Are you ready to give up, or would you like to make your plan more useful?

Whether an organization will succeed or fail often depends upon strategic planning.

In the short run, any organization with a strategic advantage can survive and even

prosper, but in the long run only those organizations that practice sound strategic

management will be able to grow and survive.

To give your strategic plan more power, you may   develop the following seven-step


step 1 - Develop your mission statement. A mission statement should provide the core reason for your schools existence - its purpose. Usually stated in broad terms, a mission statement should be a unifying point for all the school activities and should describe the school's ideal. A mission statement is an image of a desired state of affairs that inspires action, determines behavior, and fuels motivation. For example, the mission of a school might be: "To provide the citizens of this vicinity with quality education programs and facilities that enable its students to excel in life, while at the same time, providing an environment for all school employees to enhance their skills."

Step 2 - Develop your values. Value statements back up and support your mission statement. They should provide a guide to decisions. Look at another way, value statements show what you hold near and dear. It is an integrity check, a way of life; it sets the tone for the school land compels management decisions. An example of a value statement is "We will adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct in everything we do and in all dealings with the parents, visitors and among our fellow work team members"
Step 3 - Assess your situation - internally and externally. Assess the current situation inside your school, locally. Assess the external situation by studying your visitors, competitors, the economy (locally and nationally), etc. Use the SWOT technique: Determine your organization's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (challenges).

Step 4 - Develop your goals. Goal statements must be complementary to, and take off from, your mission and value statements. The goals in your strategic plan provide you with general direction and guidance for developing specific objectives and actions. An example of a goal statement is "To encourage and promote community participation in City Government at all levels" or we may say (Municipal government).

Step 5 - Develop your objectives. Objectives are specific steps you must take to implement your strategy. An objective describes a result to be accomplished by a specific individual or team within a specific period of time.  Describe results that have a positive effect on the bottom line or on the members of the school and in ways that can be clearly measured. Objectives need to meet the following criteria:
A.        Objectives should state explicitly, in writing, what is to be accomplished, by whom, and by when (what, who, when).

B.        Objectives should be realistic with respect to the abilities and the potential of the people involved and to the environment in which the objectives will be met.

C.        Objectives must carry built-in evaluation. They must be stated in measurable terms. For example, a school's goal might be to improve the academic environment and to enhance options for the students.

 An objective of this goal would be: "Add a course in Advanced Composition and Advanced Urdu to the curriculum by September 2011(by the School Principal)." Note the agreement between the goal and objective and how the objective is stated in terms of what, who, and when.

Step 6 - Develop an implementation plan. Implementation is where most organizations fail in doing their strategic planning. Implementation must address anything and anyone affected by a strategic plan, and take into account anyone who must contribute to the accomplishment of specific objectives. An easy way to accomplish this is by using TEMPS². TEMPS² stands for time, training, equipment, evaluation, money, materials, people, policies & procedures, systems, and schedule. These cover all of the possibilities to be considered in your implementation planning activities.  For each of these terms you need to list, in detail, the activities involved to satisfy these terms. For each activity, list who is responsible and the required completion date.

Step 7 - Collect feedback and make ongoing improvements. Make sure you build in regular updates (perhaps weekly or monthly) to keep track of your planning process and to measure progress toward your goals.
Once you have developed the Strategic Plan and put in into effect it is important to follow through. Do what you say you'll do when you say you'll do it. Tie individual employee's objectives to the school objectives by being clear about what must be done, by whom, and what the payoffs will be. Make sure to provide ongoing feedback and progress reports.
One of the primary functions of a successful leader is to establish, develop, articulate, and reinforce the organization's mission, values, and goals. For a strategic plan to be effective - and not dismissed as worthless by the work force - leaders have to live, model, and continually beat the drums about the vision and the planning process.