Strategic planning asks us to consider:
- where we are now;
- where we want to go over the next number of years and
- how we are going to get there.
Strategic planning is really about how an organisation defines its direction and makes decisions about the resources it is going to allocate to achieving its aims.
Strategic planning is a key element of an organisation's effectiveness. It sets out to ensure that a Service is meeting the needs of its Service users. The guidance plan for an FET Guidance Service must work within the remit of its managing agency e.g. ETB. It is an intrinsic part of the managing agency’s strategic plan.
As in all other strategic plans, the outlook is for the coming three to five year period. From this larger plan, the Service may wish to develop a one year operational plan. This operational plan can have much more specific goals. Plans should always have some in-built flexibility, in order to take into account any changes that may arise.
The following represent an example of stakeholders, who are likely to be involved in the development of an FET Guidance Service plan:-
- Adult Educational Guidance Service management and staff;
- Guidance counsellors and adult guidance information officers;
- Guidance staff based in the wider ETB
- Local partners and other key stakeholders;
- Appropriate statutory or funding agencies;
- Course / programme providers.
Information from stakeholders can be obtained through consultation or surveys or through analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
Using qualitative and quantitative data as a strategic management tool can provide invaluable information to guide planning as follows:
Quantitative data available from the Adult Guidance Management System – AGMS - which includes
client numbers, referrals, staff time, general public queries
Qualitative data available via the AGMS reports including : issues and challenges, gaps in provision, best practice, access and social inclusion, networks and outreach, case studies
Client feedback ; conducting client feedback surveys can provide valuable information on client expectations & satisfaction, accessibility of the Service, quality of the resources and information available, improvements needed etc
CPD needs of staff – conduct a staff training needs analysis and evaluation of CPD attended.
Communications – consider the communications and processes within the Service, between management/staff/clients