National Center for Training, Support                      and Technical Assistance (NCTSTA)

Organizational Planning Toolkit
Organizational planning is the process of identifying an organization's immediate and long-term objectives and formulation and monitoring of specific strategies to achieve them. Effective planning relies on a thorough understanding of the range of variables involved in each decision and collaboration with employees from different levels of an organization (Ingram, 2016).
The National Center for Training, Support and Technical Assistance (NCTSTA) has developed an introductory organizational planning toolkit to provide a resource that helps organizations begin to think about the process and dynamics of planning, and explore some of the optional techniques and models used in organizational planning and development.        
In this toolkit, NCTSTA introduces Organizational Alignment as one of several planning
techniques.  Organizational alignment entails the positioning of all organizational elements that are in sync with the broader mission and vision of the organization.  Achieving real alignment, where strategy, goals and meaningful purpose reinforce one another, gives an organization a major advantage because it provides a clearer sense of what to do at any given time.  Recent research accentuates the importance of a clear connection between an organization's direction, strategy, goals, purpose, and sustained performance (McKinsey, 2012).
Working in a constantly changing environment, community-based executive directors, program managers, and team leaders, along with a full spectrum of board and advisory committee members and stakeholders, could benefit from adopting effective planning processes to effectively navigate new challenges and position the organization to achieve or maintain organizational sustainability.      
Additionally, for the purpose of demonstration and practice, NCTSTA has developed an interactive tool for alignment with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 (NHAS) as an example of an alignment process. In this demonstration, alignment with NHAS means the adoption of the mission, vision, goals and objectives of the strategy including, performance indicators.  The adoption of these NHAS elements should be processed within the context of your own community-based organization, and the landscape and environment in which your organization exists. In utilizing the practice tool, for example, the reader will be able to identify the degree to which a current performance indicator is aligned with NHAS and what gaps might possibly exist, such as the percentage of persons in HIV medical care who are homeless. The organization could then strategize on how to close the identified gaps. This process can be repeated and used against any alignment target other than NHAS, including internal targets within the organization.     
 5 FAQs On Organizational Alignment

Organizational Alignment Tool
What is the National HIV/AIDS Strategy?

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS)   is a five-year plan that details principles, priorities, and actions to guide our collective national response to the HIV epidemic.  The Strategy identifies a set of priorities and strategic action steps tied to measurable outcomes for moving the nation forward in addressing the domestic HIV epidemic. In July 2015, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020 (NHAS). This update reflects the work accomplished and the new scientific developments since 2010. It charts a course for collective action across the federal government and all sectors of society to move us close to the NHAS vision.

The Organizational Alignment Tool for NHAS serves as an instrument to guide the process of integrating the core elements of NHAS into the local community-based program model. The process of integration is implemented in a number of stages so that each component is fully synthesized and elaborated by the development team. The tool provides a step-by-step template from initiating the project to executing and documenting outcomes.  
Organizational Planning Resources
This document from The World Bank is a guide to strategic planning in an easy ten-step process. This guide presents a strategic planning approach which emphasizes the need for a board-staff committee. The guide is meant to be used as a starting point for all members of the organization involved in the strategic planning process.   
This NCTSTA presentation is intended to guide the leadership of community-based organizations providing HIV prevention and treatment in the process of aligning with CDC's HIP, NHAS and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Here TCC Group highlights ten prerequisites for successful strategic planning. This guide is intended for all members of the organization in addition to funding sources interested in assisting grantees in the strategic planning process before they embark on such process.  

This webpage from the National Council of Nonprofits narrows down the vast number of strategic planning resources to just two (2) items. The first resource, Create a Strategic Plan for Your Nonprofit is a tool to assist nonprofits in the process of developing a solid and functional strategic plan. It presents the strategic plan as the organization's Master Plan. The second item, is a link to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Strategic Plan.

While many resources focus on the strategic planning approach, this six-step guide can help your organization create a path toward implementation. This thorough guide was designed with organizational leaders and the board of directors in mind. Consulting this guide before the beginning of the planning process can help organizations keep the end-result in mind. Once the planning process has concluded, Living Into Your Strategic Plan
becomes the go-to tool.
This resource from the Free Management Library is an online program to learn strategic planning facilitation. The first section covers every aspect of strategic planning from the introduction to the topic to various sample plans. This resource is intended for executive leaders and board members. It offers downloadable tools and valuable information for those interested in honing their strategic planning process facilitation skills. 

References and Resources
CHRON, 2016. 

McKinsey & Company, The Aligned Organization, 2012.

(Cited Aug. 17, 2016). 

(Cited Aug. 17, 2016). 

Tosti, D., Jackson, S., Organizational Alignment, 2012.

World Bank. Strategic Planning: a ten-step guide. [online]. 2001. [cited 2016 Sept 14]. 

TCC Group.
[online]. 2002. [cited 2016 Sept 14]. 

National Council of Nonprofits. Strategic Planning for Nonprofits.[online]. 2016. [cited 2016 Sept 14]. 

The Bridgespan Group. Living into your strategic plan: a guide to implementation that gets results. [online]. 2015. [cited 2016 Sept 14].

Free Management Library. All about strategic planning. [online] nd. [cited 2016 Sept 14]. 

Contact Us
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This publication was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number,  U65PS004459, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.
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