Developing a truly effective strategic plan is a challenge for many governmental organizations, large or small. A good plan should be a meaningful guide to the longer-term results necessary to fulfill the organization’s vision of what it hopes to accomplish, or what type of community it would like to be. But if the strategic plan is not results-oriented, and is not linked to the annual performance plan/budget, it will not be very useful for guiding the organization into the future. Simply stating desired results in very general terms, and then listing some near-term projects to be completed, is not a real plan for long-term success.
Cascade squarely meets the need for effective strategic planning in several ways. First, it guides the organization in developing measurable, long-term outcome goals across the range of the organization’s programs and services. It can link each of these to the supporting goals needed to achieve those results – developing a set of clear logic models for ensuring success. And most importantly, Cascade can use the long-term strategic plan to automatically generate the structure for an annual performance plan/budget – which ensures that the strategic plan is actually implemented (and that it is more than just a public relations document).
And Cascade does much more to ensure that the strategic plan is a powerful tool for driving organizational effectiveness. It creates a “clear line-of-sight” between every manager’s own program goals and the highest-level outcome goals of the entire organization – with the cascading linkages being drawn on the Goal Chart. Past and planned performance trends for every goal are mapped on easily accessible charts. Any type of document can be attached to a goal’s Strategy Summary that explains how the long-term performance targets will be met.
For U.S. federal government agencies, the Federal version of Cascade is specifically designed to meet the strategic planning requirements of GPRA, the GPRA Modernization Act, and OMB Circular A-11.