Why Planning Often Fails
Planning attempts fail when they are not integrated into the day-to-day operations of the organization. A strategic plan without an implementation strategy is not likely to be used. Sometimes planning fails because there is poor understanding of the planning steps or planning concepts. Planning is also unlikely to be successful if the process is shunted to a staff person and does not involve management and board leadership, sponsorship, and commitment. It also should not be undertaken if it is unlikely to be implemented or if the cost to engage in planning outweighs the anticipated benefits.
Remember that the plan can only be as good as the assumptions it is based on, which are gathered during the initial environmental scan. This is often the area where nonprofit organizations shortcut the process. Without this initial assessment, there can be no strategic planning. The plan must build on critical issues that face the agency. These cannot be known without gathering the necessary information.