Long Term Strategy Process

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This is a draft of a new or in-progress document, and is likely to have a few people specifically working on it. You may wish to check in on the discussion page to see what the purpose of the document is and who's working on it; then feel free to give this article love and attention if have extra of those things.


How do we get from here to a place where our Vision Statement reflect the day to day reality?

The process

Define what we're trying to do

  • Perhaps we are trying to answer the question: How will Free Geek survive and fulfill its mission and live up to its principles over the next five years? This question could be phrased differently, but we must all agree on what it is in order to proceed.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)

Inventory our strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats -- as they are now, and as we are likely to face in the next five years.

  • The future thinking part of this require some guesswork and research, especially in the opportunities and threats areas.
    • Get a list of areas to research from the community (brainstorm, interviews, etc.)
    • Identify a point person or two to kick off the discussion on each. Stagger the discussions so people aren't overwhelmed.

Goals

We need goals that should be aimed at one or more of the following things:

  • Use our strengths to their best advantage.
  • Eliminate our weaknesses or turn them into strengths.
  • Take advantage of opportunities.
  • Defend ourselves against threats.

NOTE: Opportunities do not need to be taken advantage of just because they exist. When in doubt, do an impact-effort grid to determine if the cost is too high for the payoff. If it is determined that an opportunity is too costly to pursue, record that fact and move on. These opportunities do not need associated goals.

Strategies

We need a broad strategy for achieving each goal. These are general descriptions of how we might attack a problem without much detail.

Plans

We need a plan for implementing each strategy. This is where the details would go.

Feedback

We need methods for seeing:

  • if our assumptions are correct
  • if our goals are being achieved
  • if our strategies and plans are working

Semi organized brainstorm

This brainstorm has moved to the 3 - 5 year plan#Goals Brainstorm section of the wiki.

SWOT

Notes:

  • It is easy to mistake opportunities and threats for strengths and weaknesses. Remember that the whole world doesn't revolve around us, and that there is a lot beyond our control.
  • Some trends could have a negative and a positive aspect. Figure out how to break those down into two parts and add them to both strengths and weaknesses or both opportunities and threats.
  • Just because something is bad for the planet or someone else it isn't necessarily bad for us. For example, most people at Free Geek would agree that the incredible rate at which our society produces eWaste is a bad thing for the planet, but it is also a good thing for our organization since it provides the gizmos we evaluate and give away in order to address the digital divide.
Please define a goal for this SWOT
Good (for Free Geek) Bad (for Free Geek)
Internal
(to Free Geek)

Strengths: Strengths are advantages we have that are internal to Free Geek and helpful to achieving the objective. (Good things we do.)

  • We have a strong community of volunteers.
  • We have a good name in the community.
  • We have a lot of people interested in the ways the technology changes and how it is used.
  • We have chosen to work with old technology, meaning we can see technological changes in advance of their arriving at Free Geek.
  • integrated systems would lead to less reusable stuff (specialized volunteers)
    • we have the advantage to see this coming as we deal with used stuff
  • make recycling more educational (what is this, where would it go if not recycled, etc?)
    • this would be very good for schoolkids (geeklets) to learn
  • We are already experts in reuse

Weaknesses: Weaknesses are problems we have that are internal to Free Geek and harmful to achieving the objective. (Things we do poorly or not at all.)

  • It is difficult for us to make business decisions quickly.
  • We have a hard time doing things that volunteers don't find interesting in a timely manner.
  • Our culture in a bit insular
  • We are bad at following through on certain kinds of things
External
(to Free Geek)

Opportunities: Opportunities are advantages we have that are external to Free Geek and helpful to achieving the objective. (Good things that will or could happen to us.)

  • We can take over more space and use it to grow our services.
  • There will "always" be more unused electronics in the market.
  • There will be "always" a ready supply of people wanting free and cheap stuff.
  • Move towards communication in miniature form, teaching people to use these forms of media and communication (i.e. cell phone and ipod esque technology)
  • We could team up with other recyclers, skimming off the good stuff for reuse

Threats: Threats are problems we have that are external to Free Geek and harmful to achieving the objective. (Bad things that will or could happen to us.)

  • eWaste legislation will create competition in the recycling industry and take away a core area of our business.
  • As computers become more integrated learning to build them will be less interesting to potential volunteers.
  • The changing nature of the technology and the way it is used could leave us unable to give people what they want.
  • EWaste legislation, if passed, might lead to consumer convenience of e-recycling (i.e. curbside pickup which leads to less donations for us)
  • integrated systems would lead to less reusable stuff (specialized volunteers)
    • we have the advantage to see this coming as we deal with used stuff
  • More and more crap comes our way, and we do more and more recycling instead of reuse

See also Trends and Attributes | What do we want to do?



Brainstorm todo list

Evolution-tasks.png
To-do list for: Long Term Strategy Process

Please help by completing and crossing off tasks from this list:

See also


General Free Geek planning documents

Vision Statement

Long Term Strategy Process

General Priorities

Overview Time Line