Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Strategic Plan"?


I spent some time at work today thinking about a "strategic plan." I'm guessing some orienteering clubs, federations and national teams have "strategic plans," so maybe there is some connection to orienteering.

I don't want to get into the specifics of work. But, I can say that there was some discussion about how to make some progress on a government program. The idea came up to develop a strategic plan. But, a strategic plan costs money - let's say $25,000 (which, in government terms, isn't much money at all...but that is beside the point). The problem is nobody wants to spend that much.

I suggested that the solution might be to stop talking about a strategic plan and, instead, ask for some "background research." Give the staff four or five questions like: what has the government done about this over the last two years? what are other governments doing? who are the various "stakeholders"? What do the stakeholders think the government should do?

I bet that asking staff to do the background research would cost almost nothing and would give you nearly as much - maybe more - useful information than if you asked staff to prepare a "strategic plan."

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

In the orienteering context, a group - say the U.S. National Team - might see the need for a strategic plan. But, making a strategic plan seems like a lot of work. Instead, doing some "background research" might be enough to get most of the benefit. Instead of developing a strategic plan, just collecting "background research" on 4 or 5 questions might be useful.

The first few questions that come to mind:

How has the U.S. performed in the last 5-10 world champs?
How many different runners have run for the U.S. over that period of time?
Which runners have coaches?
What disciplines has the U.S. had the best success at?

Those aren't great questions, but it might be a start.

Gotta stop writing and get back to watching the Kansas v. Northern Arizona basketball game.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:51 PM


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