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Developing a Strategic Plan for a Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Planning Definitions: General

Vision: A statement of what the program wants to be in the future. The Vision Statement provides the major long-term direction for the program's planning and is the ultimate outcome to be achieved through the planning process.

Mission: A statement that indicates what the program plans to do and to whom it will be done. The statement indicates the reason the program exists. The Mission statement serves as the basis for the development of the program's focus, outcomes, and strategies.

Focus Areas: Major areas of the program that are of concern and that need to be addressed to enhance or improve the program (e.g., administration/governance, research, professional development, clinic, etc).

Issue: Identified major concern to the program that is a barrier to positioning the program in its desired future and achieving its Vision/Mission. Identified issues are based on current and future trend information related to the program, are based on the internal and external environments that impact the program, and are related to an identified focus area. Identified issues provide the basis for deriving the program's outcomes to be achieved through strategic planning. Issue statements are written as cause and effect statements.

Baseline Data: Extant or new data and information collected to verify that a suggested issue is of such magnitude that it requires action by the program. The baseline data are used to determine the quantitative level for the indicators of success and indicates how much change will occur if the desire outcome is achieved.

Outcome: An explicit statement of the changes the program must make and the results that it must effect in its environment to deal with an identified issue and achieve its desired future/vision/mission. An outcome is a specific, vital, positive organizational or environmental change that moves the program forward to its desired future. The outcomes must be based on identified issues and they must provide the basis for developing strategies to achieve the outcome. The outcome indicates the direction of change desired (increase, decrease, maintain).

Indicators of Success: For each outcome statement, one or more indictors of success will be identified as a way of determining if the outcome was achieved and if achieving the outcome had an impact and provided a return on investment or was cost-beneficial. The indicators of success are agreed upon by program staff.

Strategy Statement: For each outcome statement, one or more strategy statements will be developed. The strategy statement will indicate a specific activity that will be necessary to accomplish the outcome. Each strategy statement indicates the following:

When it will be done-specific date
Who will do it-person responsible
What will be done-specific activity
To Whom it will be done-target group
Criteria that will indicate success-a number or quantitative indicator
Evaluation procedure/tool that will be used to indicate if the what and criteria were met

Levels of Evaluation: Each strategy will have one of five levels of evaluation. The level selected will be selected based on the data to be collected to determine if implementing the strategy was worthwhile. The higher the level of evaluation, the more comprehensive the data on the return on investment of resources:

Level 1: Did
Level 2: Did + Attend
Level 3: Did + Attend + Learn
Level 4: Did + Attend + Learn + Implement
Level 5: Did + Attend + Learn + Implement + Change


Level 1: Did (Hold 5 workshops)
Level 2: Did + Attend (50 people attend each workshop)
Level 3: Did + Attend + Learn (Learn 5 new things)
Level 4: Did + Attend + Learn + Implement (Implement 3 things learned)
Level 5: Did + Attend + Learn + Implement + Change (Something happened!)

ASHA Corporate Partners