How to Write a Strategic Plan

Tools Used

These guidelines were taken from the following NOAA Office for Coastal Management publications, which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge.

  1. Assess the Target Population

    Identify the people being served and define their needs for information, skills, technology, and tools.

  2. Perform a Self-Assessment

    Define and list the resources and capabilities of your organization (and any partners) already in place and those that must be acquired.

  3. Develop a Niche

    Determine which needs of the target population can be uniquely met by the organization and which can be met by other providers.

  4. Develop Program Outcomes

    Articulate and document the specific outcomes envisioned for the target community.

  5. Develop a Shared Vision

    Engage participants to formulate a common direction for activities that will enable the organization to achieve the outcomes for the target community.

  6. Develop Strategic Goals and Objectives

    Look beyond the outcomes and the shared direction described above, and consider collective actions that could be taken to arrive at the larger goals and objectives.

  7. Develop the Strategic Plan

    Use the vision, mission, goals, and objectives as a format for writing the strategic plan.

  8. Develop the Implementation Plan

    Determine methods, staffing tasks, and completion dates for each objective when drafting an action plan.

  9. Develop the Evaluation Plan

    Include a system for measuring performance before the strategic plan is implemented.

  10. Implement the Strategies and Evaluate Progress

    Set a time to put the plan into action and allow for adjustments in tasks and strategies based on the agreed-upon performance measures.