Future Directions Handbook

Goals, Strategic Plan, and Measures of Success

Identifying and following a strategic plan and long- and short-term goals are critical to the success of an initiative. From the start, the goals and plan should be identified and communicated, and continually reviewed, updated, and communicated throughout the life of the initiative.  The following section identifies some of the considerations when formulating the strategic plan and goals.

The initial goal-setting will include high-level goals for the initiative to meet to support the overall success of the initiative, Future Directions, and IEEE. For example, the goals of the initiative should include:

    • Attracting new IEEE members
    • Generating revenue
    • Providing value for existing IEEE members

In addition, the overall goal of the initiative prior to graduation is for it to be financially self-sustainable because the funding may not be available or may significantly decrease after graduation.

In order to support these goals, formal plans and budgets should be identified, reviewed, and revised on regular basis. In order to adequately communicate these goals to the initiative members, many existing initiatives present the outcomes to be delivered (revenue generation, attraction of new members, etc.) at the beginning of each initiative presentation so that the message and purpose of the initiative is clear, consistent, and well-communicated.

The following tools can be developed to support the goals and plans of the initiative:  

    • Operational and organizational goals
      • The future governance model, infrastructure, and support mechanism should be considered throughout the life cycle of the initiative, not just before graduation.
    • Develop Business plan.
    • Develop an Implementation plan.
    • Determine initiative administrative leadership structure
      • Single society vs. multiple societies leadership
    • Develop a marketing plan
      • Identify deliverables and metrics for each year
    • Develop operational budget.
    • Develop quarterly financial dashboard (excel).

Formal annual review and revision of the goals and plans will determine if the initiative is still meeting the scope as originally defined. In some cases, sunsetting of an initiative is an option if it does not seem to be financially viable in the future.