Annual Business Planning Model for ACBS Chapters

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The Project Plan

1. Who are the planners/deciders?
Usually, these will be the chapter leaders, but it’s often useful to bring in others…or at least solicit input from individuals outside the core leadership team. It’s best, but not always possible to bring everyone together for a face-to-face planning meeting. Whether virtual or face-to-face, your meeting preparation will ultimately make or break the plan. Be sure everyone involved is familiar with:

  • ACBS’s mission and strategic initiatives
  • Chapter membership (who they are and who they represent)
  • Chapter resources (financial/human/etc.)
  • Critical issues (if any) in the area served by the chapter
    If possible, survey members and the local internet community in advance to get a general sense of the issues of interest.

2. What project(s) do we want to complete this year?

  • Remember, passion is everything…if you don’t really care about the project, it won’t get done, so be sure to pick something that moves you.
  • If you can’t do it well, do something else (or nothing at all). Don’t waste your energy or chapter resources if the effort won’t make a difference worth making.
  • Keep the list short – pick two or three at most. When resources are spread too thin, projects don’t get done. Far better to do one well than several poorly. Success will attract sponsors and volunteers; failure will drive them away.

3. For each, define precisely what “done” looks like, specifically identifying:

  • What will be accomplished
  • When it will be accomplished – the bigger the project; the longer the timeline (and be sure to pad the schedule - !@#$% happens!).
  • Why it’s important (should tie back to at least one ACBS strategic initiative)

4. For each, develop a production timeline that details:

  • Resources needed (financial/human/permission/etc.)
  • Who is primarily responsible; who will help – remember, if everyone is responsible, then no one is responsible.
  • Interim benchmarks
  • Communications/reporting requirements – who do we tell; what do we tell them; when do we tell them
  • How we will celebrate accomplishment – be sure to spread the kudos and thankyous far and wide!

The Operational Plan
To complete our projects successfully, we need to build systems that ensure we have the right…

  • Leadership – Make the right decisions; recruit volunteers
  • Volunteers – Get stuff done
  • Membership – Support/become leaders/volunteers
  • Communications – Tell everyone who should know what we’ve done
  • Finance – Pay for stuff
  • Administration – Dot i’s & cross t’s (only those that are absolutely necessary)