Real Time Strategic Planning:
CAP’s Strategy Screen
In March of 2009, Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) embarked on the development of a strategic plan to guide the future direction of the agency. Focus groups, on-line surveys and working groups helped delineate CAP’s position in the community and its opportunities for growth. The focus groups included youth, folks living in Vancouver, HIV-service providers, communities of color, women living with HIV, and more. Questions posed to these groups included:
- What should CAP look like five years from now?
- What are some gaps in services offered by CAP or needs in the community that should be addressed by CAP?
- What are priorities from your perspective in prevention, in care, etc.?
- Does the mission, as currently stated, work or need to evolve?
To see what information was gathered, view our Data Collection Report.
Setting the Strategy
Recognizing that the unpredictable challenges and opportunities in today’s world come at an increasingly fast pace and often necessitate prompt – yet strategic – action, CAP looked toward a different type of strategic plan than what has been used in the past. The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution: Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid Response World (2008, David La Piana) delineates an approach to strategic planning built on many of the traditional steps of planning (e.g. review of mission, current position in community, assessment of challenges, etc.). However, instead of resulting in a static plan to be followed for three years, La Piana’s method develops clear strategic priorities – a “strategy screen” – to be used day-to-day in managing forward. The strategy screen is then revisited on a regular basis with new input in recognition of the need for a fluid and agile approach in managing organizations.
The CAP Strategy Screen includes clear priorities for moving forward that will be used in reviewing the continual stream of opportunities and challenges that invariably present themselves. These priorities are not static, and via this process, CAP commits to reviewing the strategic priorities regularly and to ensure a thoughtful approach to strategic management that helps it achieve its mission.