Strategic Planning for Your Strata Community

Are you one of those people that never goes grocery shopping without a list? Do you take the extra time to plan your meals for the week and list all the ingredients you need before heading to the supermarket?  If you don’t have a plan, you may end up wandering the aisles aimlessly trying to come up with meal ideas as you shop, only to come home missing a crucial ingredient, or to find that you have bought a whole bunch of ingredients that don’t work together, or ingredients that you already have in the cupboard.

Do you sometimes feel your Committee’s approach to long term strata planning is like grocery shopping without a list? You know generally what you want to achieve but money gets spent on ventures that perhaps some owners can’t see the benefit of, projects drag past the deadline as important decisions aren’t getting implemented, or various projects don’t come together in a complementary fashion? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Your Committee may be needing guidance, and the good news is a strategic plan can help.

Adopting a strategy involves looking at where you want to be and setting out the pathway that will get you there from where you are now. Organisations need strategy to give long term coherence to their choices and actions.

A good strategic planning process should be connected to the mission and identity of the organisation, which for a Body Corporate/Owners Corporation is to manage the common property, with the overarching objective of preserving or improving property values. Committee strategic plans should therefore be ‘big picture’ documents which focus on creating the optimum physical environment in the community and consequently increasing its value.

We know that Committee Members are generally unremunerated volunteers who join with the best intentions for their strata community. Despite this motivation, a lack of clear strategy can result in the Committee becoming overstretched and ineffective, and projects may fail to achieve the Committee’s goals. To bring those good intentions to fruition, your Committee can implement a strategic plan.

The Specifics

A strategic plan details what you want to achieve for a specific future time frame, for example, 12 months. The plan should incorporate maintenance or improvements already set out in the sinking fund forecast, as well as any special projects.

A two-stage approach to strategic planning is useful to ensure details do not get missed. Larger strategic goals should be complemented by smaller sub-plans. For example, a plan to redo the landscaping may include a number of sub-projects such as a retaining wall project, a garden bed project and a fencing project.

These smaller project plans should nominate specific Committee Members to be responsible for certain actions, outline key stages and timelines, and detail budget and funding requirements.

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A properly documented and well thought out strategic plan can help your Committee promote your Body Corporate/Owners Corporation as a leading strata scheme by achieving the following benefits:

Enhancing the sense of community by capturing the values of lot owners and residents, and enabling effective communication of planned goals, the progress of projects and any financial issues;

Amalgamating the day-to-day management with long term goals by giving lot owners a clear picture of immediate and future needs, and giving the committee a structure for managing projects and reporting to the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation;

Integrating the financial management of the scheme by giving the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation a mechanism for linking financial plans and anticipated projects and integrating the activities of management and service contractors.

Strata can be a confusing world. The good news is there are experts available to make living in a strata community as easy as SSKB. To stop your Committee projects ending up like a basket of ingredients that don’t go together, talk to your SSKB Strata Manager about implementing a strategic plan for your community or click here to contact us today.

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