#5 Ensure the Quality and Effectiveness of Programs (WOLIM 9 Responsibilities)

Purpose: To help WOL field leadership understand the basics of WOL philosophy and strategy.

#5 Ensure the Quality and Effectiveness of Programs

LESSON OVERVIEW

Purpose: A wise manager understands that preparation and planning are key to seeing goals realized.

Lesson Expectation:

  • The leader will learn the principles of building successful WOL programs through careful planning, execution, and evaluation.

INTRODUCTORY VIDEO

Why a strategic plan?

Developing a strategic plan may sound daunting – but it’s really no different from any other courses of action or planning in life. 

If you were suddenly handed the reigns of a soccer club, you would probably begin to plan out what needs to be done in order to achieve success.  You would no doubt begin with evaluating the current state of the club.  You would then put together some priorities to move the team towards your goals.  You would find a way to evaluate how the team was doing, and you would make changes to ensure better success going forward.  That is a strategic plan.

“A strategic plan is a document used to communicate with the organization the organizations goals, the actions needed to achieve those goals, and all of the other critical elements developed during the planning exercise.”*

A properly orchestrated strategic plan answers these questions: What? How? When? Who?

* http://balancedscorecard.org/Resources/Strategic-Planning-Basics

WHAT are our strategic priorities?

Within Word of Life these are developed by our Executive Director and his leadership team.  They have indicated that as an organization we are focusing on 4 strategic priorities:

1 – Enlarge our ministry impact through evangelism and discipleship

2 – Identify and develop the next generation of leadership

3 – Initiate and strengthen church and constituent relationships

4 – Advance the stewardship of our ministry resources

These 4 priorities set the direction for our organization.  In a nutshell they tell us what we should be focusing on. 

Each country within Word of Life is responsible for taking these 4 goals and assessing them in their own countries context.  So let’s say for example that you’re the newly appointed Field Director of Word of Life’s newest country: Norway!  You would need to look at the current state of your ministry and ask yourself “By God’s grace, what do we want to see God do in Norway over the next few years in these 4 areas?”  To answer that you would need to have a good understanding of where you have been and where you are.  This process would require a lot of input from your team, board, regional coordinator, etc. 

But after your evaluation process you might arrive at something like this:

By God’s grace over the next three years WOL Norway will:

1 – Enlarge our ministry impact through evangelism and discipleship:

  • Increase our evangelistic efforts by 20% over the next 3 years
  • Develop a clearly defined discipleship process for newly converted teens

2 – Identify and develop the next generation of leadership

  • Recruit 2 new LCM men
  • Develop a systematic process of getting our young men preaching

3 – Initiate and strengthen church and constituent relationships

  • Meet with every Christian church in the GOA (Greater Oslo Area)
  • Begin a ‘Pastor’s Appreciation Day’

4 – Advance the stewardship of our ministry resources

  • Develop a quarterly donor communication strategy
  • Begin an annual staff appreciation day
  • Raise funds for a new ministry vehicle

So that is what the national goals for WOL Norway could look like.  These would be the ‘big picture’ objectives that you as a leader want to be sure that you hit, but it would not necessarily encompass all that you as an organization will do.

HOW are we going to achieve our strategic priorities?

Before you start the future thinking planning process it is worthwhile to have an honest look at the current state of your field.  Though potentially a sobering process, this will allow you to have an accurate, real-time picture of where God has brought you and where you may need to go.

One of the methods used for evaluation is called a ‘SWOT’ analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).  A good on-line tool to walk you through how to do this can be found here.  Though it may be beneficial to go through sometime like this yourself, you will get maximum benefit if you go through this with your team.  Ideally you should ask someone else to facilitate the meeting so you can participate with your team.  Occasionally the home office will require you and your field to work through this process and report to them your findings.

How are we going to achieve our priorities as an organization?  It’s not enough to just have an idea – you have to develop a realistic path to bring your goal to fruition.  That’s what the ‘How’ stage accomplishes.  You’ve probably heard of the SMART acronym: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  This is where those thoughts come into play.  You want goals that physically can happen and you will know when they are done. 

Back to the previous goals, we can incorporate the next step of the strategic plan:

1 – Enlarge our ministry impact through evangelism and discipleship:

  • Increase our evangelistic efforts by 20% over the next 3 years
    • LCM events to see an increase in attendance by 10%
    • Camp attendance to see an increase in attendance by 10%
  • Develop a clearly defined discipleship process for newly converted teens
    • Develop a writing team to work through 5 stages of growth

2 – Identify and develop the next generation of leadership

  • Recruit 2 new LCM men
    • Speak in 10 churches and Oslo Bible College and promote LCM
    • Talk to 5 youth leaders about the possibility of joining our team
  • Develop a systematic process of getting our young men preaching
    • Ask Hans, Frans and Copenhagen to schedule themselves in 4 churches each
    • Do a follow up evaluation time with each of them

3 – Initiate and strengthen church and constituent relationships

  • Meet with every Christian church in the GOA (Greater Oslo Area)
    • Call each of them in the New Year and set up appointments
  • Begin a ‘Pastor’s Appreciation Day’
    • Ask Pastor Gerber to spearhead this for us and invite his friends

4 – Advance the stewardship of our ministry resources

  • Develop a quarterly donor communication strategy
    • Ask Schroon if they have a template we can use
  • Begin an annual staff appreciation day
    • Starting planning in January and execute it in July after the first thaw
  • Raise funds for a new ministry vehicle
    • Sell the old snowmobile and send out correspondence for a new one

The WHEN and WHO of our strategic priorities

These two questions (WHEN and WHO) are very important to the entire strategic goal process.  If you don’t have a deadline settled on and who is going to accomplish the stated task, the probability of achieving the task is slim.  This also allows for on-going accountability during the life of the task.   It is also advisable to list the task in increasing percentile increments – that way you can have an idea of how much of the task is supposed to be done when, and you can hold yourself/your team accountable to that quarterly benchmark.  So now the first two goals of the plan would look like this:

1 – Enlarge our ministry impact through evangelism and discipleship:

  • Increase our evangelistic efforts by 20% over the next 3 years
    • LCM events to see an increase in attendance by 10% (Desmond)
      • September          January         April             June       September
               5%                           25%                 40%              75%        100%

(this example has the work being spread out over 12 months)

  • Camp attendance to see an increase in attendance by 10% (Sawyer)
    • September                 January           April             June       September
             0%                                  25%                   75%              100%     100%
  • Develop a clearly defined discipleship process for newly converted teens (Kate)
    • Develop a writing team to work through 5 stages of growth
      • September      January     April          June       September
               0%                      100%          100%         100%      100%

(this example has all of the work accomplished by January )

2 – Identify and develop the next generation of leadership

  • Recruit 2 new LCM men
    • Speak in 10 churches and Oslo Bible College and promote LCM (Daniel)
      • September      January     April          June       September
               25%                    50%             75%           95%        100%
    • Talk to 6 youth leaders about the possibility of joining our team (Ben)
      • September      January     April          June       September
               50%                100%            100%          100%       100%
  • Develop a systematic process of getting our young men preaching (Juliette)
    • Ask Hans, Frans and Copenhagen to schedule themselves in 4 churches each
      • September      January     April           June       September
               25%                   50%              75%           100%       100%
    • Do a follow up evaluation time with each of them
      • September      January     April            June       September
               25%                    50%             75%            100%           100%

Follow up and evaluation

Once your plan has been written and you’ve submitted it to your Regional Coordinator for approval, it’s now time to do the plan and hold people accountable to their accomplishment of it.  What can’t happen is for your plan to get thrown into the bottom drawer of your desk and allow it to collect dust.  It has to be visible – accessible – and often discussed.  Your team has to sense from you that the plan isn’t just work that has been ‘added’ on to what they’re doing – it is what we’re doing.

  1. All the full-time missionaries on your team need to have goals – goals that they have written that allow you to fulfill your Field’s objectives, and also some goals that you have written for them. 
  2. You need to make sure that all full-time missionaries on your team are met with at the start of your ministry year so that they know what their goals are and when they’re due.
  3. The goals conversations should be happening all throughout the year, but at the least at the beginning of each ministry quarter/benchmark you need to make sure each missionary is met with and evaluated on their goals.  How do you score them on their goals?  Let’s review the following example:

                       Talk to 6 youth leaders about the possibility of joining our team (Ben)
                              September                January                April                        June             September
                              50%                               100%                     100%                       100%           100%

Based on the above task, Ben should have been met with early in September to discuss his goals, and you both would have come to an understanding that 6 youth pastors needed to be called about joining WOL.  Because the task needed to reach 50% completion in September, and 100% completion in January, at your January review with Ben you would ask him if he met with 6 youth leaders about joining WOL.  At the January review if he says, “No, I was only able to meet with 3”, then you would score him at 50%.  That doesn’t mean the task is over (he still needs to call the remaining three youth leaders), but it does mean the task wasn’t accomplished in the agreed upon time frame.  If he says, “Yes – I was able to meet not only with 6, but 8!” then he exceeded the goal by 25% and should be scored accordingly.

Why is this important?

Here's just a couple of reasons:

  1. Stewardship.  Leadership is stewardship, and we will ultimately be held responsible before the Lord if we were faithful to multiply what He has given us to care for, including the ministry and it’s resources. We want the work of the Lord to be moving forward.  That doesn’t mean that all your goals are going to hit 100% - but what it does mean is that we can look at what is working and what is not and make adjustments in the future.
  2. Adjustments in responsibility and compensation.  This is a great way to evaluate leadership ability in your missionary team.  It will help you determine who can handle even greater responsibility in the future.  Also, everyone on your team is going to eventually want a higher salary (we are obviously talking about increases beyond their most basic and necessary support level).  How will you know who should get more and who shouldn’t?  A good objective indicator is how well they did on their goals.  It’s not necessarily the sole indicator but it is a helpful one.  Someone that doesn’t take his or her work seriously is not deserving of an increase (how support factors into this equation can be talked about in a different session).