Sort drivers

Once you've developed a list of key drivers for your organisation you need to start narrowing these down so that you can use the little time you might have effectively.

Select a handful of drivers

As a guide it would be normal to have about three or four drivers that will be vital to the future strategic direction of your organisation and those you work with. Another four would be important, and perhaps another three are interesting enough to warrant keeping your eye on.

According to the depth of strategic analysis at which you want to immerse yourself, you can adjust these guidance numbers. Working with a few vital ones is much better than not looking at any at all.  It’s also important to bear in mind your capacity and the time you have to take these drivers forward.

So be pragmatic: starting small is good!

Consider critical success factors

Think about the factors that are critical to your organisation’s success and ability to deliver your mission.  Most organisations share these broad factors that are critical to their success (things they have to do well):

  1. Understand and meet beneficiary needs
  2. Ensure income to cover costs and invest in future sustainability
  3. Develop relationships with other organisations to ensure that the wider networks of influence and relationships are working to the advantage of beneficiaries

Which drivers are going to impact on your ability to do these three things?  Which will impact on others that you work with or rely upon? 

Rank impact and predictability

Another way of prioritizing drivers is to think about level of impact and predictability.  You might want to prioritise, for example, those with a potentially high impact that are predictable.

Sort the drivers you've gathered into those which you are fairly certain about and those that are less certain, where the implications are more unpredictable.  Whilst you’re doing this, also try to identify those with potentially high impact.

Image of sort toolDownload a template to help sort drivers

For a detailed guide to prioritising strategic drivers, complete with practical exercises and case examples, read our guide to understanding the external environment, Looking Out (published by NCVO)

The next stage of strategic analysis is finding out more about your key drivers

Last updated at 18:47 Mon 12/Apr/10.