Planning: 5 Components

Needs Assessment - Mission - Goals - Objectives - Tasks



(1A) Understand and clearly define the problem the program plans to address in as few words as possible.

 (1B) Focus on the conditions the program wants to improve/enhance and on specific benefits that will be produced.

 (1C) Provide evidence drawn from experience, from statistics provided by authoritative sources, and from testimony of persons or organizations known to be knowledgeable/credible.  Also, show an understanding of related programs and issues.

 (1D) Do not make assumptions, use jargon, or use circular reasoning by saying the problem is the lack of the method suggested.  


A brief easily understood statement of the program's reason for existence.  It proposes a solution to the problem statement (needs assessment) including the geographic area served, target population, and underlying philosophy or perspectives. 


Goals are broad statements which spell out all the things needed to be accomplished in order to achieve the above Mission. 


Statements of precise and measurable results for each GOAL the program intends to achieve during a specific period. Each should be stated in terms of an output or outcome which will establish the program's criteria for success. An objective states the "ends", but not does not state the "means" or activities used for achievement. Each objective should:  

(4A) identify a single desired end result;

(4B) state a specific time period for the desired result to occur;

(4C) be realistically obtainable; and

(4D) define the minimum acceptable level of measurable accomplishment required to determine success

Phrases: increase, decrease, reduce, expand by X percentage or amount (not "task" words - create/implement)

Questions: "who" is doing "what" to whom "when" -- "How" much is being done -- "How" it will be measured. 


sequence of steps taken to accomplish a particular OBJECTIVE.  Each step will identify specific input resources required (time/information/materials/expenditures), and state specific planned outputs (reports/meetings/$). Human involvement is typically measured in units of FTE (full time equivalency based on 40 hours/week).  Standards for outcomes should be established and task output should be directly linked to Objective outcomes.  Special skills and tools required should also be identified.


Phrases:  provide, establish, create, implement, build, prepare, etc...

Questions: how long will each step take, in what order should steps be implemented, what resources are required per step

Clarify: understand reason for selecting specific steps instead of others (show awareness/logic of alternatives)