Sample of a Board of Directors Committee Work Plan

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Also see Carter's Board Blog (for for-profits and nonprofits).

Vast majority of content in this topic applies to for-profits and nonprofits. This book also covers this topic.
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One of the best ways to ensure effective board committees is through use of a committee work plan. The plan specifies goals for the committee, strategies to meet the goals and timelines for completion of the goals. The goals of the committee should be closely aligned with achieving the strategic goals determined during strategic planning. Essentially, the work plans specify the operational goals of the committee for the year.

A work plan is the plan that each Board committee and relevant staff members reference to guide completion of their portion of the organization's strategic plan, e.g., the Finance Committee works from Finance work plan, Marketing Committee from a Marketing work plan, etc. The plan references the related goal(s) from the strategic plan. Work plans include objectives that, in total, implement the respective strategy. For example, the following work plan describes two strategies, 3.1 and 3.2, which, together, meet Goal 3 from the strategic plan. Each of the two strategies has five objectives, including 1.1 to 1.5. (See Strategic Planning.)

The following sample represents one example of the format and content of a work plan. This sample should be customized to the particular culture and purpose of the organization.

Year 2011 Actions

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Strategy 3.1: Develop Strategic Plan
3.1.1. recruit consultant help

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3.1.2 planning with chief executive

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3.1.3 draft first version of strategic plan

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3.1.4 board review of plan

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3.1.5 obtain board approval of plan

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2000 Actions

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Strategy 3.2: Implement Strategic Plan
Responsibility: Board
3.2.1. Reach strategic goal #1

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3.2.2 Reach strategic goal #2

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3.2.3 Reach strategic goal #3

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3.2.4 Reach strategic goal #4

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3.2.5 celebration!

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