I’m one of those people that never goes grocery shopping without a list. I take the extra time (much to my partner’s annoyance) to plan my meals for the week and list all the ingredients I need before heading to Coles. If I don’t have a plan I end up wandering the aisles aimlessly trying to come up with meal ideas as I shop, only to come home missing a crucial ingredient, or to find I have bought a whole bunch of ingredients that don’t work together, or ingredients that I already have in the cupboard.
Do you sometimes feel your committee’s approach to long term strata planning is like my grocery shopping without a list? You know generally what you want to achieve but money gets spent on ventures that aren’t well received, projects drag past the deadline as important decisions aren’t getting made, or various projects don’t come together in a complementary fashion?
Maybe what your committee is lacking is a strategic plan.
Adopting a strategy involves looking at where you want to be, and setting out the pathway that will get you there from where you are now. Organisations need strategy to give long term coherence to their choices and actions.
A good strategic planning process must be connected to the mission and identity of the organisation. A body corporate/owners corporation’s mission is to administer, manage and control the common property, with the overarching objective of preserving or improving property values. Committee strategic plans should therefore be ‘big picture’ documents which focus on creating the optimum physical environment in the community and consequently increasing its value.
We know that committee members are generally unremunerated volunteers who join with the best intentions for their strata community. Despite this motivation, a lack of clear strategy can result in the committee becoming overstretched and ineffective, and projects may fail to achieve the committee’s goals. To bring those good intentions to fruition, your committee needs to implement a strategic plan.
Committees should decide on a strategic plan which details what they want to achieve for a specific future time frame, for example, 12 months. The plan should incorporate maintenance or improvements already set out in the sinking fund forecast, as well as any special projects the committee would like to address.
A two-stage approach to strategic planning is useful to ensure details do not get missed. Larger strategic goals should be complemented by smaller sub-plans. For example, a plan to redo the strata community’s landscaping may include a number of sub-projects such as a retaining wall project, a garden bed project and a fencing project.
These smaller project plans should nominate specific committee members to be responsible for certain actions, outline key stages and timelines, and detail budget and funding requirements.
A properly documented and well thought out strategic plan can your help committee promote your body corporate as a leading strata complex by achieving the following benefits:
Strata committees without a clear strategy can easily become overstretched and ineffective. To stop your committee projects ending up this way (like my basket of ingredients that don’t go together), talk to your SSKB strata manager about implementing a strategic plan for your community.