Simple steps to a strategic plan: Part 2

Plan implementation occurs one bite at a time.

Simple steps to a strategic plan: Part 1 identified the importance of strategic planning overall, as well as the first few steps of the strategic plan implementation process. The process continues with the newly formed committees or teams reviewing the planning document itself. 

The following steps were developed for a specific non-profit organization. Therefore, a committee or team should adjust the steps as needed. 

  • Determine if anyone else needs to be part of the committee/team, why their input is important, how to engage them and who will be responsible for making the contacts.
  • Begin reviewing, clarifying and prioritizing action items related to the committee/team goal or goals(s)
    • Clarify verbiage so the entire team is clear on idea intent
    • Brainstorm additional ideas or steps that may be missing
      • Assure everyone understands consensus - what is the minimum level of agreement needed to add to or change the action ideas? What is the minimum number of team members who must agree before an idea is accepted?
      • Fist to Five is an easy tool to gage simpler decision-making.
    • If appropriate, combine similar ideas under a broader heading.
    • Ensure all actions and action steps reflect the organization’s mission and vision.
    • Determine which action steps may require conversations with another team/committee or others (identify who and record).
    • Prioritize ideas-
  • Create a strategic action sheet for each top priority.
    • List chronological steps needed to achieve the action idea, person(s) in charge of each step and target completion date(s).
  • Create a multiple-year timeline and communication plan based on priority action steps.


    • Use a timeline that fits the committee/teams goal and action statements (if needed check online for sample framework).
    • Be sure to include how and to whom progress on the goals will be communicated.
  • Implement actions based on timeline (adjust as needed).
  • Keep board, members and other stakeholders informed and updated.
  • Review progress regularly.

Michigan State University Extensions’ Leadership and Community Engagement team offer programs, such as Facilitative Leadership and Advanced Facilitative Leadership, that help leaders, managers and citizens build important skills and teach tools that promote effective communication.

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