Assess your organisation

The next stage in the strategic planning process is to thoroughly assess every aspect of your organisation, often referred to as environmental analysis. When developing strategic plans, no organisation can ignore the environment in which it operates. It is essential at the early stages of the planning process to assess the opportunities and threats an organisation is likely to face.

There is a need to look at trends and issues within your organisation and in the wider external environment. Gathering information about your projects, services, outcomes, your users and their needs, competitiors, funders, partners, and any other factors that may affect your organisation. For instance changes to legislation, governance, regulation, employment or working practices.

There are many tried and tested tools to help assess your organisation.

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) - This tool helps you to analyse internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as future opportunities and threats in the external environment. You will then need to decide what changes you might need to bring on your strengths and make the most of opportunities, overcome weaknesses and deal with any threats.

PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) - A PEST analysis can help you further analyse the external environment and explore potential trends, opportunities and risks. This should help you think about what changes may occur and what the implications are for your organisation. You can then start preparing strategies in response.

You should emerge from assessing your organisation with a range of ideas about potential future options and choices.


Next: Options and choices