Setting Goals

I’ve been looking around example business plans, and I’ve got a few questions about how veteran teams plan for the future and ensure that the team is heading in right direction. I’m interested in both annual and long-term goals.

  1. How/when does your team set goals?

  2. Do you set general goals (e.g. Grow the student body), or have specific metrics (e.g. Add 10 more students)?

  3. How do you ensure that the entire team is working towards the same goals?

Thanks in advance!

Usually, we meet for a day or so at the end of the year to generate lists of things like what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we want to do the next year. The list is usually pretty long because we don’t limit what the responses could be. Then, the officers have a meeting or we vote to decide which ones should be our priorities for the next year.

The goals usually start out pretty general, but then we make it more specific when we refine our list. For example, “we want a larger team” and “we want to avoid a senior-heavy team” become “we want to have at least 15 registered members from each class on our team this year”.

One really great planning resource is a SWOT chart, which outlines your team’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Looking at your team through these different lenses can help identify on which areas you want to focus your goals. For example, if one of a team’s opportunities is that they have a lot of community support, a goal that might arise is to get more involved in community service in order to give back. If one of a team’s threats is that they struggle with funding, they might plan to start up a new fundraiser and gain x amount of new sponsors. I find that goals generally start out as large concepts (i.e. community outreach, raise funds, grow Non-Technical Division) and become more specific as ideas and plans take shape.

My team does a majority of its planning directly after the end of the season (What could we have done better?) and during the summer before the new school year (What can we do differently?). Team members are invited to give their input on what the team could do for the future, and every meeting starts off with a summary of recently past and upcoming events and their purposes to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Feel free to PM me if you’d like to see our Business Plan outline, SWOT Chart, etc. :slight_smile: