Strategic & Business Plans

Strategic and business planning can be described as "...the science or art of combining and employing the resources of an enterprise in planning and directing large activities and operations towards the enterprise's success." (Balanaves, P.A. Strategic planning guide for self-managing schools p.2)

There is no doubt that developing a strategic and business plan can be time-consuming and demanding. However, experience has consistently shown that compared to schools that did not develop a strategic and business plan, schools that did develop such a plan prior to undertaking a new initiative, implementing a new program or introducing change, have been significantly more successful in their ventures.

The Strategic and Business Plan Development Kit

Vocational Pathways has produced a Strategic and Business Plan Development Kit to assist and guide schools through the various stages and processes. The Kit comprises of a series of worksheets for each section of the plan, which schools would complete in consultation with stakeholders. The Kit also contains completed examples for each worksheet, based on our extensive experience in working with schools. All worksheets are also available on disk and in a range of word processor software formats.

Components of the Strategic & Business Plan Development Kit

The Rationale
  The need to be clear on the purpose and aims of an initiative is of paramount importance. The rationale needs to be a clear and concise statement identifying and justifying the initiative to be undertaken. Ideally, the rationale would be developed in consultation with the key stakeholders. Furthermore, it is vital that any claims, conclusions and/or policy directions contained in the rationale, whether they be implicit or explicit, should be able to be supported with relevant and current data.

The Strategic Goals  The rationale should provide clear directions for determining the strategic goals. There is a need to be able to demonstrate links between the strategic goals that are set and the rationale that has been agreed upon.

The Operational Plan  The operational plan documents detailed information on the tasks, personnel, timeline and achievement indicators relating to each strategic goal. It specifies what action needs to be taken, who will be responsible for taking that action, when the deadline is for completion and  how you will know that the strategic goal has been achieved.

The Financial Plan  The financial plan serves two key purposes. Firstly, it will enable the school to identify the approximate costs of undertaking the initiative and how these costs plan to be, or are currently been met. Secondly, the financial plan will enable the school to identify any short or long term sustainability issues which then can be addressed.

The Evaluation Plan  The evaluation plan should enable schools to:

(a)    Determine the extent to which the strategic goals are actively being achieved.
(b)    Conduct systematic investigations to assess and measure the value of the initiative.
(c)    Collect data to guide decision-making with respect to continuous improvement.
(d)    Meet requirements for accountability and reporting.

Schools seeking assistance and/or resources regarding the processes for developing an evaluation plan and conducting an evaluation should refer to the Evaluation Tool Kit.

Please email us for further information on strategic and business planning and/or the Strategic & Business Plan Development Kit:

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Whilst all care is taken in compiling information contained in this website, it is advised that the relevant national, state and/or sector education and training authorities be consulted prior to acting on any of the information contained herein. Vocational Pathways Pty Ltd, its officers and associates cannot be held responsible for any errors, omission or losses arising from information contained in this website.

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