Successful businesses make strategic planning a priority to help guide their decision-making processes and the everyday work of their company. A homeowner’s association (HOA) can benefit from strategic planning in much the same way. Implementing a strategic plan helps create more consistency in the board’s actions, allows you to better schedule projects in advance, and helps you properly and strategically allocate resources based on the needs and wants of your members.
After you have taken the time to prepare for the development of the strategic plan by analyzing the financial condition of your HOA, the human resources available to you, the most important issues to your members, and the general conditions of your community, you can begin working on actually devising that plan. Here are some tips to help you with the planning process:
- Discuss your HOA’s purpose and mission: The purpose and core values of your HOA will be influenced by the HOA’s size, demographics, and most pressing issues. Consider the factors that make your community unique and how your strategic plan can take those factors into account.
- Organize your planning session: Your sessions devoted to strategic planning should be kept as organized as possible. Create an agenda and set aside a significant amount of time where the board can talk without interruptions. Decide if it will be helpful to have someone facilitate the conversation to ensure all board members are able to share their own ideas and opinions about the various topics discussed at the meeting.
- Structure your brainstorming: The first part of any strategic planning session should be brainstorming. All participants should share ideas they have (whether small or large in scope), priorities they have for the community and potential projects that could help the community thrive. Make sure to keep length in perspective—is this a short-term, mid-term, or long-term goal? Create a master list of the items brought up.
- Set your priorities to more effectively allocate resources: Once you have a list of goals, it’s time to prioritize each item on the list. Consider which of these items are the most pressing, and the type of financial and human resources that would be required to complete each of these items. This prioritization will be the basis of your strategic plan.
Once you have a fully prioritized list of items that you will plan out for the future, it’s time to implement the plan. Keep in mind that this is a slow, steady process that will involve additional study and analysis, plus adjustments of operating budgets for future years. You should also constantly reevaluate your plan to determine its feasibility and whether it needs to be adjusted in any way.
Creating a strategic plan will help your community thrive long into the future. If you do not have any experience in strategic planning, our experienced team at Tru-Star Management Solutions can help.