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Planning in

Sport

A G O O D P R A C T I C E G U I D E F O R S P O R T I N G O R G A N I S AT I O N S

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


© Australian Sports Commission 2004

First published by the Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism, 1987


Reprinted by the Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism
and Territories, 1988
Reprinted by the Australian Sports Commission, 1990
Reprinted by the Australian Sports Commission, 1992
Electronic versions of this guide and the Australian Sports Commission’s planning
tools are located in NSO Online at www.ausport.gov.au/nso.

This work is copyright. Apart from any uses as permitted under the Copyright Act
1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process without written
permission from the Australian Sports Commission. Requests and enquiries
concerning reproduction should be addressed to:
The Manager
Business Development
Australian Sports Commission
PO Box 176
BELCONNEN ACT 2616
Email: copyright@ausport.gov.au

ISBN 1 74013 074 X

For general enquiries regarding the Australian Sports Commission


Tel: (02) 6214 1111
Fax: (02) 6251 2680
Email: asc@ausport.gov.au
Web site: www.ausport.gov.au

Produced by Australian Sports Commission Publications staff

Printed by Paragon Printers Australasia

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Foreword

The strength of Australia’s sports system over the years is in no small way
due to the strategic approach and planning processes being practised by
national sporting organisations. However, increased demands are being
placed on these organisations to remain effective in both achieving
international success and meeting the day-to-day priorities of sustained/
increased participation and integrity.

As sport in Australia adapts to meet these increased demands, we will find


the most effective approach to planning will be the development of achievable
plans that have the buy-in of key stakeholders. This will result in sporting
organisations being better positioned to achieve success without
overstretching their resources.

This increased emphasis on an inclusive approach to planning is designed to


help sporting organisations build greater cooperation and buy-in among their
key stakeholders towards a set of agreed goals. In the case of national
sporting organisations this may translate to goals that impact on the
whole of the sport by integrating national strategies into state and community
sporting organisations.

While this publication is aimed primarily at national sporting organisations,


the principles of strategic and operational planning on which it is based are
applicable to sports administrators at all levels. It updates the Australian
Sports Commission’s previous planning document Planning for Sport,
a Guide for Sporting Organisations, which was published in 1992.

The sporting system in Australia is characterised by diversity and individualism


that continue to challenge each sport differently depending on its development
cycle. This publication is intended to assist a diverse range of sporting
organisations by offering sound, basic information for preparing strategic and
operational plans which will contribute towards improving the development
and management of sport in Australia.

Mark A Peters
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Sports Commission

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


iv | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Acknowledgments

This guide has been written and prepared by Sean Scott from the Australian Sports Commission’s
Innovation and Best Practice section. Particular thanks must go to those involved in previous planning
guides prepared for the Australian Sports Commission and to members of the review group including
Don Cameron, Sophie Keil, Sue Bacon, Colleen Reeves, Geoff Howes, Elliot Zwangobani, Stephen Fox
and Phil Borgeaud.

In addition thanks are due to the following individuals who generously devoted time and effort to
provide feedback and comments on early drafts:
• Australian Sports Commission: Nicole Goodman, Andrew Collins, Paul Grogan, Robert Bennett,
Jasmine Hirst, Tony Wynd, Ariane de Rooy, Renee O’Callaghan and Debbie Simms
• national sporting organisations: Glenn Tasker and Brendan Lynch (Swimming), Phil Jones (Yachting),
Norman Fry (Squash), Bob Mouatt (Orienteering), Andrew Dee (Rowing) and Susan Crow (Softball)
• state departments of sport and recreation: Michael Schetter (SA), Robert Moore (Qld) and
Phillip Wheelwright (Vic).

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Contents

FOREWORD iii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iv

INTRODUCTION 1
KEY MESSAGES 1
LINKAGES BETWEEN THE STRATEGIC AND COSTED OPERATIONAL PLANS 2

THE VALUE OF PLANNING 3


WHAT IS PLANNING? 3
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PLANNING? 3
WHAT TYPES OF PLANS ARE REQUIRED? 3
HOW DO THEY LINK TOGETHER WITH SPORTS’ REPORTING PROCESSES? 4
HOW CAN PLANNING BE MORE INCLUSIVE OF KEY STAKEHOLDERS? 4
WHY SHOULD WE INCLUDE GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES IN THE PLAN? 4
WHY IS PLANNING NEGLECTED? 5

THE PLANNING PROCESS 6


STEPS INVOLVED IN AN EFFECTIVE PLANNING PROCESS 6
STEP 1: PRE-PLAN POSITION 8
Review of the previous year’s plan 8
Current staffing structure 8
STEP 2: STRATEGY FORMULATION 8
Internal and external analysis 8
Effective approach to internal and external analysis 10
Pathway analysis 10
Inclusive approach to planning 10
Planning workshops 11
Vision and mission statement 11
Values 12
Key result areas 12
Long-term objectives and rationale 13
Strategic priorities 13
Key performance indicators 14
STEP 3: STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION 14
Tips for implementing a plan 14
Linkages to the strategic plan 15
Short-term priorities 15
Whole of sport impact 15
Financial plan 15

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


vi | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Monthly cash flow budget 15


Annual projected operating budget 16
Implementation framework 16
Adoption (sign-off) 17
Changes to the plan 17
STEP 4: STRATEGY EVALUATION 17
Tips for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the plan 17
Benchmarking 18

FORMAT OF THE PLAN 20


TIPS FOR FORMATTING AN EFFECTIVE PLAN 20
PRE-PLAN POSITION 20
STRATEGIC PLAN 21
FULLY COSTED OPERATIONAL PLANS 21

EXAMPLE PLANS 22
PRE-PLAN POSITION 22
EXAMPLE STRATEGIC PLAN 30
COMMENTS ON THE EXAMPLES 40
EXAMPLE FULLY COSTED OPERATIONAL PLAN 41
COMMENTS ON THE EXAMPLES 57

SUMMARY 58
FURTHER INFORMATION 58
USEFUL WEB SITES 58

GLOSSARY 59

REFERENCES 61

APPENDIX 1 — THE PLANNING WORKSHOP 62


WHAT IS A PLANNING WORKSHOP? 62
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE INVOLVED? 62
WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED? 62
HOW LONG WILL THE WORKSHOP TAKE? 62
WHO SHOULD CONDUCT THE WORKSHOP? 62
WHAT WILL BE NEEDED TO RUN THE WORKSHOP? 62
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE WORKSHOP? 63
EXAMPLE PLANNING WORKSHOP AGENDA 64

APPENDIX 2 — CHECKLIST FOR ASSESSMENT OF THE ORGANISATION’S PLANS 65


STRATEGIC PLAN 65
COSTED OPERATIONAL PLAN 65
IMPORTANT POINTS FOR ALL PLANNING DOCUMENTS 65

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Introduction | 1

Introduction

The Australian Sports Commission sees effective planning processes as being a key component
of a strong national sports system. Effective planning is an integral part of the management and
coordination of a sporting organisation’s activities. Whether national, state or local, sporting
organisations need to plan in order to survive, improve and grow. Put simply, planning is like
developing a road map for the organisation: it helps the organisation to see where it is going and
how to get there.

It is not unusual to have a number of different levels or types of plans for an organisation. Strategic
plans generally set out the broad directions of the organisation over a relatively long time frame
(often three to five years). They are organisation-wide, establish overall objectives and position an
organisation in relation to the environment in which it operates. Operational plans, on the other hand,
specify details of how overall objectives are to be achieved.

The purpose of this guide is to assist sporting organisations develop better plans at both a strategic
and operational level and the links organisations should consider when reporting on plans through an
annual review and/or annual report (Figure 1). This guide explains the value of good plans, the
planning process, the format of a good plan (including examples aimed at assisting sporting
organisations) and how to implement and review effective plans.

The key messages the Australian Sports Commission feels are important for the development of good
plans, include:

Key Messages
• Achievable plans: Development of realistic planning documents that define achievable
strategic priorities for the sport.
• Effective analysis: Strategic priorities are based on a thorough analysis of the sport’s
internal strengths/weaknesses, external opportunities/threats and a review of the success
of previous plans.
• Fully costed: Plans are fully costed and a true reflection of the sport’s capacity to deliver.
• Whole of sport: The strategic plan incorporates a range of strategies aimed at impacting on
the whole sport from international to grassroots level.
• Stakeholder buy-in: Planning processes are inclusive and promote buy-in from key
stakeholders such as state associations.
• Implementation: The roles and responsibilities of who, how, when and where the plan will be
implemented are clearly defined and agreed to by the relevant delivery partners.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


2 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Linkages between the strategic and costed operational plans


Figure 1 demonstrates the link from the strategic plan to the annual costed operational plans
and the position of the annual review and/or annual report for providing feedback to the strategic plan
from the operational plans.

Figure 1

Strategic Plan

Vision, mission, values

Long-term objectives,
strategic priorities

Key performance indicators

Annual review and/or annual report

Year 1 costed Year 2 costed Year 3 costed Year 4 costed


operational plan operational plan operational plan operational plan

Short-term Short-term Short-term Short-term


priorities priorities priorities priorities

Actions: what, Actions: what, Actions: what, Actions: what,


who, when who, when who, when who, when

Financial Financial Financial Financial


information information information information

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The value of planning | 3

The value of planning

What is planning?
There are numerous definitions of planning. A simple approach is to suggest that planning is ‘a
process of setting objectives and deciding how to accomplish them’ (Schermerhorn, J [1996]
Management, 5th edn. New York: John Wiley). While many definitions are more comprehensive than
this, most tend to share a number of common elements, which suggest that the planning process:
• is forward thinking
• involves decision making
• is goal oriented
• is systematic.

Planning is a primary function of management. Because plans set the basis for leadership,
organisational structure and evaluation, it is important to establish a sound planning foundation. Such
an approach depends on the organisation’s view of sport and its role in the community. This view or
philosophy can often be ascertained by examining the overall goals and purpose of the organisation.

What are the advantages of planning?


Planning is beneficial to sporting organisations in many ways. The main aim of planning is to maintain
a positive relationship between the organisation and its environment. Specifically, planning enables an
organisation to:
• become proactive rather than reactive — to clarify organisational purposes and direction
• initiate and influence outcomes in favour of the organisation
• exert more control over its destiny — deciding where it wants to be in the future
• adopt a more systematic approach to change and reduce resistance to change
• improve financial performance and use resources effectively
• increase awareness of its operating environment (for example competitors, government policy, threats)
• improve organisational control and coordination of activities
• develop teamwork off the field.

Without adequate planning, the organisation frequently deals only with immediate problems and fails
to consider future needs. Consequently, the organisation:
• tends to function on a random ad hoc basis
• will never seem to have time to anticipate tomorrow’s problems
• does not create conditions to deal effectively with the future.

Therefore, to overcome these limitations, a plan is necessary.

What types of plans are required?


Planning occurs at different levels in sporting organisations. A sporting organisation should undertake
one planning process (as described later in Figure 4) to achieve a common strategic direction, but
may require this common direction to be represented through various planning documents. The major
plans are a long-term (for example four or more years) strategic plan and a one-year fully costed
operational plan. However, additional plans (that is, supplementary) for particular program or project
areas may be required to provide detail on a specific area. These areas may include:

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


4 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

• high performance
• sport development
• marketing/communication
• risk management
• disability.

These different types of plans vary in comprehensiveness and scope. For example the strategic plan
may focus on the broad direction over a four-year period (‘are we doing the right things’) whereas
operational plans focus on implemented issues for the current year, while a supplementary plan may
include elements of both a strategic and operational plan. Figure 2 indicates the links between a
supplementary plan and the organisation’s strategic and fully costed operational plan.

Figure 2

Whole of Strategic Costed


organisation plan operational plan
level

Program/ Supplementary
project level plans

How do they link together with sports’ reporting processes?


In reality a sport should have one planning process to achieve a common strategic direction. Out of
that one planning process may be a requirement to provide further detail in a number of areas such
as operational issues or specific project or program areas like high performance or disability.

These plans should guide the content of a sport’s annual review and annual report, as these
documents should provide the means by which a sport reports its progress against its plan. It should
be easy to identify the links between the strategies and performance measures outlined in both the
strategic and operational plans.

How can planning be more inclusive of key stakeholders?


A good plan is not necessarily the one with the best photos and colour scheme, but is one that has
been developed out of an effective consultation process that helps promote buy-in from the relevant
stakeholders who impact on the delivery of the plan.

A good plan should become a living document that the management of the organisation embed into
both the day-to-day running of the organisation and the overall governance.

Why should we include government priorities in the plan?


Government priorities are usually areas where an industry-wide standard exists to help provide better
protection/safety, good practice and/or equity within an industry. These standards evolve out of a
need within an industry and assist in providing safeguards for organisations involved in a particular
industry. Examples of areas in sport may include:
• anti-doping
• risk management
• member protection
• junior sport.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The value of planning | 5

Why is planning neglected?


Despite a number of persuasive arguments in favour of planning, it is not often done or if it is, it is
done with minimal effort and commitment. This may be for a number of reasons:
• People feel uncomfortable dealing with the future (for example because it is difficult to predict).
• Many decisions are made impatiently and enacted before thinking.
• Actual responsibility for planning in many sport organisations is unclear.
• Many committees attend to daily management pressures only and ignore their longer-term
governance responsibilities.
• Some organisations may have a false sense of security (for example ‘it won’t happen to us’).

Often at the heart of this issue is confusion about the roles of, and the interaction between, facts and
intuition (or ‘gut’ feelings) in the planning process. Planning is not an exact science; judgment and
intuition can play significant roles. They are particularly important in situations that involve a high level
of uncertainty, little precedent and a number of equally plausible alternatives from which to choose.
However, using gut feelings should be balanced against what is indicated by the facts and data.
And using intuition should not become an excuse for ‘management by ignorance’ (David, FR [1997]
Concepts of Strategic Management, 6th edn. London: Prentice Hall).

There are also some myths about planning that may inhibit some organisations from getting involved.
For example, many people feel that if the plan does not succeed then they have wasted their time.
However, the actual process of plan development can help the organisation to better understand its
external environment and internal procedures. This enhanced understanding is then likely to result in
more effective decisions in the future. There is also a widespread perception that planning can
eliminate change. This is of course impossible, but planning can help organisations to cope with
change and understand how change is impacting on it.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


6 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

The planning process

An organisation may produce separate documents for strategic, operational and supplementary
plans for presentation purposes. It is important to recognise that the organisation in fact, should
have one planning process to achieve a common strategic direction. The four step planning process
described in this guide is based on developing a common strategic direction for the organisation and
providing an indication of the role of the strategic plan versus the operational plan.

Steps involved in an effective planning process


1. Pre-plan position: Firstly obtain a pre-plan position for the organisation. This is a
combination of the information in the annual report and annual review, which should include
various financial, statistical and background information for both the internal operations and
external influences of the organisation. This will help objectively describe the current position
of the organisation (see page 8 for more detail on this step).
2. Strategy formulation: Secondly one of the key activities will be either to review or identify
the vision, mission and objectives for both long and short-term and the key performance
indicators to form the strategic plan. This stage should be derived from an inclusive
approach with key stakeholders to assist with buy-in from them during the implementation
stage (see pages 8–14 for more detail on this step).
3. Strategy implementation: Thirdly to ensure a planning document is relevant to the people
within the organisation using it as a management tool. The detail of what, who, when, where,
how and the financial implications will need to be worked through. This is particularly
important to help formulate the fully costed annual operational plan (see pages 14–17 for
more detail on this step).
4. Strategy evaluation: The final stage, and commonly the most neglected stage of the
planning process, is the monitoring, evaluation and review of the plan. If you can’t monitor
something, then how can you manage it? Monitoring systems need to be put into the plan to
enable management to evaluate and review the progress of the organisation’s planning
documents (see pages 12–19 for more detail on this step).

The planning process should be seen as a continual process rather than compiling documents that
once finished remain on the shelf untouched. The organisation’s strategic and operational plans
should be documents that are referred to regularly, and reviewed and changed at various times in the
future as internal and external influences change and various objectives are achieved. Figure 3 shows
the role of the four steps in formulating the strategic versus the operational plan.

Figure 3

1. Pre-plan position 4. Strategic evaluation


Forms the annual review that comes Review operational plan against both
from the strategic evaluation operational and strategic targets

2. Strategy formulation 3. Strategic implementation


Forms the strategic plan, which should The implementation strategy is essentially
be checked annually for currency the annual operational plan

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 7

So although strategic plans may be developed for four or more years, and operational plans for one
year, Figure 3 clearly indicates the cyclical nature of planning. The strategic and operational plans
are documents that should be evaluated regularly against each other to ensure they remain relevant to
the organisation. For example, the annual review of the operational plan may determine that some
of the strategic priorities in the strategic plan need to be modified to enable the organisation to be
responsive to change. Good plans are dynamic by nature and not etched in stone, as a lot can change
in four years.

Therefore, the annual review of the operational plan should feed back into the strategy formulation on
an annual basis, rather than once every four years, to ensure the strategic priorities for the
organisation are current, and to check if modification is required. This is why the process is described
as one process rather than separate processes for the organisation’s strategic plan versus the
operational plan.

Figure 4 represents an overall planning process and aims to help develop and review the
organisation’s planning documents as one plan.

Figure 4: The planning process

1. Pre-plan Annual Report and review of previous plan


position

2. Strategy Internal External


formulation analysis analysis
Strategic
planning level

Develop vision/mission and values

Formulate long-term objectives, strategic


priorities and rationale

Generate Key Performance Indicators

3. Strategy Identify the short-term priorities and


implementation links to the strategic plan

Costed
operational
Develop the fully costed operational plan
planning level
and any supplementary plans

Adopt and implement plans


(implementation framework)

4. Strategy Evaluate performance


evaluation

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


8 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Step 1: pre-plan position


Without an accurate assessment of the organisation’s pre-plan position, it is difficult to establish a
starting point for the development of a new plan. This section forms the introduction by providing facts
and figures about the current status of the organisation that should be derived from the annual report.
It is a snapshot of the organisation showing critical information on the standing of the organisation at
the commencement of the plan. For example key quantitative measures may include:
• high performance results
• participation numbers (that is, members, coaches, officials and volunteers)
• key financial indicators and results.

Review of the previous year’s plan


This section should list the tasks that were proposed for the previous year, identify the extent to which
they were completed, state the reasons for failing to achieve any of the performance targets and
identify the implications of this for future years. This can be presented in a tabular form, following a
similar structure to the plan itself, and can be complemented if necessary by a more detailed
discussion in the text of any of the more important issues facing the organisation.

The review should include a financial summary for the previous year which shows the income and
expenditure items and an indication of actual financial performance against projected budgets for the
previous 12-month operational planning period. This review, which is based on the annual projected
operating budget, will assist the organisation in its financial planning for the coming year.

This review of the operational plan is not the same as an annual report. The review relates specifically
to the operational plan, and should be tightly presented to limit itself to this function. The annual
report and audited statements may cover some of the same points but their scope will be wider and
the context broader. The annual report and audited statements should be seen as complementary
and consistent with the annual audit and analysis of the previous year’s operational plan.

Current staffing structure


A staffing structure is a flow chart showing the reporting relationships within a sporting organisation
and clearly identifying the people that are responsible for the various activities the organisation
undertakes. The chart should include and identify both paid and unpaid positions.

Step 2: Strategy formulation


Formulation of the strategy for an organisation requires the consideration of alternative courses of
action, including:
1. Reviewing — examining past practices to determine which strategies have already been utilised
and what have been the results, to help determine a pre-plan position.
2. Analysis — performing an analysis of the internal strengths and weaknesses and external
opportunities and threats that affect the organisation through methods such as a strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis.
3. Designing — evolving draft strategies by matching the internal strengths and weakness to the
external opportunities and threats by using a threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths
(TOWS) matrix (see example pre-plan position for an example TOWS matrix).
4. Reality check — prioritising strategies by assessing the organisation’s capacity to deliver.

Internal and external analysis


To establish a new strategic plan or review the current strategic plan a more comprehensive internal
and external analysis of some of the more qualitative issues is worth undertaking as part of the
process. There are a number of forces that an organisation needs to consider when undertaking a
more comprehensive analysis (see Figures 5 and 6):

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 9

Figure 5

External forces

• Government and
political External
• Legal Compared to an Opportunities
• Technological organisation’s
and
• Social and ethical threats

• Commercial
• Environmental

There is a wide range of published and unpublished sources of external information available to
organisations. Some of the unpublished sources include presentations at various industry workshops
and conferences, while published sources may include government documents, journals, reports and
books. The internet has made it easier for organisations to gather and review this information. Further
information on suggested web sites can be found at the back of this guide.

Figure 6

Internal forces

• Finance
• Governance and
management
• Marketing and
communications
• Services and
Internal
support to
membership Compared to an Strengths
• Coaching, organisation’s
and
officiating and weaknesses
volunteers
• Participation
programs
• High performance
• Events/
competitions
• Facilities

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


10 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

A good source of information to review the internal forces listed above should be the organisation’s
annual report, which would normally be a result of the evaluation stage of the planning process.

Effective approach to internal and external analysis


To effectively formulate a strategy it is important that the internal and external forces that affect the
organisation are identified. These should be matched against internal and external forces to help
formulate possible strategies. For example if a sporting organisation has a strong network of clubs
(internal strength) and the education sector is looking to establish stronger links with local community
organisations (external opportunity), then the organisation should be formulating a strategy to take
advantage of these strengths and opportunities.

Stages of an effective approach to internal and external analysis

Stage 1: The identification stage


(SWOT analysis)
Identify internal strengths and weaknesses Identify external opportunities
and threats

Stage 2: The matching stage


(TOWS matrix)
Match internal strengths with external opportunities Match internal weaknesses with
external opportunities
Match internal strengths with external threats Match internal weaknesses with
external threats

Stage 3: The formulation of draft strategy stage


Record draft strategies for internal strengths Record draft strategies for internal
resulting from the matching process weaknesses resulting from the
matching process

Stage 4: The reality check stage


What are the priorities of the organisation? What capacity does the organisation
have to deliver strategies?

It should be noted that the matching stage may help to formulate strategy, but the capacity and
priorities of the organisation should always be considered when making decisions on which strategies
are realistic for the organisation to implement.

Pathway analysis
Another tool to help analyse the needs of a sporting organisation is to understand the sport’s
pathways. A pathway is a term used to describe the logical progression of athletes, coaches, officials
or administrators through a development system. To be effective a sporting organisation needs to
have a good understanding of its pathways for athletes, coaches, officials and administrators to
ensure it has capacity to deliver the basic elements at all levels of the organisation. Traditionally
pathways have been represented diagrammatically as a pyramid, but a good pathway diagram will
provide a clear indication of the stages of development, the people responsible for each stage and
the services or support required.

Inclusive approach to planning


Inclusive planning is more than just consultation; it is an approach that suggests those involved in
providing input should also take some responsibility and ownership for the plan and its delivery. If key
stakeholders such as state associations were instrumental in developing a national plan, why wouldn’t
they also report back at a forum such as an annual general meeting on their role in delivering relevant
aspects of the plan?

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 11

So while plans may ultimately be developed by a small group of individuals or a planning


subcommittee within an organisation, successful planning is often characterised by its collaborative
nature. Involvement and promoting buy-in by all stakeholders (especially those affected by the plan or
responsible for implementing it) is vital for success. In other words, all stakeholders have some
responsibility for planning.

The planning process itself, especially involving stakeholders, is just as important as the actual plan
that results from the process. Without being involved, members may not have a sense of ownership
and commitment to the plan and could feel that something has been imposed on them. This type of
situation makes successful implementation difficult.

An inclusive process that assists with the promotion of buy-in will include the
following:
• Preparing the ground before asking for contribution; do not expect that people can contribute
when it suits you or when your organisation has not had previous contact with individuals or
organisations
• Developing long-term relationships with key stakeholders and partner organisations
• Providing honest descriptions of the role of those you are consulting with — if you are just
seeking comments make that clear; do not imply those you are consulting with have the
power to make final decisions if they do not
• Providing feedback to those you consult with
• Providing information in the formats preferred by participants
• Ensuring that participants have time to access information; don’t provide background
information one or two days before a meeting, allow at least a week
• Ensuring the group is provided with an experienced facilitator if you are using focus groups;
• Allowing a reasonable time for key stakeholders and partner organisations to consult with
their members if this is one of your consultation strategies. Ensure reasonable time is
provided for organisations to consult stakeholders and develop submissions

Planning workshops
Because stakeholder buy-in is such a critical factor in the success of a plan’s development and
implementation, using planning workshops can be a very effective means of facilitating the necessary
involvement. Because the organisation was established to help the members, it seems appropriate to
get them involved in deciding how it should develop in the future. Many organisations have used this
method of planning and have found it very effective. The steps represented in Figure 4 are further
elaborated in the planning workshop approach outlined in the appendixes.

Vision and mission statement


A vision statement should illustrate what the sporting organisation wants to become in the future.
For example a vision statement may be ‘Our vision is to be recognised as a world leader’. A vision
statement is the first step in the strategic planning process followed closely by the development of
a mission statement.

A mission statement is a brief description of a sporting organisation’s purpose and identifies the
scope of what the organisation does. For example a mission statement may be ‘Our mission is to
develop and deliver effective services and support to our stakeholders’. It is important that whatever
vision and mission is developed, it reflects the aspirations of the stakeholders.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


12 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

A quick test of a good mission statement is to ask:


■ Does it describe a purpose for the organisation?
■ Does it capture the culture of the organisation?
■ Does it describe the strategic positioning of the organisation?
■ Is it easy to read?
■ Is it general enough to adapt to ongoing changes, yet specific enough to impact on the
behaviour of the organisation’s people?

Values
The values of a sporting organisation will help identify the working relationships between employees,
volunteers and key stakeholders such as state associations, clubs and commercial partners of the
organisation. In essence this may help to establish or identify the culture of the organisation. It is
somewhat of an art to uncover the culture that is buried within a sporting organisation’s results,
history, leaders and practices, as culture can represent both strength and a weakness. Culture is
an area of an organisation that can no longer be taken for granted as culture and management must
work together.

Key result areas


For reporting purposes it is important to clearly identify the areas the organisation aims to measure
its results under and the various categories relevant to each area. The work of a sporting organisation
may cover a broad scope of categories.

Examples of these categories may include:

Planning and evaluation Media and public relations Coaching


Corporate governance Facilities Officiating
Management and administration Elite performance Junior sport
People or human resources National teams Disability sport
Commercial opportunities National training centres Masters sport
Financial management Sports science Indigenous sport
Information and communication Sports medicine Women’s sport
technologies Athlete career education Participation and/or membership
Competitions and events Direct athlete support Ethics
Marketing Talent identification Anti-doping
Communications Club and/or community sport Member protection
Volunteer management Harassment-free sport

The key result areas (KRAs) will describe how the sporting organisation hopes to achieve its long-term
objectives and strategic priorities. The above list of categories can be refined into a more succinct list
of KRAs with the majority of the above listed categories being picked up as sub-points. Therefore an
example list of KRAs may look something like:
• Management
• High performance
• Sport development
• Competition.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 13

The organisation should then identify in each KRA its long-term objective and the relevant categories.
For example high performance could include the following categories:
• National team
• National training centres
• Talent identification
• Sports science and medicine
• Athlete career and education
• Direct athlete support
• Coach development
• Official development.

Areas such as coaching and officiating can fall under one or more KRAs. This should not be a concern
as the context will change according the desired outcomes of the KRA.

Long-term objectives and rationale


The long-term objectives can be defined as the results the organisation hopes to achieve when
attempting to pursue its vision and mission within the plan’s period. It is essential for a sporting
organisation to state its long-term objectives as they will indicate the direction of the organisation and
assist with future evaluation. Stating the long-term objectives can also enable a sporting organisation
to reveal its strategic priorities.

To provide a reason why the long-term objective is important to the sport, a rationale may provide
some useful background.

All objectives should have the following attributes:

Specific Write objectives simply and describe exactly what will be accomplished
when each objective is achieved

Measurable The objective needs to be measurable so it can be determined when it


has been achieved. If it cannot be measured it might not be manageable.

Achievable Expect to achieve the objective and do not set objectives too high or
make them unrealistic.

Related to the vision The objectives must relate to the vision of your organisation.

Time bound Each objective must have an achieve-by date. A deadline is a great
motivator for achieving objectives.

Strategic priorities
Strategic priorities should be focused on the future goals of the sport, for example if a long-term
objective is ‘To increase the number of junior participants in the sport’, then the strategic priority to
help achieve this may be ‘To develop and implement a modified game that assists junior development
officers involve primary school age children in the sport’.

When writing strategies an organisation should describe what it aims to accomplish by using ‘doing’
verbs to start the strategy such as: foster, develop, provide, prepare, produce, organise, perform,
nurture, support, explore, promote, advance, build, introduce, deliver, adopt, sustain and build.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


14 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

The formulation of the organisation’s strategic priorities should address the following key questions:
■ Do the strategies address the internal strengths/weaknesses and external
opportunities/threats?
■ Are they actionable?
■ Are they building on the successes of the previous plan?
■ Do they enable the organisation to achieve its long-term objectives and
performance indicators?
■ Does the sport have the capacity (resources, skills) to achieve them?
■ Will key stakeholders support them (buy-in)?
■ Will they provide a competitive advantage for the sport?

Key performance indicators


Key performance indicators (KPIs) should enable the organisation to identify the criteria against which
it can measure its performance against each strategic priority, which match up to the organisation’s
long-term objectives and KRAs. KPIs will determine the extent to which the strategies have been
achieved. KPIs are measures that provide some feedback on performance. They should be related to
the strategies and could include quality, quantity and time components.

Examples of key performance indicators may include:


• increased levels of funding and services between the sport and key stakeholders
• 5% increase in registered members
• 90% member satisfaction with upgraded web-based communication systems.

Step 3: Strategy implementation


The strategy implementation stage is a critical step for organisations after completing the process for
formulating strategies. The transition from strategy formation to strategy implementation is an area
where organisations usually falter. This is why it is important from a management perspective to
develop a costed operational plan and supplementary plans based on the strategic plan, but to also
understand the framework in which implementation will occur.

Tips for implementing a plan


• Successful strategy formation is transferred to successful implementation by the organisation
through embracing change from the corporate governance level right down to a functional level.
• Key stakeholders agree and sign-off on the strategic direction of the plan.
• The plan is communicated to the people and organisations involved in the delivery of the plan.
• Policy and procedural changes are made in line with new or modified strategies.
• Financial, human and physical resources are allocated to the strategies outlined in the plan.
• The values and ethics of the organisation correlate to the strategies and those who are
involved in the implementation process.
• A plan is an active document; hence changes to strategies may need to be embraced before
a strategy is implemented.
• The risks involved with managing the various strategies formulated need to be considered as
part of implementing the plan.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 15

Linkages to the strategic plan


To help ensure the costed operational plan is clearly linked to the strategic plan, elements of the
operational plan should be clearly titled according to the key result area, long-term objective and
strategic priority they specifically relate to. The use of a numbering system to identify the relationship
will also assist with demonstrating the links, which are important to understand as part of the annual
review against the strategic plan.

Short-term priorities
A short-term priority for the purposes of this planning guide is an annual objective, but expressed in
priority order within a 12-month timeframe. The parameters for developing a short-term priority are
still similar to a long-term objective in terms of being SMART. They should be derived from the
long-term objectives and KRAs. However, they should be established at an operational level that
outlines what action is required, who is responsible, when it is to be achieved, what resources are
required and what are the annual performance targets.

Whole of sport impact


The ‘whole of sport’ impact is an indication of which levels of the sport (that is, international, national,
state, or club) have a role in the delivery of the plan. The purpose of including the whole of sport
impact is to assist member organisations with their planning when trying to understand which parts of
the national plan they may have a role in delivering. This could easily be represented as part of the
action plan table as per the following example, but could also be reflected in a pathways diagram.

Action Whole of sport responsibility


National State Club
International liaison ✓
National and state MOUs ✓ ✓
Club development ✓ ✓ ✓

Financial plan
Long-term objectives to develop the organisation will have an obvious impact on its future financial
performance. The financial plan should outline finances required to manage the organisation, deliver
programs and provide services for the coming 12-month period. A financial plan requires careful
attention, as it can become quite complex.

Financial plans fall into two major categories:


• a monthly cash flow budget
• an annual projected operating budget.

Monthly cash flow budget


The cash flow budget is different to the annual projected operating budget as a monthly cash flow
budget is used to manage the organisation over a 12-month period, monitoring what happens from
month to month. Whereas the whole organisation budget is designed to financially measure the
annual performance and is used for managing the organisation from year to year.

A monthly cash flow budget estimates the monthly income and expenditure for the next 12 months,
and if completed in enough detail, will be a sound guide to monitor actual cash flow as the year
unfolds. When calculating your organisation’s cash flow, be careful to incorporate any changes that will
occur during the planning period within the operational plan.

Most banks will ask small businesses to provide a projected cash flow so they can monitor progress
against a bank statement. A sound financial monitoring system is one where the organisation closely
monitors actual cash flow against estimated cash flow on a monthly basis.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


16 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Annual projected operating budget


The annual projected operating budget is used to project the annual financial results over a yearly
period. An accrual accounting method is usually used to create an annual projected operating budget.
This is the type of budget you would use to assess the financial capacity of the organisation to
manage the short-term priorities outlined in the costed operational plan.

It is used to measure the financial impact of both expenditure and income that is expected over the
coming 12-month period. Therefore it is important to take into consideration all legitimate income and
a worst case expenditure to ensure both unrealistic expectations are not projected and allowances are
made for extra-ordinary expenses which may occur into the future. Once the budget is completed the
organisation should also consider the ‘what if’ scenarios to gain an estimate of the impact that
changes to income and expenditure may have.

Implementation framework
Figure 7 indicates from a management perspective the key elements that a sporting organisation will
need to address if they are to make the transition from strategy formation to implementation.

Figure 7

Communication Resource
Governance
allocation

Policies and IMPLEMENTATION Risk


procedures FRAMEWORK management

Planning and Ethics and


Key stakeholders
monitoring values

The organisation may wish to include an implementation framework as part of their planning
documents to assist with implementation. This could be expressed in table form as outlined below:

Implementation framework

Element Example activity


Governance Ensuring that board reporting links to the strategic direction
of the organisation
Communication Distribution of the various planning documents to the appropriate
key stakeholders
Resource allocation Re-alignment of staffing structures and budgets against the plan
Key stakeholders Ensuring that member associations such as states adopt and
sign-off on the plans
Ethics and values Managing the conflicts of interest that may arise within the organisation
Risk management Establishing a Risk Management Plan to help identify, assess and
respond to the risks involved in implementing the plan
Policies and procedures Instituting changes to the day-to-day policies and procedures
of the organisation
Planning and monitoring Regular monitoring and evaluation of plans

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 17

Adoption (sign-off)
Of particular significance is the ability of the sporting organisation to gain sign-off from its member
associations (for example state sporting organisations) for the sports planning documents. Situations
commonly arise where national objectives and programs are not achieved due to problems between
the national and state organisations. By having a truly national plan that is formally adopted by the
national and state organisations for the sport, the ability of the sport to overcome or even prevent
some of the historical problems may be reduced.

One measure of success as to whether the national plan has truly been endorsed and agreed to by
the member organisations would be the reflection of national objectives and programs within the state
sporting organisation’s planning documents. The process of gaining sign-off could be achieved at an
annual general meeting or by having state organisations sign an execution page.

The first steps to achieving this level of agreement must begin with the formulation of the plan through
an inclusive approach with key stakeholders. This gives the sport every chance of developing a ‘whole
of sport’ direction for the future and a more effective use of limited resources.

Changes to the plan


If some time into an annual cycle things are not going according to the plan, short-term changes to the
plan may need to be made prior to the next annual review. There may also be new proposals or issues
arising that don’t fall neatly into an annual cycle. These should be evaluated in the context of the
current plan to ensure that they don’t conflict with existing strategies before integrating them into the
current planning documents.

Step 4: Strategy evaluation


The role of the organisation’s planning documents doesn’t stop with their adoption at the annual
general meeting. It is the organisation’s most important reference document, which should be used
constantly throughout the year as a context for decision-making, and for monitoring the performance
of the organisation in terms of its performance and financial situation. Once the plan is finalised, it is
important that it is regularly reviewed. The annual review of the plan can follow a similar process to its
initial preparation, but will tend to be simpler in that the format, general information and most of the
forward proposals will have already been established.

Tips for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the plan


• Identify the people in the organisation who will be responsible for monitoring.
• Ensure specific time frames have been allocated for the implementation of strategies.
• Develop formal reporting procedures for the identified person to comply with — reporting
procedures can be ascribed to an action plan group or person, or they can be built into
established reporting processes.
• Check progress regularly in relation to what is set out in the plan. This should be included as
a regular item on management meeting agendas.
• Modify the plan if it is not possible to achieve some of the goals that have been set.
• Establish a planning subcommittee to review the whole plan each year to check whether the
organisation achieved goals for the year and to add another year to the plan. The organisation
should be constantly planning three to four years ahead.
• If the changes to the plan are not major, a simple way of approaching the review is to treat
the previous year’s plan as a draft and circulate it for amendment and for addition of the
information for one year further ahead.

This section looks at activities commonly grouped under the heading ‘Evaluation’. This includes
monitoring, evaluation and review.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


18 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

For plans to remain effective, the organisation will need to review and amend it regularly. This requires
processes that ensure that the plans remain a dynamic working tool for the organisation.

One of the common problems experienced is the tendency to review whether or not the strategies
have been done, rather than reviewing whether or not doing the strategies achieved the desired
strategic shift and had a positive impact on the organisation.

Some key questions an organisation should ask itself when undertaking evaluation
processes are:
■ Have any major changes occurred with the organisation’s internal position?
■ Have any major changes occurred with the organisation’s external position?
■ Is the organisation progressing satisfactorily towards achieving its objectives?

Monitoring, evaluation and review strategies need to be planned during the development process,
rather than as an afterthought. The use of benchmarking represents one way of testing the
effectiveness of the plans.

Benchmarking
Another way of measuring the organisation’s performance is with benchmarks. The term ‘benchmarking’
generally refers to the process of comparing various levels of an organisation’s performance with some
standard. The aim of good benchmarking is to provide insights and information for managers to assess
current or recent performances so decisions about how to improve performance can be evidence based.
For sporting organisations benchmarks can equate to the key performance indicators within their
strategic plan, the operational targets within their operational plan, or be based on an industry standard
in areas such as risk management and member protection.

Primarily there are two types of benchmarks:


1. results focused on comparative performance information.
2. processes which involve the analysis of processes performed within an organisation.

Examples of these benchmarks may include:


1. Results benchmarking: Achieve a 5% increase in membership levels.
2. Process benchmarking: Member protection policy endorsed at annual general meeting for
incorporation into the organisation’s by-laws and circulated to all members.

If a sporting organisation is considering undertaking a benchmarking process, they will need to


include the following steps:
• identify what is to be benchmarked
• identify comparative measures
• determine data collection method and collect data
• communicate benchmark findings and gain acceptance
• establish goals
• develop plans
• implement plans and monitor progress
• recalibrate benchmarks.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


The planning process | 19

Using benchmarking can benefit the organisation in three ways:


• Comparing the achievement of performance targets against simple output measures such as:
output per employee over time, performance between organisations in the same industry or
comparing the organisation against global measures of efficiency or productivity.
• Providing new insights and information for managers to assess current or recent performance so
decisions about how to improve performance can be evidence based.
• Overcoming barriers and providing a motivation for change through a better understanding of the
organisation’s current levels of performance against its desired benchmarks.

Benchmarking is therefore a valuable tool for comparisons and a very logical step for setting objective
targets and enhancing performance measurement. It essentially provides a method of reporting
performance that can often be the first step in creating the recognition that change and improvement
is required.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


20 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Format of the plan

The format for presenting planning documents should be determined with the following principles in mind:

Tips for formatting an effective plan


• The plans should embrace all the significant planning needs of the organisation and answer
all the questions discussed in the previous chapter.
• From the viewpoint of the reader, both within and outside the organisation, it should be
reasonably concise, logically presented and easy to follow.
• The format should be capable of being managed by the average sports administrator, and be
readily adaptable to the differing needs of various organisations at all levels.
• Once prepared, a plan should lend itself to a straightforward procedure for its monitoring,
evaluation and review of its success and updating for future years.
• It should allow the hierarchical preparation of the organisation’s various planning documents
so that plans for member organisations (for example states and clubs) can be viewed
logically in relation to that of the national body.
• It should be capable of regular use and reference when applied to the ongoing management
of the organisation.

In summary it should be logical, comprehensive, readable, manageable, relevant and useful. While the
suggested format and examples outlined in this manual may meet all these requirements, it is not the
only format that will work nor is it claimed to be necessarily the best format for all organisations.

Organisations that wish to follow the format should do so critically, assessing whether it should be
simplified, expanded or otherwise modified. Organisations that already have planning documents may
wish to recast them in this format or alternatively use ideas from this format to modify their
established documents. The format is of secondary importance to the actual process of preparing and
using a properly thought out plan.

The key result areas and categories listed in the format information and example plans can be used to
stimulate ideas but should not be followed blindly. It is much better for an organisation preparing a
plan to think through such points itself from first principles. The suggested format for the pre-plan
position, strategic and fully costed operational plan is based on the following components as a
minimum requirement.

Pre-plan position
A pre-plan position is a review and evaluation of the previous operational and strategic plans that
should form the basis of an organisation’s annual review and annual report. A pre-plan position should
include the following elements:
• introduction stating background to the sport
• scope of the plan
• staffing structure
• internal and external analysis
• pathway information
• review of previous year’s operational plan
• financial summary of actual versus budgeted costs
• review of results against key performance indicators.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Format of the plan | 21

Strategic plan
A strategic plan is a document that is designed to give the sporting organisation some direction over a
desired period (for example four years). Strategic planning is the formulation of strategy to assist
management in planning to take advantage of long-range organisational goals. In general a strategic
plan incorporates the following areas:
• vision, mission and values
• key stakeholders
• key result areas
• long-term objectives and rationale
• strategic priorities
• key performance indicators
• multi-year summary of strategic priorities
• implementation framework.

Fully costed operational plans


Fully costed operational plans, on the other hand, are usually concerned with shorter time frames
(for example one year) and contain more detail than strategic plans. Responsibility for operational
plans can be delegated to the management team within the organisation. In general a fully costed
operational plan incorporates the following areas:
• Key result areas and long-term objectives (from the strategic plan)
• Category (for example junior sport, anti-doping, officiating, etc.)
• Strategic priorities (from the strategic plan)
• Action
• Priority
• Responsibility
• Time frame
• Cost
• Performance targets
• Comments on whole of sport impact
• Annual projected operating budget
• Monthly cash flow budget.

Details on how to express these elements in a planning format are outlined in the example costed
operational plan.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


22 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Example plans

In this section, examples are presented of a hypothetical strategic and costed operational plan for the
national sporting organisation controlling a hypothetical sport, the Anysport Association of Australia
Inc. This example illustrates the important features of strategic and costed operational plans for a
national sporting organisation. For editorial reasons no specific dates have been given in this example
and terms such as year 2 or last year have been used instead. In a real plan it is preferable to specify
the actual years.

Pre-plan position
Anysport Association of Australia was formed in 1981 and has since enjoyed rapid growth throughout
the country. Its growing popularity is attributed to the fact that it can be enjoyed by elite competitors
and grassroots participants and has a strong social component which is enjoyed by male, female and
mixed teams. It is suitable for people of all ages from seven upwards and enjoys popular support in all
states and territories. The main feature on the national calendar is an interstate competition involving
all states and territories, which is rotated among all affiliated states and territories from year to year.

Australia is becoming increasingly involved in participation at the international level, competing


regularly in world championship/world cup events. To date the association has maintained a strong
presence on the International Anysport Federation (IAF), and is hoping to become more active in the
near future to help promote better links within the Asian region.

The national women’s program has gone from strength to strength with a number of junior world
champions and strong international rankings for the senior members. The men’s program is becoming
more competitive with a number of promising junior competitors coming through and improvements by
all senior competitors in their international rankings. As a country the Anysport Association of
Australia has maintained a top-five ranking for the previous four-year period.

Accreditation programs for coaches and officials are operating effectively at all levels and are
producing coaches and officials of the highest standard. However, plans are underway to improve the
recruitment and retention of coaches and officials at all levels, as numbers are falling away,
particularly in the volunteers who support local club competition.

Anysport is a particularly spectacular sport to watch and has witnessed the development a number of
additional disciplines, due to the street active culture of young Australians. Anysport has a current
membership of over 11,000 registered participants, but Australian Bureau of Statistic figures suggest
over 100,000 young Australians enjoy activities that reflect the evolving street culture of Anysport.

As a consequence Anysport has entered in a partnership with its state associations to provide a
modified version of Anysport aimed at encouraging young Australians to become registered members
and help strengthen local clubs.

Scope of the plan


This strategic plan is the result of an inclusive approach to planning that involved extensive analysis of
the internal strengths/weaknesses, external opportunities/threats through consultation with state
associations and other key stakeholders such as competitors, sponsors, media, officials, coaches
and office staff. The formulation of strategies also involved an audit of the previous plan, which
provided a valuable historical perspective of the sport’s capacity to deliver programs and services.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 23

The Anysport Association of Australia and its state associations at its annual general meeting on
1 October last year agreed to the four-year strategic plan. The plan is presented based on the
following key result areas (KRAs) and the categories as summarised below:

Key result areas


1. Management: Governance, Financial Management, Operations, Stakeholder Relations,
Risk Management and Communications
2. High Performance: Talent Identification and Development, Youth Development, National
Team, Coach/Official Development, Anti-doping, Sports Science and Medicine
3. Sport Development: Coaches, Officials, Volunteers, State Associations, Member Protection,
Clubs and Targeted Programs (Women, Indigenous, Junior, Disability)
4. Competition: International Events and Domestic Competition

Within each key result area Anysport has identified its long-term objectives and strategic priorities for
the next four years.

The long-term objectives for Anysport to address the key result areas will be:
1. To ensure Anysport strives for effective management to provide a sustainable organisation.
2. To foster the success of Australian athletes at an international level.
3. To grow the participation and interest in Anysport through a range of strong development
programs, that are agreed to and implemented in partnership with the sport’s state associations
and member clubs.
4. To provide a vibrant international events and domestic competition program.

The rationale behind these objectives was identified through the internal and external analysis (TOWS
matrix). The key performance indicators by which the success of Anysport in implementing the plan
will be measured are outlined in the strategic plan.

Staffing structure
The staffing structure outlined on the following page provides an indication of the paid, part-time
and voluntary, positions within Anysport who are responsible for the coordination and delivery of
Anysport’s annual operational plan.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


24 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Figure 8: Staffing structure

Board

CEO
(F/T)

High Performance Development Operations Competitions


Manager Manager Manager Manager
(F/T) (F/T) (F/T) (P/T)

Coaching and Anysports


Head Coach Administration
Officials Coordinator Events
(F/T) Officer
(Volunteer) Incorporated

National Youth Coaches and Officials


Coordinator Associations
(Volunteer) (Volunteer)

Scholarship Coach
(F/T)

Scholarship Official
(F/T)

Internal and external analysis and pathways


The qualitative analysis of Anysport’s internal strengths/weaknesses and external opportunities/
threats (TOWS matrix) has enabled Anysport to match the internal and external forces currently
affecting Anysport to formulate a set of strategies. These strategies have been prioritised in the
strategic plan after undergoing a ‘reality check’ in terms of Anysport’s resources (human and
financial), priorities and future opportunities.

A key part of the reality check is for Anysport to understand its athlete pathway to ensure appropriate
resources and support are provided to the sport’s athletes competing in the various levels of
competition on offer. This is outlined in Anysport’s athlete pathway diagram.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Internal and Strengths — S Weaknesses — W
external analysis
• Paid staff in national office • Collaboration between states and national body
(TOWS matrix) • Strong volunteer support • Volunteers delivering national programs
• Effective policies and procedures • Small number of revenue streams
• Innovative people • Limited quantity of sport development programs
• Reasonable levels of revenue across a range of areas
• Quality sport development programs • Drop in the number of volunteer coaches and officials
• Vibrant international and domestic • Low levels of investment in youth development and
competition programs talent identification
• Excellent high performance results • Limited competition program

Opportunities — O SO — Strategies WO — Strategies


• Growing participation base of non-registered 1. Embrace new initiatives for information and 10. Improve relationships and partnerships with key
participants communication technologies stakeholders
• Commercial and government interest in investing in 2. Sustain and grow revenue sources 11. Ensure sustainable operational performance
modified versions of the sport
3. Maintain good financial management practices 12. Nurture and develop the national youth program
• Interest from influential people to have a role in the
4. Foster good governance 13. Optimise the talent identification and development
organisation’s governance
5. Foster the ongoing success of the senior national resources of state institutes and academies of sport
• International association looking to develop a more
comprehensive international competition program team program 14. Develop a pool of world class coaches and officials
• International association seeking bids to stage world 6. Nurture and grow female participation 15. Conduct a round of the Anysport World Cup Series
championships 7. Promote access and opportunities for people with 16. Support the Asian and Oceania Championships
• Improve access to target groups such as Indigenous, a disability 17. Build a vibrant national competition program
women, and people with a disability 8. Extend opportunities and pathways to encourage 18. Facilitate a national events calendar
• Advances in information and communication Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to
technologies progress in the sport
9. Lobby to host World Anysport Championships

Threats — T ST — Strategies WT — Strategies

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


• Anti-doping issues 1. Maintain compliance with anti-doping requirements 3. Promote the sport to the broader community
• Child protection issues 2. Support the role of clubs in building and promoting 4. Adopt strategies to manage identified risks
• Reduced leisure time for individuals to participate in Anysport to local communities 5. Develop and adopt member protection policy
sport as either a competitor or volunteer
6. Recognise the valuable contribution of volunteers
• Declining support for community clubs
7. Promote Anysport to young Australians
• Increased support for fast food sports
• Cost of technology solutions
Example plans | 25
26 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Risk assessment
Anysport has undertaken a brief risk assessment to complement the TOWS matrix to assist its review
process and the formulation of strategy.

KRA 1: Management — risk management

Identified risks for KRA 1 Risk management strategies for KRA 1


1. Poorly skilled and ineffective board 1. Focus on appointing skills-based board members
2. Key stakeholders working against each other 2. Inclusive approach to planning, including sign-off
on final plan
3. Staff operating without clear direction 3. Board and CEO to provide clear direction through
planning process
4. Failure to identify poor financial performance 4. Review and update financial systems and reporting
requirements

KRA 2: High performance — risk management

Identified risks for KRA 2 Risk management strategies for KRA 2


1. Poorly funded, managed and serviced programs 1. Maintain strengths of current program and develop
will result in poor results initiatives for continuous improvement.
2. Access to professional athletes has potential 2. Add value through training and scheduling support
to dilute national team
3. Failure to comply with ASC and ASDA 3. Maintain compliance with drugs policies
anti-doping policies compromises ability to
compete at world championships
4. Ageing national team 4. Provide support for youth development

KRA 3: Sport development — risk management

Identified risks for KRA 3 Risk management strategies for KRA 3


1. Inability of states to agree on implementation 1. Review strategies as part of national conference
strategy for national programs
2. Resources of coach and official 2. Provide support from national office
associations to deliver effective courses
3. Program coordination still heavily reliant on 3. Review strategies for generating increased revenue
volunteer support to support paid staff

KRA 4: Competition — risk management

Identified risks for KRA 4 Risk management strategies for KRA 4


1. Lack of access to international competition may 1. Lobby to host more major international competitions
see drop in standard of Australian athletes
2. Major financial commitment to all events 2. Maintain separate events company to deliver events
at a profit
3. Members and affiliates exposed to liability risk 3. Ensure provision of comprehensive public liability
when participating in Anysport sanctioned insurance for all participants
competitions
4. Loss of support for events due to quality of 4. Develop good practice guide for Anysport
service may reduce income competitions based on the event feedback
5. Unstructured calendar reduces viability of 5. Proactive role in scheduling nationally
some events sanctioned events on web calendar to reduce
conflicts with dates.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Figure 9: The Anysport athlete pathway

Participation development Talent/youth development Elite national and international

National
Club and
Targeted State Talent ID Youth squad National World
community
programs teams SIS/SAS program (youth and team champion
programs
senior)

Senior and youth team links

Club competition

Inter-club competition

State championships

World youth championships

National championships

Asian and oceania championships

World cup events

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


World championships

Note: Athlete development will not always mirror the above steps, hence the approach requires some flexibility.
Example plans | 27
28 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Review of previous year’s operational plan


Last year the organisation was very effective as it achieved the majority of the actions set out in the
operational plan. Of particular significance was the agreement struck with state associations to
deliver a modified version of the sport to help strengthen clubs and underpin the work of the sport in
growing grassroots participation.

Despite all participants expressing a high level of satisfaction with the quality of Anysport’s coaching
and officiating accreditation programs, a drop in the number of volunteer coaches and officials at club
level was experienced and will require some short-term actions to help recruit and retain these
valuable volunteers.

Other major achievements were the continued success of the national women’s team with a number
of junior world champions and the senior team finishing the year as the number one ranked nation.
The continued improvement of the men’s team from 5th to 4th in the international rankings due to the
successful transition of some promising junior talent into the senior ranks was a pleasing result.

The round of the world cup staged in Perth was considered a success, based on the feedback
provided by participants. Numbers of participants and profits for the event were all above projected
targets for the world cup. The national domestic competition achieved similar levels of income and
participation support as the previous year’s competition.

The organisation finished the year on a sound financial basis with an operational surplus of $44,049,
after planning for a surplus of $50,000. The financial position of the association is still sound, as
detailed in the annual financial report.

Financial summary of previous year

Budget Actual
Income

Capitation fees (11,132 @ $55.00) $605,000 $612,260

ASC Grants $500,000 $500,000

Competitions $1,700,000 $1,890,200

Affiliation Fees (8 @ $1,000) $8,000 $8,000

Bank Interest $3,200 $3,560

Miscellaneous $5,000 $3,500

Total: $2,821,200 $3,017,520

Expenditure

Development Initiatives $100,000 $150,000

Insurance $275,000 $278,300

Management $460,000 $461,890

Competitions $1,500,000 $1,700,312

High Performance $400,000 $360,688

Other $36,200 $22,281

Total: $2,771,200 $2,973,471

Surplus (deficit) over year $50,000 $44,049

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 29

Last year’s results

KRA 1: MANAGEMENT

Category Key performance indicator Result

1.1 Governance 1. Compliance with Anysport’s constitutional requirements Achieved


1.2 Operations 1. Achieve performance targets outlined in annual operational plan 80% achieved
1.3 Financial 1. Compliance with Anysport’s financial policies and procedures Achieved
management

KRA 2: HIGH PERFORMANCE

Category Key performance indicator Result

2.1 National 1. Achieve international ranking of top 3 for female and top 5 Achieved
teams for male senior national teams. (Females 1
and Males 4)
2.2 Anti-doping 1. Anti-doping policy approved by the ASC which meets ASC Not achieved
core anti-doping provisions (Policy requires
modification)

KRA 3: SPORT DEVELOPMENT

Category Key performance indicator Result

3.2 Member Member protection policy endorsed at annual general meeting Not achieved
protection and circulated to all members
3.4 Coaches and 5% increase in the number of accredited coaches and officials On target
officials over four years

KRA 4: COMPETITION

Category Key performance indicator Result

4.1 International World Cup conducted in accordance with IAF policies and procedures Achieved
events
4.2 Domestic 80% participant satisfaction with national competition program Achieved
competition

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


30 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Example strategic plan

Anysport Association of Australia Incorporated


Four-year Strategic Plan

Note: This plan is intended to illustrate the type of information which can be included
in a strategic plan. It is not necessarily a comprehensive example.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 31

The primary purpose of the Anysport Association of Australia is to ‘Conduct and develop Anysport
throughout Australia in partnership with its member state associations’. The vision and mission
for the organisation are:

Vision
Our vision is to remain committed to the highest standards for the conduct and development
of Anysport.

Mission
Our mission is to advance the conduct and development of Anysport by:
• fostering international success
• growing participation and interest in Anysport.

Long-term objectives
Anysport aims to advance the sport in Australia by achieving the following long-term objectives:
1. To ensure Anysport strives for effective management to provide a sustainable organisation.
2. To foster the success of Australian athletes at an international level.
3. To grow the participation and interest in Anysport through a range of strong development
programs, that are agreed to and implemented in partnership with state Anysport associations and
member clubs.
4. To provide a vibrant international events and domestic competition program.

Our key stakeholders

1. Management 2. High performance


Australian Government Australian Institute of Sport
Commercial partners State institutes and academies of sport
Board of Directors and National Council Youth program athletes
International Anysport Federation Elite athletes
Media Elite coaches
Employees International officials

3. Sport development 4. Competition


State associations Anysport event corporation
Clubs State government tourism and event corporations
Grassroots participants Local government
Targeted program participants International Anysport Federation
Coaches, officials, volunteers

Our values

In relation to external stakeholders we will: In relation to internal stakeholders we will:


• Be inclusive and endeavour to achieve buy-in • Strive for excellence and innovation
• Be responsive to their needs • Be cooperative and work as a team
• Listen and communicate openly • Listen and communicate openly
• Be open and transparent • Value the wellbeing and diversity of our people

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


KRA 1: MANAGEMENT
Objective: To ensure Anysport strives for effective management to provide a sustainable organisation

Rationale: Building an effective and sustainable organisation through the following strategic priorities will help ensure Anysport:
• Maintains its Board of Directors and national office staff and services
• Has the financial resources to deliver high performance and development programs
• Maintains good relationships with key stakeholders such as government, state associations, clubs, sponsors and commercial partners
• Promotes itself to help attract new members and build community awareness
• Embraces new technologies to improve communications with key stakeholders

Category Strategic priorities Key performance indicators

1.1 Governance 1.1.1 Foster good governance for Anysport Compliance with Anysports constitutional requirements

1.2 Operations 1.2.1 Ensure sustainable operational performance Achieve performance targets outlined in annual operational plan

1.3 Financial management 1.3.1 Maintain good financial management practices Compliance with Anysports financial policies and procedures

1.3.2 Sustain and grow sources of revenue Exceed current levels of annual revenue
32 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

1.4 Stakeholder relations 1.4.1 Improve relationships and partnerships with Increased levels of funding and services between Anysport and
key stakeholders key stakeholders

1.5 Communications 1.5.1 Promote the sport to the broader community 5% increase in registered members

1.5.2 Embrace new initiatives for information and 90% member satisfaction with upgraded web-based
communication technologies communication systems

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


1.6 Risk management 1.6.1 Adopt strategies to manage identified risks Compliance with strategies
KRA 2: HIGH PERFORMANCE
Objective: To foster the success of Australian athletes at international level

Rationale: Fostering international success through the following strategic priorities will help to:
• Maintain Anysport’s international rankings
• Develop the next generation of high performance athletes
• Ensure Anysport has a pool of quality high performance coaches and officials to support athlete development
• Search for a competitive advantage through sports science and medicine

Category Strategic priorities Key performance indicators

2.1 National team 2.1.1 Foster the ongoing success of the senior national Achieve international ranking of top 3 for female and top 5 for male
team program senior national teams.

2.2 Anti-doping 2.2.1 Adopt, implement and enforce anti-doping policies, rules Achieve compliance with anti-doping requirements
and programs that conform to and comply with the ASC’s
anti-doping core provisions

2.3 Youth development 2.3.1 Nurture and develop the national youth program Qualify a full complement of competitors for world youth championships
according to IAF standards

2.4 Coach/official development 2.4.1 Develop a pool of world class coaches and officials Agreed process for coach and official succession planning with
key stakeholders (for example Anysport’s coaches and officials
associations)

2.5 Talent identification 2.5.1 Optimise the talent identification and development Agreements in place with all state institutes and academies of sport to
and development resources of state institutes and academies of sport identify talented athletes

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


2.6 Sports science and medicine 2.6.1 Foster research and development initiatives in Research agreement in place to develop benchmark high performance
high performance standards for the performance analysis of Anysport’s high
performance athletes

2.6.2 Provide direct athlete support services All members of senior national teams receiving access to levels of
direct athlete support outlined in the athlete handbook
Example plans | 33
KRA 3: SPORT DEVELOPMENT
Objective: To grow the participation and interest in Anysport through a range of strong development programs, that are agreed to and implemented in partnership
with state Anysport associations and member clubs.

Rationale: Growing the participation and interest in Anysport through the following strategic priorities will help to:
• Advance the level of cooperation with state associations and support for clubs
• Foster Anysport’s role in the community
• Protect and develop Anysport’s coaches, officials and volunteers

Category Strategic priorities Key performance indicators

3.1 State associations 3.1.1 Adopt a collaborative approach to the development and States signed endorsement of national
delivery of national programs with state associations plan and compliance with national program delivery requirements

3.2 Member protection 3.2.1 Develop and adopt a membership protection policy Member protection policy endorsed at annual general meeting for
incorporation into Anysport’s by-laws and circulated to all members

3.3 Clubs 3.3.1 Support the role of clubs in building and promoting Anysport 5% increase in average club membership levels
to local communities
34 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

3.4 Coaches and officials 3.4.1 Build a strong system of recruitment and development for Increase in the number of accredited coaches and officials over
coaches and officials four years

3.5 Volunteers 3.5.1 Recognise the valuable contribution of volunteers Annual recognition awards for key volunteers conducted

3.6 Targeted programs 3.6.1 Nurture and grow female participation Increase in the number of female participants registered

3.6.2 Promote access and opportunities for people with a disability Increase in the number of people with a disability registered

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


3.6.3 Extend opportunities and pathways to encourage Aboriginal Increased number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
and Torres Strait Islander people to progress in the sport selected for national youth and senior teams

3.6.4 Promote Anysport to young Australians 50% of clubs delivering modified version of Anysport to members and
local community organisations such as schools and youth centres
KRA 4: COMPETITION
Objective: To provide a vibrant international events and domestic competition program

Rationale: Providing a vibrant international events and domestic competition program through the following strategic priorities will help to:
• Provide access to higher levels of international competition within Australia
• Maintain a vibrant domestic competition for state, national and international level athletes

Category Strategic priorities Key performance indicators

4.1 International events 4.1.1 Lobby to host World Anysport Championships Successful bid for World Championships

4.1.2 Conduct round of Anysport World Cup Series World Cup conducted in accordance with IAF policies and procedures

4.1.3 Support the Asian and Oceania Championships Australian teams represented at Asian and Oceania Championships

4.2 Domestic competition 4.2.1 Build a vibrant national competition program 80% participant satisfaction with national competition program

4.2.2 Facilitate a national events calendar Minimum of 1000 hits per month on national calendar web site

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 35
Four-year summary
The aim of the four-year summary is to indicate which year Anysport will begin to address its strategic priorities, to enable Anysport to understand which strategic
priorities should be operationalised on an annual basis. This may vary due to the outcomes of the annual review.

Key result area Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4

1. Management

1.1 Governance 1.1.1 Foster good governance


for Anysport

1.2 Operations 1.2.1 Ensure sustainable


operational performance

1.3 Financial 1.3.1 Maintain good financial


management management practices

1.3.2 Sustain and grow sources


of revenue

1.4 Stakeholder 1.4.1 Improve relationships and


relations partnerships with key stakeholders

1.5 1.5.1 Promote the sport to the


Communications broader community
36 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

1.5.2 Embrace new initiatives for


information and communication
technologies

1.6 Risk 1.6.1 Adopt strategies to manage


Management identified risks

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


2. High performance

2.1 National team 2.1.1 Foster the ongoing success


of senior national team program
Key result area Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4

2.2 Anti-doping 2.2.1 Adopt, implement and enforce


anti-doping policies, rules and
programs that conform to and
comply with the ASC’s anti-doping
core provisions

2.3 Youth 2.3.1 Nurture and develop the


development national youth program

2.4 Coach/official 2.4.1 Develop a pool of world class


development coaches and officials

2.5 Talent 2.5.1 Optimise the talent


identification and identification and development
development resources of state institutes and
academies of sport

2.6 Sports science 2.6.1 Foster research and


and medicine development initiatives in high
performance

2.6.2 Provide direct athlete


support services

3. Sport development

3.1 State 3.1.1 Adopt a collaborative approach


associations to the development and delivery of
national programs with state
associations

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


3.2 Member 3.2.1 Develop and adopt a member
protection protection policy

3.3 Clubs 3.3.1 Support the role of clubs in


building and promoting Anysport to
local communities
Example plans | 37
Key result area Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4

3.4 Coaches and 3.4.1 Build a strong system of


officials recruitment and development for
coaches and officials

3.5 Volunteers 3.5.1. Recognise the valuable


contribution of volunteers

3.6 Targeted 3.6.1 Nurture and grow female


programs participation

3.6.2 Promote access and


opportunities for people with a disability

3.6.3 Extend opportunities and


pathways to encourage Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people to
progress in the sport

3.6.4 Promote Anysport to young


Australians

4. Competition
38 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

4.1 International 4.1.1 Lobby to host World Anysport


events Championships

4.1.2 Conduct round of Anysport


World Cup Series

4.1.3 Support the Asian and


Oceania Championships

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


4.2 Domestic 4.2.1 Build a vibrant national
competition competition program

4.2.2 Facilitate a national


events calendar
Implementation framework
The implementation framework provides an indication from a management perspective of the key elements that Anysport will need to address if it is
to make the transition from strategy formation to implementation (that is, the implementation plan).

Governance Policies and Planning and Key stakeholders Ethics and values Risk management Resource Communication
procedures monitoring allocation

Formal induction Seek endorsement Aligned and Key stakeholders Values of the Risks identified and Board to endorse Planning documents
of new directors of industry policy compatible identified as part of organisation strategies annual operating displayed on web
requirements national, state/ strategic plan identified as part developed as part plan, including the site
(drugs, member territory plans of strategic plan of future plans financial plan
protection)

Code of conduct Procedures reviewed Plans monitored Agreement with Signed agreement Monitor CEO to allocate Summary versions
for Directors according to the quarterly at an plans and MOUs with codes of implementation of appropriate of plan promoted in
organisation’s operational level struck between conduct for risk management projects to staff Anysport
strategic priorities national and state coaches, officials, strategies and volunteers publications
associations athletes, volunteers
and administrators

Establish effective Strategic and Promote to staff States to commit Copy of plan
reporting processes operational plans and members resources to distributed to
between reviewed annually at projects identified key stakeholders
management the annual as having a whole
and Board stakeholder of sport impact
conference

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 39
40 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Comments on the examples


A careful reading of the plan will reveal many ways in which it has been cast to provide information
useful to different types of readers including member associations, the board, decision makers,
sponsors and officers of the Australian Sports Commission. Some points that are worth noting are:

Comments on strategic plan example


• As well as explaining the scope of the plan, a good introduction should give a concise picture
of the profile of the sport in Australia.
• The pre-plan position does not attempt to conceal any weaknesses or failures, but rather
highlights them along with the strengths and positive achievements to ensure the new plan
attempts to both rectify the weaknesses while building on the strengths.
• The long-term objectives, strategic priorities and rationale are a true reflection of the internal
and external analysis of the organisation outlined in the pre-plan position.
• The provision of a four-year summary for the strategic plan, while essentially repeating
the information provided in the body of the plan, may provide a useful extract for
other publications.
• The key result indicators are providing a measure of performance against the relevant
strategic priorities for the organisation.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 41

Example fully costed operational plan

Anysport Association of Australia Incorporated


Year 2
Fully Costed Annual Operational Plan

Note: This plan is intended to illustrate the type of information which can be included
in a strategic plan. It is not necessarily a comprehensive example.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


KRA 1: MANAGEMENT
To ensure Anysport strives for effective management to provide a sustainable organisation

Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments


priority targets on whole of
sport impact

1.1 Governance 1. Foster good 1. Conduct six Board of High President, CEO January $40,000 Six meetings held
governance for Director meetings and Admin Officer May
Anysport August
October
2. Conduct two workshops High Board, Office May/ $20,000 Agreed strategic and Opportunity to
for key stakeholders: Staff and host October operational plans facilitate inclusive
state planning
• Professional
processes and
Development May
agreed plans
• Planning/AGM October between key
stakeholders
3. Provide induction High President November $1,000 All new directors
seminar for new directors attended the seminar
4. Review reporting Medium Board and CEO December Report presented and Reports available
processes and requirements accepted by Board to membership
42 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

between the Board and outlining reporting to promote


management requirements transparent
management
5. Distribute code of High President and CEO October Code distributed
conduct to all Directors via email

1.2 Operations 1. Ensure 1. Maintain current High President, CEO November $300,000 All agreed to terms

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


sustainable staff contracts and Operations and conditions of
operational Manager employment
performance

2. Maintain national office High Operations $100,000 National Office meeting


and day-to-day functions Manager and its day-to-day functional
including leases, equipment, Admin Officer requirements
mail and stationery
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

3. Review and update High Operations November Policies and All members have
operational policies and Manager procedures updated access via the
procedures in line with public web site
strategic and operational plan
4. Notify appropriate High Operations December Stakeholders notified
stakeholders of updated Manager via web site and email
policies and procedures
5. Establish subcommittee Medium CEO and Operations June $5,000 Report reviewing the Sub-committee to
to review annual Manager annual operational have
operational plan plan provided representation
from a variety of
key stakeholders
6. Maintain current insurance High Operations $275,000 Insurance policy Registration fee
policy for states, clubs and Manager signed funds current
registered members for insurance policy
public liability $20m,
professional indemnity $10m
and personal accident
7. Submit revised drugs High Operations June Policy endorsed by Covers competitors
policy to ASC and ASDA Manager and the ASC and ASDA at all levels of
relevant program the sport
coordinators

1.3 Financial 1. Maintain 1. Review current High Finance Director, November Report submitted
management good financial management and monitoring CEO and Operations and accepted
management procedures, policies, systems Manager by Board

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


practices and software in line with
Board reporting requirements
2. Provide reports of actual High Operations May Reports provided in a
performance against budget Manager October timely and user-friendly
as required by staff and format
the Board
Example plans | 43
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

3. Manage the relationship Medium Operations Accounts up to date


with the organisation’s Manager
debtors and creditors
2. Commission an external Medium Operations March $20,000 Report provided of
review of the organisation’s Manager potential new revenue
potential new revenue streams for
opportunities consideration by
the Board

1.4 Stakeholder 1. Improve 1. Identify strategic priorities High President, CEO June List agreed to Board will need to
relations relationships that require support from and Operations by Board assist with
and partnerships key stakeholders to assist Manager identification for
with key with delivery reporting
stakeholders requirements
2. Establish the required High Operations October $5,000 Contracts and MOUs Formal contracts
contracts and MOUs with Manager and signed with all states established to
states and other key Relevant Program and territories ensure the
stakeholders Coordinator deliverables
are agreed
44 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

3. Conduct annual tour of Medium CEO and Operations July $15,000 All states and Being seen in each
state associations to discuss Manager territories visited state is aimed at
progress against the plan within the year fostering
understanding
within the national
office of state
issues

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


4. Establish reporting policies, High Operations Otcober $1,000 Reporting policy and Reporting must be
procedures and systems for Manager and state procedures approved two way, as the
monitoring commitment associations by the Board aim is to develop
by state partnerships
2. Sustain and 1. Establish clear processes Medium CEO and Operations Jaunuary $5000 ASC satisfaction with
grow sources for communication between Manager level of communication
of revenue Anysport and the ASC
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

1.6 Risk 1. Adopt strategies 1. Integrate the risk High Operations Manager Novmber Strategies integrated
management to manage management strategies into into plan policy
identified risks the organisation’s overall documents
policies and procedures

Total nanagement budget: $787,000

KRA 2: HIGH PERFORMANCE


To foster the success of Australian athletes at an international level

Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments


priority targets on whole of
sport impact

2.1 National 1. Foster 1. Select and send team High National Coach, August $70,000 Top 3 ranking female
team the ongoing to world championships High Performance team and top 5
success of in August Manager and ranking male team
senior national National Selectors
team program
2. Pre-championship camp in Medium National Coach June $50,000 Team logistics
June, including athlete organised
education and sports science

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


testing
3. Send team to European Medium National Coach July $30,000 Attend World Cup
World Cup event in July
Example plans | 45
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

4. Manage the training Medium National Coach $31,000 Athletes meeting This includes to
and schedules of national agreed performance travel to various
team members and targets states to
shadow squad individually meet
with athletes.
5. Shadow squad clinics Medium National Coach and April $10,000 8 Clinics conducted Linked to
in each state and territory team members November state visits

2.2 Anti-doping 1. Adopt, 1. Maintain compliance with High High Performance June Achievement of
implement and anti-doping requirements by Manager and compliance
enforce anti- undertaking to abide by, National Coach requirements
doping policies, implement and enforce its
rules and anti-doping policy to the
programs that satisfaction of the ASC
conform to and
comply with
the ASC’s
anti-doping core
provisions
46 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

2. Provide ASDA and High CEO and High Provision of


the ASC with relevant Performance information within
information in a timely Manager the ASC and ASDA
manner, including Anysport time frames
and IAF anti-doping policies,
policy amendments,
policy endorsement and
implementation date, athlete

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


whereabouts information and
athlete education
3. Develop result Medium High Performance October $2,000 Result management
management processes for Manager and Media process endorsed
anti-doping rule violations PR Consultant by Board
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

4. Educate persons subject High High Performance July $2,000 Education program
to Anysport’s anti-doping Manager conducted
policy
5. Actively participate in the Medium High Performance June ASC assessment
ASC’s assessment process Manager process completed
in a timely manner,
including where applicable
implementation of
identified strategies

2.3 Youth 1. Nurture 1. Appoint National Medium High Performance January $30,000 National Youth
development and develop Youth Development Manager Development
the national Coach (honorary) Coach appointed
youth program
2. Select and send National Medium National Youth November $30,000 Attendance at
youth team to Asian/Oceania Development Championships
Championships in November Coach
3. Conduct youth Low National Youth June $10,000 Youth integrated
development camp in Development with senior program
conjunction with seniors Coach
pre-worlds camp in June
4. Develop skills program Low National Youth June $2,000 Program endorsed
aimed at monitoring and Develop Coach by National Coach
developing members of the
national youth program

2.4 Coach/ 1. Develop a 1. Identify and involve 3 High National Coach June $30,000 3 coaches contributed State coaches

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


official pool of world targeted state program and National July to national team linked to national
development class coaches coaches as assistant coaches Coaching/ outcomes program
and officials for National Team Camps, and Officiating
World Championships Program Coordinator
Example plans | 47
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

2. Fund and support the High High Performance July $35,000 5 officials successfully
selection of 5 Australian Manager and accredited with IAF
officials to participate in the National Coaching/
IAF accreditation assessment Officiating
course at the World Coordinator
Championships
3. Apply for and support one High High Performance November $20,000 Successful completion
coaching and one officiating Manager and of the ASC scholarship
scholarship with the ASC National Coaching/ requirements
Officiating
Coordinator
4. Fund selected coaches and Medium High Performance December $5,000 Four coaches and
officials to attend Manager officials successfully
ASC high performance attended workshops
workshops
5. Develop a draft high Medium High Performance August Plan endorsed by The plan should
performance coaching Manager and Board and council consider state-
and officiating succession and National Coaching/ based programs as
mentoring plan for Officiating part of any
48 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

consideration of the Coordinator succession and


board and council mentoring system

6. Assist paid and Low High Performance January Successful


scholarship coaches Manager implementation of
and officials with the personal development
development and plans
implementation of

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


holistic personal
development plans
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

2.5 Talent 1. Optimise 1. Develop agreements with Low High Performance February $30,000 Agreements signed State-based
identification the talent state institutes and Manager with all states and program will
and development identification and academies to assist with territories require support
development talent identification of future from state squads
resources of youth program participants and coaches
state institutes
and academies
of sport

Total high performance budget: $373,000

KRA 3: SPORT DEVELOPMENT


To grow the participation and interest in Anysport through a range of strong development programs that are agreed too and implemented in partnership with the
sport’s state associations and member clubs

Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments


priority targets on whole of
sport impact

3.1 State 1. Adopt a 1. Conduct annual High Development November $10,000 Agreed implementation Key to national
associations collaborative development conference with Manager strategy for programs being
approach to the state representatives to national programs delivered with
development discuss and agree to national each state
and delivery programs implementation

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


of national strategy in November
programs
with state
associations
Example plans | 49
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

2. Formally sign agreed High CEO and State October All states and
implementation strategy Representatives territories signed
at conference strategy
3. Conduct 2 annual High Development March $1,000 2 phone conferences Important for
teleconferences to report Manager September conducted two-way
progress of national programs communication
(March and Sept.) between states
and national office

3.2 Member 1. Develop and 1. Appoint workgroup to High Operations April $4,000 1st draft
protection adopt a member develop draft member Manager developed by April
protection policy protection policy by April
2. Circulate draft policy High Operations June 1st draft circulated to
to key stakeholders for Manager stakeholders by June
feedback by June

3. Present final draft for High CEO and Board October Final draft approved by Policy designed
approval and agreement by Board and National to protect
Board and National Council in Council and included in members at all
50 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

October for incorporation into by-laws levels of


Anysports by-laws the sport

3.4 Coaches 1. Build a 1. Contract Anysport Coaches High Development June–August $30,000 1 course conducted in National Program
and Officials strong system of Association to work with state Manager, Coaching each state/territory that directly
recruitment and associations to conduct and Officiating and 20% of coaches services states
development accreditation courses and Coordinator and updated and clubs
for coaches updating seminars for club Coaches

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


and officials coaches in each state association
and territory
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

2. Contract Anysport Officials High Development June–August $30,000 1 course conducted in National Program
Association to work with state Manager, Coaching each state/territory that directly
associations to conduct and Officiating and 20% of officials services states
accreditation courses and Coordinator and updated and clubs
updating seminars for club Officials
and state level officials in Association
each state and territory
3. Review and update current Medium Development November $15,000 All courses reviewed by Feedback from
accreditation programs (that is, Manager, Coaching November states and clubs
including resources) for and Officiating should come from
coaches Coordinator post-course
and officials to include evaluations with
opportunities to establish aim of review to
flexible learning practices (for improve access to
example, online support) by courses through
November flexible learning

4. Submit reviewed Medium Development December Course endorsed


programs to the ASC for Manager by ASC
endorsement by December
5. Review the level of support High CEO and October $3,000 Review/proposal Full-time
(that is, mentoring and Independent endorsed by Board coordinator
retention initiatives) and Consultant should impact
develop a proposal to appoint on the level of
a full-time National Coaching support to state
and Officiating Coordinator for associations

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


consideration of the Board
Example plans | 51
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

6. Conduct course Medium Coaching and September $7,000 1 workshop per state Increased support
presenters and assessors Officiating and increased number within each state
training workshops in each Coordinator of presenters and association to
state and territory assessors support the
accreditation of
coaches and
officials
7. Review and revise the High Development October Endorsement of Applies to coaches
current code of conduct for Manager, Coaching revised code of and officials at all
coaches and officials for and Officiating conduct as a by-law at levels from elite to
endorsement at the annual Coordinator and the annual general grass roots
general meeting for incorporation Coaches/Officials meeting
into Anysport’s by-laws associations

8. Conduct national Medium Development December $10,000 Conferences Open to coaches


coaches and officials Manager and conducted with and officials at
conferences in partnership Coaches/Officials a minimum of all levels
with the coaches and officials Associations 50 participants
associations in December
52 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

3.5 Volunteers 1. Recognise 1. Appoint a panel of judges High Development March Awards judged
the valuable to judge annual volunteer Manager
contribution recognition awards
of volunteers
2. Conduct annual volunteer High Development April $10,000 Ceremony conducted Scope to recognise
awards as part of opening Manager club and state
ceremonies at the National level volunteers

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Championships
3. Submit nominations Medium Development May
for Industry awards for Manager
Anysport’s volunteers

Total sport development budget: $120,000


KRA 4: COMPETITION
To provide a vibrant international events and domestic competition program

Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments


priority targets on whole of
sport impact

4.1 International 1. Lobby to host 1. Appoint bid team to High CEO and President July $80,000 Successful bid
events World Anysport prepare bid and lobby for
Championships support at World Congress to
host next available World
Championships
2. Conduct 1. Contract Anysports High CEO Competitions October $800,000 IAF feedback positive As an annual event
round of Anysport Events Inc. to coordinate and Manager and on the outcome of it is rotated around
World Cup Series manage the World Cup Anysports the event states with the
competition on behalf of Events Inc. capacity to host
Anysport in October
2. Establish agreed reporting High Competitions October Reports provided in a
process and procedures, Manager and timely and user-friendly
including financial Anysports way
management arrangements Events Inc.
3. Support the 1. Send delegation of Medium Competitions November $10,000 Support provided to
Asian and officials and administrators Manager championships
Oceania to support the conduct of
Championships the Asian and Oceania
Championships

4.2 Domestic 1. Build a 1. Contract Anysports Events High CEO, Competitions April $600,000 80% satisfaction from
competitions vibrant national Inc to coordinate the National Manager and participant feedback
competition Competition program on Anysports forms provided at the

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


program behalf of Anysport in April Events Inc. event
2. Review Anysports High CEO and December Report accepted
performance in delivering the Competitions by Board
National Competition Program Manager
Example plans | 53
Category Strategic Action Priority Responsibility Timeframe Cost Performance Comments
priority targets on whole of
sport impact

2. Facilitate a 1. Provide sanctioning High Competitions $10,000 All competitions National service
national events services for all Anysport Manager sanctioned provided for all
calendar competitions as required by levels of the sport
Anysport’s insurance policy
for all competitions including
state and club
2. List all nationally High Competitions December All sanctioned events
sanctioned events on a Manager listed on the web
web-based national
events calendar

Total competition budget: $1,500,000


54 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 55

FINANCIAL PLAN

Annual projected operating budget

Budget

Income

Capitation fees (11,132 @ $55.00) $605,000

ASC grants $540,000

Competitions $1,700,000

Affiliation fees (8 @ $1,000) $8,000

Bank interest $3,200

Miscellaneous $10,000

Total: $2,866,200

Expenditure

Development initiatives $120,000

Management $787,000

Competitions $1,500,000

High performance $373,000

Other $36,200

Total: $2,816,200

Surplus (deficit) over year $50,000

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Monthly Cash Flow Budget

Item Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Total

Income

Capitation fees $50,000 $220,000 $120,000 $60,000 $5,000 $5000 $5000 $20,000 $90,000 $30,000 $605,000

ASC grants $135,000 $135,000 $135,000 $135,000 $540,000

Competitions $500,000 $400,000 $600,000 $200,000 $1,700,000

Affiliation fees $8000 $8000

Bank interest $3,200

Miscellaneous $5,000 $5,000 $10000

Total: $185,000 $220,000 $620,000 $600,000 $5,000 $5,000 $143,200 $20,000 $698,000 $365,000 $5,000 $2,866,200

Expenditure

Development $4,000 $500 $10,000 $10,000 $14,000 $13,000 $13,000 $10,500 $10,000 $20,000 $15,000 $120,000

Management $346,000 $40,000 $35,000 $46,000 $50,000 $35,000 $51,000 $40,000 $35,000 $57,000 $30,000 $32,000 $787,000

Competitions $60,000 $60,000 $110,000 $410,000 $10,000 $10,000 $70,000 $50,000 $100,000 $600,000 $10,000 $10,000 $1,500,000
56 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

High performance $23,000 $31,000 $1,000 $7,000 $31,000 $83,000 $56,000 $68,000 $6,000 $16,000 $33,000 $2,000 $373,000

Other $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,200 $36,200

Total: $432,000 $138,000 $149,500 $476,000 $104,000 $145,000 $193,000 $174,000 $154,500 $686,000 $96,000 $52,200 $2,816,200

Surplus (deficit) ($247,000) $82,000 $470,500 $124,000 ($99,000) ($140,000) ($49,800) ($154,000) $543,500 ($321,000) ($96,000) ($47,200) $50,000

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Example plans | 57

Comments on the examples


A careful reading of the plan will reveal many ways in which it has been cast to provide information
useful to different types of readers including member associations, the board, decision makers,
sponsors, and officers of the Australian Sports Commission. Some points that are worth noting are:

Comments on costed operational plan example


• The long-term objectives of the organisation as described in the strategic plan relate directly
to the short-term objectives and actions outlined in the operational plan for the organisation.
• The initial review of the previous year’s operational plan reflects both financial performance
and performance against the performance targets.
• Of particular significance is the role of member associations in the delivery of national
programs down to grassroots affiliates. The strategies that relate to these national
programs should clearly define the role of each organisation involved in delivering a
successful outcome.
• The column listing source of funding and the summary budgets clearly spell out who is
expected to pay for any new initiatives. In particular, income streams such as those received
from member associations can see how their contributions to the national organisation will
be affected, and can financially plan as required.
• Operations that could lead to an ongoing financial commitment for the national organisation
(for example election of a delegate to an international office) are clearly identified. If the
membership does not consider such expenditure justified, it is in an informed position to
reject such initiatives before they progress too far.
• The budgets should indicate the level of funding anticipated from sponsors and whether
these are unsecured funds. Unsecured sponsorship money should not be used to fill income
gaps in the budget, but be treated as a means to an end.
• The Australian Sports Commission grants figures listed in the operational plan would
be useful to the Australian Sports Commission (or equivalent state bodies for state
organisations) in assessing the likely future levels of grants requested. If such grant figures
are unrealistic, the national organisation can be advised at an early stage, so that it has time
to consider amending the plan or seeking alternative funding arrangements.

There are many aspects of the plans as presented in this document which could have been discussed
more fully in the text. However, it is important not to make the descriptive material too long, as this
can dilute the impact of reading about the most important points. Additional information on specific
projects can be provided in the form of supplementary or project plans if required.

If resources are available the presentation of the planning documents could be improved by
graphic means, for example, to plot the fluctuations in actual versus budgeted income and
expenditure over a twelve month period or show diagrammatically the pathways for coaches, officials,
administrators and athletes. If the national organisation approaches planning with an open mind
rather than purely following a set pattern, such ideas should come naturally from within the
organisation and its key stakeholders.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


58 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Summary

Planning is one of the key elements in the governance and management of sporting organisations.
Organisations that do not plan effectively tend to function in an ad hoc manner without a clear
direction or focus. Such organisations are more likely to suffer from operational inefficiencies and an
inability to cope with change.

The process used to develop plans for sporting organisations is critical and should involve as broad a
spectrum of stakeholders as possible. This guide has emphasised the importance and advantages of
planning, outlined the planning process, presented in detail the format of a good plan and provided
guidance with the implementation and ongoing monitoring, evaluation and review of the plan.

Further information
Australian Sports Commission — contact the Senior Sports Consultant responsible for liaising with
your sport to see what support the Commission can provide.

State departments of sport and recreation — contact the section responsible for organisation
planning to see what resources and personnel they have.

Useful web sites


Australian Sports Commission: www.ausport.gov.au/nso
Australian Bureau of Statistics: www.abs.gov.au
Sport Information Research Centre: www.sirc.ca
International Statistics: www.nationmaster.com
World Directory of Sports Information Centres and Experts: www.directory-iasi.org

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Glossary | 59

Glossary

Because so many terms are used to describe evaluation frameworks in various industries it is
important for this resource to clearly define the terms it uses.

Ad hoc planning — is not really planning but decision making on a random basis without any thought
for the long-term.

Annual report — is the formal financial statements and report on operations issued by an
organisation to its stakeholders after its fiscal year-end.

Auditing — is described as a systematic process of objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence


against a set of criteria.

Benchmarking — is a process for measuring the performance of an organisation.

Competition — refers to the conduct of sporting events.

Costed operational plan — provides a short-term plan focused on effectiveness (‘are we doing things
right’) that underpins the strategic plan with operational detail.

Evaluation — is the process of determining whether your plan is effective, using performance
measures to see if the organisation is actually achieving its objectives.

Financial plan — provides an outline of the finances required to manage an organisation.

Governance — refers to the corporate oversight of an organisation provided by groups such as a


board or council entrusted with providing guidance to the organisation.

Implementation framework — frames the management elements required to implement a plan.

Intuition — is an unconscious process of making decisions using experience and judgment.

Key performance indicators — are measures that provide some feedback on performance.
They should be related to objectives and could include quality, quantity and time components.

Key result area — helps to frame the organisation’s strategies and the various activities under a
common area for planning and reporting purposes.

Mission — provides a statement of purpose for the organisation.

Monitoring — is concerned with checking how the organisation is tracking against its plan.

Objectives — are the outcomes the organisation is trying to achieve.

Pathway — is a term used to describe a logical progression through a development system.

Planning process — is a systematic approach to planning that sets out the generic steps involved
in planning.

Planning workshops — are a way of involving a broad cross-section of members from the organisation
in a structured planning process. By collaborating, members can find more effective ways to improve
the organisation and plan for its development.

Policy — can be a course of action, guiding principle or procedure.

Project plan — relates to a specific project by providing additional detail for the people involved
in the project.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


60 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Rationale — provides the fundamental reasons as to why an organisation has chosen


particular objectives.

Review — is the process of looking again at the overall direction and priorities of the plan to check if
the organisation has the right objectives and strategies.

SMART objectives — are organisational objectives which have the following attributes: specific,
measurable, achievable, relate to the vision and time-bound.

Staffing chart — provides an indication of the paid and unpaid staff working for an organisation and
the reporting hierarchy.

Strategies — are the things you will do to achieve your objective, perhaps broken down further into
tasks or activities.

Stakeholders — are those people or organisations that have an interest in the organisation and are
likely to be affected by its actions.

Strategic plans — should focus on direction (‘are we doing the right things’) and set out the broad
directions of the organisation over a relatively long time frame (for example four years).

Strategic shifts — are the key changes an organisation needs to make if it is to achieve its
stated vision.

SWOT analysis — provides an analysis of an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses (internal) and
its environmental opportunities and threats:
Strengths Activities that the organisation does well or resources that it may have
(for example committed volunteers).
Weaknesses Activities that the organisation does not do well or resources that it does not have.
Opportunities Positive external environmental factors.
Threats Negative external environmental factors.

Supplementary plan — is a plan such as a high performance plan that is used by either a business
unit within an organisation or to provide summary information for an external client.

Threats, opportunities, weaknesses, strengths (TOWS) matrix — enables an organisation to match


external opportunities and threats with internal strengths and weaknesses.

Value — is a principle, standard or quality considered worthwhile or desirable to an individual


or organisation.

Vision — describes what the organisation wants to become.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


References | 61

References

Australian Sports Commission (1992) Planning in Sport a Guide for Sporting Organisations

Australian Sports Commission (1990) Preparing and Implementing Development Plans, A Manual
for Sporting Organisations

Australian Sports Commission (2000) Active Australia Club/Association Management Program,


Club Planning

Dravid FR (2003) Concepts of Strategic Management, 9th edn. London: Prentice Hall

Robbins, SR, Bergman, R, Stagg, I and Coulter, M (2000) Management, 2nd edn. Sydney:
Prentice Hall.

Schermerhorn, J (1996) Management, 5th edn. New York: John Wiley

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


62 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Appendix 1 — The planning workshop

What is a planning workshop?


A planning workshop is an opportunity to involve a variety of people from the organisation in the
planning process. By collaborating, members can find more effective ways to improve the organisation
and plan for its development. To be most effective, the planning workshop should involve a broad
cross-section of members and allow all participants to contribute on an equal basis.

How many people will be involved?


A planning workshop typically involves from 10 to 30 people although it is possible to develop a good
plan with fewer or larger numbers.

Who should be involved?


Participants should represent all interests in the organisation.

For example
• staff
• member organisation representatives
• athlete representatives (juniors and seniors, elite and social)
• officials, coaching and volunteer representatives
• board members

All participants should be encouraged to stay for the whole workshop, rather than coming and going,
as this can be very disruptive.

How long will the workshop take?


Organisers should allow 1–2 days for the workshop for a large sporting organisation or less time for a
small sporting organisation.

Who should conduct the workshop?


Ideally, two trained facilitators, who are independent from the organisation, should work as a team to
manage the workshop. This allows all the members to participate fully in discussing and developing
ideas. And by using independent facilitators, workshop discussions are more likely to be open and
honest. Key members of the organisation (for example the management team) should meet with the
facilitators before the workshop, to clarify the aims and objectives of the workshop.

What will be needed to run the workshop?


A quiet room that is large enough for the whole group to talk together is the minimum space
requirement. Space for the group to break up into smaller discussion groups should also be available.

The following equipment is also necessary:


• computer and data projector (if there is access to a computer, this can help to record and modify
ideas presented in the workshop) and/or
• butchers paper, marking pens, masking tape, large clips, blue-tack
• tea/coffee etc.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Appendix 1 — The planning workshop | 63

About the room


• Choose a room that will be free from distractions.
• The room should be set up so everyone will be comfortable and can see each other —
a horseshoe seating arrangement shape is best.
• Tables are not necessary and can be a barrier to communication.
• The facilitators should sit with the group.
• The data projector and/or butchers paper should be at the front of the room so everyone can see it.
• When using butchers paper, each sheet of paper should be numbered so organisers are able to
keep track of them during the workshop. As each sheet is completed, it should be taped to the
wall so the group can refer to it if necessary.
• Allow sufficient time for regular rest breaks.

What happens at the workshop?


At the workshop, the facilitators will lead the participants through some group discussions to answer
questions and develop the plan. An example of an agenda is outlined on the next page.

In the workshop, participants will:


• establish the pre-plan position (audit and analysis of the previous plan)
• look at changes that are happening in the sports industry and broader community which will affect
the organisation (analyse external environment)
• look at how the organisation works currently (analyse internal resources)
• decide how they would like it to work in the future (formulate strategies)
• identify actions, responsibilities, resources and source of funds that will be needed to make it
work better (identify processes for strategy implementation)
• outline how and when these actions will occur (strategy implementation)
• determine how to evaluate progress.

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


64 | Planning in Sport — A good practice guide for sporting organisations

Example planning workshop agenda

Topic Format

Session 1 — Introductions Whole group


• Introduce participants
• Outline the format of the workshop

Session 2 — Changes in the sport industry Whole group


• What changes are likely to occur in the sport industry in the next four years?

Session 3 — Implications for the organisation Small groups


• What will these changes mean to the sport industry?
• What implications will they have for the organisation?

Session 4 — Where is the organisation now? Whole group


• What does the audit and analysis of the previous plan say?
• What are the outcomes of the internal and external analysis?
• What are its current structure, operation and resources?

Session 5 — Where is the organisation going? Small groups


• What is the mission over the next four years?

Session 6 — What are the priorities? Small groups


• What are the main activities that should be focused on?
• What are the long-term priorities for the next four years?
• What are the short-term priorities for the next 12 months?

Session 7 — Down to action Small groups


• What actions are needed to reach the objectives?
• What are the links between long-term strategy and short-term priorities?
• Who will be responsible for them?
• What resources are needed?
• What is the timetable?
• Where are the funds coming from?

Session 8 — Where to now? Whole group


• How does the organisation proceed from here?
• How will the organisation evaluate progress?

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso


Appendix 2 — Checklist for assessment of the organisation's plans | 65

Appendix 2 — Checklist for assessment


of the organisation’s plans

Strategic plan
■ Is the name of the sporting organisation clearly marked on the cover?
■ Does the plan have a title?
■ Does the title include a clearly defined time frame for the plan?
■ Is the status of the plan confirmed (final or draft)?
■ Does the plan contain a pre-plan position which shows the standing of the organisation at the
commencement of the plan?
■ Is the national vision and mission for the organisation clearly articulated?
■ Are the long-term objectives, strategic priorities and rationales outlined within the strategic plan?
■ Are there measurable key performance indicators included against related strategies for the
strategic plan?
■ Are the Australian Sports Commission’s non-negotiable requirements clearly identified?

Costed operational plan


■ Does the plan clearly articulate the linkages between the long-term strategies (for example four
years) outlined in a strategic plan and the operational issues that need to be detailed on an
annual basis? (note: a consistent numbering and titling system throughout the plans may assist
with consistency)
■ Is there an annual review of the previous year’s plan, including a current financial and physical
position statement for the organisation?
■ Does the plan include a current staffing chart (including information on the paid, part-time and
volunteer staff)?
■ Is there diagrammatical representation of the key pathways (for example athlete, coach,
administrator, officials, etc.)
■ Does the plan outline the short-term objectives (one year) including actions (what), responsibility
(who), time frame (when) and resources ($$)
■ Does the plan contain a financial plan and cash flow budget?

Important points for all planning documents


■ Is the plan succinct and easy to read (that is, user friendly/reader friendly)?
■ Is it a useful governance/management tool identifying the future directions for the organisation?
■ Do the various plans of the organisation form the basis of the information reported on in the
annual review and annual report?
■ Is the plan realistic and achievable in terms of the organisation’s capacity (resources and skills)
to deliver?
■ Have the key stakeholders of the organisation adopted the plan?
■ Is there a clearly defined framework for implementation of the plan?

© Australian Sports Commission 2004, Planning in Sport, www.ausport.gov.au/nso