Last Jan 10-11 MozPH had our annual strategic planning where we will set our goals for 2015 in relation to how our previous year turned out. For this planning, I have to admit I spent a lot of time researching on how to properly do a strategic plan as I want us to do better than last year’s session.
I read a lot of articles on the Web and read, drum roll please, Strategic Planning for Dummies! (seriously, it helped a lot). I used a lot of plan documents from other organizations including those I am involved with and also referred to the Mozilla 2014 plan on wiki.mozilla.org/2014. On this post I will discuss how we did our planning session to give a little help to communities who want to do their annual planning.
Pics are from the FSAPH Strat Plan, which followed the similar format as the one for MozPH. We didn’t take pictures on the actual planning. :p
Our team declared December as our total rest time for any volunteer work for Mozilla and it is also the month where we set the minds of everyone that we’re going to set the planning session soon and so it is important that everyone determine what their January schedule will probably look like.
My preparation as the facilitator is as follows:
- Lots of research for the best practices on creating the planning process
- Determining what agenda format will work best for our community’s nature and culture
- Determining the materials needed and the presentations I needed to prepare
- Determining how we shall arrange our ideas to create an organized output
In this case, I recalled what was discussed in the Portland workweek and read through the Mozilla teams’ updates on their 2015 goals to create a presentation of Mozilla global updates.
Before the day, I sent an e-mail reminding everyone to confirm their attendance and asked them for their preparations. I have included there our agenda and schedule for the day to ensure that I also included the house rules there and the fines that we are imposing for breaking them. (In this case, latecomers and unfocused persons will have to pay a certain fee for our Potato Corner fund)
For our strat planning, we have 3 simple steps in coming up with our 2015 direction: 1.) Know where we are now 2.) Define where we want to go and 3.) Plan how to go there.
I made sure that the agenda and schedule was clear to everyone. I have written the schedule on the whiteboard that we always use throughout the planning session.
Step 1 was about discussing the updates from the Mozilla global community and the outcome of our measurable goals from last year.
Step 2 was where we had our vision setting for 2015.
Step 3 is the longest and more tedious part. It is where we plan how to reach our vision. It involves setting our strategic objectives, forming strategies to accomplish those, create action plans and set our measurable goals.
KEEPING THE ENERGY UP
To keep the energy of the participants I took the following measures:
- No laptops and mobile devices allowed during sessions. All mobile devices were kept in front of the group.
- Have activities that involved a lot of writing and moving. We made use of charts, post-its and boards a lot. I ensured that no one will have be bothered by taking notes on Etherpad or checking out various pads.
- MUSIC! Our community members love to sing, for some reason. I ensure that during sessions which involves putting your idea on a post-it, I play songs that I know they won’t stop themselves from singing along with. Personally, I can make ideas flow better when I am singing along (I used to do it when solving Math problems in engineering school haha).
We can only do this during the weekend but of course, doing this overnight isn’t enough. So, we have set the rest of the month to reflect how our action plans will work, so we can decide on February what we think will be feasible for us this year.