Evaluating the outcomes and impact of the strategic plan marks the end of the journey for strategic planning. Once the strategic plan is fully embedded within the organisation, it is time to take stock and evaluate what works well, and just as importantly, what doesn't work as well.

You will need to conduct periodic reviews to monitor and evaluate:

  • Internal structures, processes, policies and procedures e.g. staffing levels, appraisals, methods of working
  • External aspects of the of services you provide e.g. feedback on quality of service, numbers of users, enquiries

This information will be useful, not only for your organisation, but for prospective funders, for attracting new users and volunteers, and in getting support from partners and the public.

It is also important to 'keep your strategy alive' by adapting your strategy over time and reviewing it once every 3-5 years, unless the environment in which you work changes constantly. You should take the opportunity at staff and trustee meetings to discuss and review the strategic plan and new joiners to your organisation - staff, volunteers or trustees - should be aware of the strategic plan.

The evaluation stage is the ideal time to identify what new projects or activities you wish to undertake and is your organisation in a position to deliver them, hence starting the strategic planning cycle again.