The Strategic Plan identifies the problem or challenge the we are facing in pursuing our vision. To address the problem, a Guiding Policy has been developed. A set of Key Action Items have been established to promote the accomplishment of the policy’s objectives, which are intended to address the problem and fulfill the vision. A project plan, complete with a scope, work breakdown structure, risk analysis and responsibility chart, has been developed for each of the key action items currently being pursued. It is important to highlight that the Village’s Strategic Plan is a living project.
Strategic Plan Essentials
A problem statement depicts the challenge an organization currently faces in pursuing its vision. It frames the current state of the environment, defines what is being faced and helps to focus problem-solving efforts. It is the basis for policy development and strategic initiatives. Problem statements identify a target, a goal and the gap that exists between the two. We currently face this problem:
The Village of Lake in the Hills cannot strengthen its financial health without a response to increasing costs and declining revenues.
Our shared goal is to respond to the problem that the organization faces in pursuing its vision. A Guiding Policy is a set of common requirements and a filter the entire organization will adhere to. The policy has five elements and requires that:
All decisions will be predicated on strengthening the Village’s financial health.
Analytical analyses will drive revenue and expense decision making.
The Village of Lake in the Hills will commit to define and deliver quality core services by internalizing a discipline of operational excellence.
External forces will be evaluated for impact and mitigated as necessary.
Operating departments may create unique strategies that align with the Village’s over-arching financial goals and core and discretionary service definitions.
Key Action Items are broad statements about what we are trying to achieve. They are initiatives selected based upon their influence on the organization’s ability to address the problem the community faces and pursue its vision. Six Key Action Items have been identified in the plan.
After identifying and agreeing on the Key Action Items, each of them was evaluated based upon its perceived strategic importance and our current performance. Recognizing that the organization needs to accomplish all six in order to address the problem statement and pursue its vision, the results of the evaluation were used to establish the below prioritization of the six items.
Implement an organization-wide program engaging staff to pursue Operational Excellence and to monitor, measure and continuously improve results.
Pursue voice of customer initiatives to ensure the Village realizes community involvement in the key decisions surrounding financial health, operational excellence and service offerings.
Categorize and rationalize core and discretionary services; eliminate discretionary services that:
- Have low impact on the delivery of core services
- Do not meet standards defined to measure community demand
- Do not sustain themselves through revenue generation
- Or are available in the private market
Define and implement a data and analytics game plan that standardizes the application of the Village’s Guiding Policy.
Pursue the following financial health initiatives:
- Prepare a five year operating budget forecast and monitoring plan for the General Fund
- Review and update the five year capital budget forecast on an annual basis
- Review and implement opportunities to strengthen revenue as required by operating and capital forecasts
- Review and implement economic development financing options
- Review and update fund balance policies
- Implement a debt policy
Develop department specific business plans that tie to the vision and support the operational excellence discipline.
Strategy execution has previously proven to be the most challenging aspect of strategic management for our organization. It includes translating the strategy into project plans, building organizational alignment and monitoring performance against plans to ensure the organization stays on course to achieve its strategy.
Annual Planning: Elected officials, staff, and the community commit to a regular annual process of formulating and reviewing the our Strategic Plan, immediately preceeding the preparation of the Village’s annual budget. This includes confirming or revising our problem statement, guiding policy and key action items.
Project Plans: Developing consistent project plans to pursue best practices and positive change in response to each of these initiatives accounts for these execution building blocks and will enable us to achieve results that are more predictable and in line with the strategic direction.
Project plans are organic work products that will changes as various objectives are met or results are achieved; revisions are anticipated every 90 to 120 days as the scope of the project changes. The plans detail the work teams will set out to accomplish, assess risks, assign responsibility, and allocate resources. Project plans and their outcomes will be delivered to stakeholders at quarterly public meetings and via this website dedicated specifically to our Strategic Plan.
Monitoring Performance: The Village Board formulates strategy and sets strategic priorities, holding management accountable for effective execution. Once the Board adopts the strategic plan, it becomes documented policy, making the Village Administrator responsible for its execution and accountable for its success. Our Strategic Plan, at its core, is mostly about transforming our operating model and culture from business-as-usual to true strategic management.
Key Action Item Project Plans
Implement Operational Excellence
Pursue Voice of Customer Initiatives
Categorize and Rationalize Services
Define Data and Analytics Plan
Pursue Financial Health
Departmental Business Plans