Capstone Project Part V: Action Plans

Capstone Project Part V: Action Plans

A theme throughout this course has been that human and social services professionals constantly apply theories and processes to address issues and challenges. As a social change agent, leader, and advocate, you should be able to apply relevant theories and processes to implement and support change on a local and global scale. As always, codes of ethics should provide guidance as you attempt to bring about change. As the final step in the development of your strategic plan, you will develop an action plan for each year of the strategic plan. For example, your plan might start off with strategic goals at the local level with plans to take these goals national or international in following years of the strategic plan.

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To prepare:

  • Review the feedback from your Instructor regarding the      components of your strategic plan in Weeks 3, 4, and 6–8.
  • You should make any changes based on the feedback you      received. You will include these elements as a whole this week for your      final strategic plan.
  • Finally this week, consider what actions you will take      each year of the strategic plan.  

By Day 7

The Assignment (15–22 pages):

Guidelines for each section of the Assignment are provided below.

Part I. The Fundamentals (3–4 pages): The fundamentals of a strategic plan include identifying the core values, mission, and vision, which represent the organizational identification (ID). The Assignment requires you to develop the organizational ID for the agency, organization, or community for which you will develop a strategic plan.

  1. Identify and describe the core      values of the agency.
    1. Discuss       the degree to which those core values are aligned with advocacy,       leadership, or social change.
    2. Explain       how those core values contribute to the well-being of individuals,       groups, societies, or international communities.
  2. Identify and describe the      mission of the agency, organization, or community.
    1. Evaluate       whether the mission statement is aligned with the core values of the       agency, organization, etc.
    2. Describe       whether the mission statement promotes advocacy, leadership, or social       change.
    3. Discuss       whether the mission statement provides evidence of how the       agency/organization contributes to the well-being of individuals, groups,       societies, or international communities.
  3. Identify and describe the      vision of the agency.
    1. Evaluate       whether the vision is aligned with the core values of the agency, organization,       etc.
    2. Describe       whether the vision promotes advocacy, leadership, or social change.
    3. Discuss       whether the vision provides evidence of how the agency/organization       contributes to the well-being of individuals, groups, societies, or       international communities.
  4. Identify and describe key      stakeholders involved with the agency.
    1. Discuss       whether each stakeholder is internal or external to the       agency/organization.
    2. Describe       the role each stakeholder has in the organization (i.e. leadership,       management, staff, recipient of services, etc.).
    3. Discuss       how each stakeholder can be an essential element for gathering       information to develop the strategic plan.

Part II. Needs Assessment (2–3 pages): A needs assessment is a systematic way of determining the gap between what an agency, organization, or community has and what is desired to meet the needs of individuals, groups, communities, or societies. The needs assessment will reveal whether there may be unmet services. It can then provide information about those needs and help inform your planning to meet them. The needs assessment also consists of planning who you need to target, how you will effectively gather new data, and/or how you will use existing data to inform your planning decisions.
The Assignment:

  1. Outline and describe steps you      would take to conduct a needs assessment.
  2. State which stakeholders you      would contact and why you would contact the stakeholder.
  3. Develop a stakeholder survey      related to your professional or societal issue.
    1. The       survey must contain at least 10 questions.
    2. Provide       a justification for each question on the survey.
    3. Provide       rationale for the type/format of questions on the survey.
    4. State       how you would vary items on the survey based on the role of the       stakeholders who would complete it (administration, leadership, staff,       recipient of surveys).

Part III. Strategic Issues (4–6 pages):
After the needs assessment has been completed, the next element of the strategic plan involves developing the strategic issues. Key tasks associated with the strategic issues include conducting a gap analysis, performing an environmental scan, and developing stakeholder surveys. The actions are performed so that you can conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORUNITIES and THREATS. A SWOT analysis is used to help an agency, organization, or community better understand the business and environment in which it operates. The goal of developing strategic issues is to list or map out all of the strengths and weaknesses and then to do the same for all of the opportunities and threats. This helps the organization identify a strategy for planning. Opportunities that match the strengths are things that should be pursued. Threats that particularly align with weaknesses should be especially avoided when developing a strategic plan.

  1. Conduct a SWOT analysis. This      analysis focuses on the present state or condition of the organization and      determining where the organization would like to be. The difference      between the two represents the gap or the difference between where the      organization is currently and where the organization would like to be.      This gap could provide information on what might be the major focus of the      strategic plan.
  2. Describe plans for conducting      an environmental scan. The environmental scan is a process that that      gathers and interprets relevant data on an agency, organization, or      community to identify external opportunities and threats.
    1. Identify       and describe internal conditions that might impact the implementation of       the strategic plan.
    2. Address       on how you would minimize the impact of those conditions.
    3. Identify       and describe external conditions or competitors that might impact the       implementation of the strategic plan.
      1. Address        how you would minimize the impact of those conditions.
      2. Consider        how you might plan to work with competitors to meet the needs of your        targeted agency, organization, or community.
  3. Identify and describe at      least three strengths of the agency, organization, or      community.
    1. State       why each item on the list is a strength.
    2. State       how you plan to utilize each strength to positively the impact the       development or implementation of the strategic plan.
  4. Identify and describe at      least three weaknesses of the agency, organization, or      community.
    1. State       what causes each item on the list to be a weakness.
    2. State       how you plan to minimize the impact of the weakness.
  5. Identify and describe at      least three threats to the agency, organization, or      community.
    1. State       what causes each item on the list to be a threat.
    2. State       how you plan to minimize the impact of the threat.
  6. Identify and describe at      least three opportunities for improvement for the agency,      organization, or community.
    1. State       what causes each item on the list to be an opportunity for improvement.
    2. State       how you plan to incorporate the opportunity to the implementation of the       strategic plan.

Part IV. The Technicals (4–6 pages): The technicals element includes items such as developing strategic goals, strategies, leading indicators of success, and performance targets for the strategic plan. The technical elements represent the executable part of the strategic plan. As you begin to develop the technical elements, the executable part of your strategic plan, consider the goals in relationship to internationalization and alliances.
Develop your strategic goals (Weeks 6 and 7). You must include at least three goals on the list. The goals must address the following:

  1. Address issues such as      globalization and how those issues might impact the strategic goals of the      agency, organization, or community.
  2. Identify potential alliances:
    1. Identify       opportunities for alliances with other agencies or organizations.
    2. State       why the alliances are important.
  3. Develop strategies for      implementing goals. You must have at identify at least two strategies for      each identified goal. These goals must be specific, measurable,      attainable, and realistic.
  4. Address issues of      accountability.
  5. Describe how you will address      accountability for each of the following: 
    1. Describe       how your leadership will be held accountable for execution of the       strategic plan.
    2. Discuss       the following aspects of accountability for employee:
      1. Identify        who will be responsible for executing specific aspects of the strategic        plan.
  6. Explain how employee      accountability will be tracked.
  7. Describe leading indicators of      success. To determine whether the agency, organization, or community will      benefit from the strategic plan, you must identify those things which      would serve as indicators of success. These indicators must be observable,      measurable, and quantifiable in some way.
    1. Identify       four indicators that would signify success with regard to the strategic       plan.
    2. Discuss       specifically how you would measure each indicator.
  8. Identify performance targets.      Performance targets represent the level at which you would like to observe      performance on each indicator. They represent the desired level of      performance. For each performance indicator that you have identified,      specify the targeted level of performance.

Part V. Action Plans (2–3 pages): Develop action plans for each year of the strategic plan. Your strategic plan should cover 3–5 years.


Homan, M. S. (2016). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

· Chapter 8, “Powerful Planning” (pp. 228–258)

· Chapter 11, “Building the Organized Effort” (pp. 451–473)

Bost, E. (2009). Innovative human service lessons for—and learned from—South Africa. Policy and Practice of Public Human Services, 67(2), 33.

Mayhew, F. (2012). Human service delivery in a multi-tier system: The subtleties of collaboration among partners. Journal of Health & Human Services Administration, 35(1), 109–135. 

National Organization for Human Services. (n.d.). Ethical standards for human service professionals. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards-for-hs-professionals

Stephenson, M. (2005). Making humanitarian relief networks more effective: Operational coordination, trust and sense making. Disasters29(4), 337–350. Retrieved from http://www.ipg.vt.edu/papers/MS_ARNOVA_Humanitarian_II_Final.pdf

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