Goal VS Issue Based Strategic Planning


Goal Based Planning

What it is:


Goal based planning is a critical component of strategic planning. Strategic planning is an organization’s method of looking at long term goals, creating steps to achieve said goals, and creating landmarks to determine when the organization has reached those goals.  

Goal based planning:

  • Clarifies the mission, vision, or values of the organization / community
  • Determines goals of an organization / community that works towards the mission
  • Outlines strategies or action plans to achieve the set goals

The important aspect to remember about goal based planning is that it is set in the future and it works backwards to the present.   

Practicing goal based planning is essential for community building as it solidifies a strong foundation for the community to grow on and gives the community a sense of where it is going and the structure the group needs to get there. 

When is goal based planning needed?

Goal based planning is a sub section of strategic planning.  It is important to only use this type of planning after a strong foundation has been set for the community and the pressing issues within the community’s dynamics have been ironed out. In other words, goal based planning is helpful for strategic planning for the future; giving an organization a framework to manifest future objectives and goals after a resilient core has been created.

Issue Based Planning

What is it?

The focus of issue based planning is very similar, yet opposite from goal based planning.  The planning systems are similar in that they both largely focus on the vision and mission of the group. The biggest contrast is that issue based planning focuses on the present tense of an organization or community whereas goal based looks forward to future aspirations.  During issue based meetings there is an emphasis on the internal structures and systems of an organization. Communities that use issues based planning will be successful when they have solidified their core systems and solved internal barriers of organization.

When is issue based planning needed?

Issue based planning is used when:

  • there are large issues within the community
  • the values, missions, or vision are being questioned
  • action plans to carry out the mission or vision needs to be specified