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Coalition Building: Revising a Plan – Part 1

Once you have developed a plan (check out last week’s post), you may review it in a few years and decide that you want to revise it. I’ve most commonly seen groups move toward simplifying their plans as much as possible so that they can be usable by their primary audiences and most important stakeholders. Depending upon your plan, you may have developed a one-year, five-year or ten-year plan and once that timeframe has ended, you need to revise your plan to be current. One of the groups I have worked with have a “rolling” update process where different sections of the plan have different time frames and need to be revised on an ongoing basis.  Although revising a plan can be as daunting as developing a plan, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Join me this week as I provide 3 questions to consider when revising your plan.

  1. How has your plan be utilized? Before spending time and resources focused on revising your plan, it’s important to take the time to assess how it has been utilized by your primary audience. One of the approaches that I have found particularly helpful is to conduct a brief electronic survey with multiple choice options on how people have used the plan with room for brief comments. Once you have organized and analyzed the responses, spend time during your next in-person or video webinar meeting to discuss the results and get to know a little more about the most common responses. This will help you develop a plan for revising your plan.
  2. What has worked well about your current plan? This information can also be gleaned from your electronic survey and group discussion and is connected to how your plan has been utilized. If you are staff, you may have different opinions and perspectives than your coalition members. This is a situation where it’s definitely important to consider all of the perspectives of the primary audience(s) on what has worked well with the plan. 
  3. What would you (or your coalition members) like to see changed about your plan? This information can also be included in your electronic survey and your group discussion. For staff or those who invested significant time and resources, this conversation can sometimes be difficult because they (or you!) may take the recommended changes personally. As difficult as it may be to hear how things could be changed or improved, the goal of your plan is to be a useful resource for you and others to use to work together toward a common purpose. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, one of the most common recommendations that I’ve seen when revising a plan is the need to simplify.  Utilize this feedback in order to help you revise your plan in the best way possible for you and your most important stakeholders. 

Please join me next week as we provide more questions to consider when revising your plan.

So what about you? What have you done to prepare for revising your plans?  

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