2016–2019 OTW Strategic Plan Approved

Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Strategic Planning'

The Strategic Planning Committee is proud to announce that the 2016–2019 Strategic Plan has been approved by the Board of Directors and is ready for implementation! Strategic Planning is deeply grateful to the entire OTW for the patience, engagement and dedication they have shown throughout this process. The OTW would also like to thank our donors and supporters for making this possible.

Implementation of the plan will begin January 2016. We invite the public to peruse the Strategic Plan Visual Timeline to learn about the future of the OTW and its projects.

Organization for Transformative Works Strategic Plan Timeline

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Stronger Infrastructure

The OTW needs better technology, tools, processes, procedures, and documentation.

Stronger and More Efficient Board, icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project

Stronger and More Efficient Board

A strong, democratic, and efficient Board will positively impact the entire organization.

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development, icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development

The OTW must build skills and experience in creating a stronger OTW-wide community.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity, icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity

The OTW requires funds to operate and grow, thus it must expand fundraising capacity.

Grow and Support Existing Projects, icon by XOXO for The Noun Project

Grow and Support Existing Projects

Each committee needs a clear understanding of their part in fulfilling the mission of the OTW.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Expand Inclusivity

The OTW celebrates the welcoming image it has achieved but must continue to promote representation and outreach.

6 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Document OTW-wide chair/lead position and expectations: Committee & workgroup chairs/leads work with the Board to draft a document which describes the organization-wide expectations for chairs and leads.

Preliminary purview statements: Committees/workgroups draft a statement, outlining their purview within the OTW including potential gaps or overlap between them and other teams.

Recruitment plan: Committees/workgroups document recruitment needs, training plans, timelines, etc. for new staff (and volunteers if applicable).

Stronger and More Efficient Board, icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project

Purview and roles documentation: The Board drafts, approves, and internally publishes documents clarifying how the Board functions, in actually as opposed to ideally.

Phasing out and replacement of Board liaison structure: The Board implements flexible, clear, and structurally supported systems for staying in communication with committees & workgroups.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity, icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Purview and roles documentation: As part of the Board documentation goal, the role of Treasurer is completely and accessibly documented.

Grow and Support Existing Projects, icon by XOXO for The Noun Project

1-year roadmaps for each project: Each OTW project will have a roadmap identifying the objectives and goals for the next year. This is: the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, Fanhackers, and the transformativeworks.org website.

9 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Document team-specific chair/lead position: Using the OTW-wide document outlining the roles and expectations of chairs and leads, all committees & workgroups draft their own document, adapted and elaborated for their specific leadership model.

Chair/lead succession plan: Committees/workgroups document a plan for recruiting, identifying, and training potential successors for the chair/lead position.

12 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Procedure for regular updates on committee/workgroup work: Committees/workgroups develop procedures for publishing via the internal wiki or other OTW tool the status of current work, including projects, and their plans until the next update.

Internal wiki pages for everyday and essential processes: Committee/workgroup creates and posts internal wiki pages that document their regular processes and procedures.

Purview overlaps addressed: The Board with committees & workgroups identify places where committee duties overlap and begin discussions to a) revise the committee duties to eliminate the overlap, or b) build a plan to accommodate the overlap.

Stronger and More Efficient Board, icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project

Contested elections: The OTW prepares documentation and solicits Board candidates to be ready for a contested election conducted with transparency and voting by the membership.

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development, icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project

Ombuds dispute system in place: The Ombuds dispute resolution system is approved by the Board and is fully implemented and running.

Committee-specific external skills training: The OTW identifies non-OTW resources useful for training staffers & volunteers in necessary skills for their specific committees & workgroups.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity, icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Recruit second accountant/bookkeeper: The OTW recruits an accountant/bookkeeper to work with the current Treasurer.

Regular audits: A process is in place to conduct regular audits of the organization’s finances.

Grow and Support Existing Projects, icon by XOXO for The Noun Project

Coalition guidelines: Legal develops a guide to the OTW’s current coalitions with other organizations, and makes available on the internal wiki procedures for Legal to manage the creation of new coalitions and joint projects.

18 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Organization-wide processes for project management: Volunteers & Recruiting standardizes organization-wide processes for cross-committee project management and publishes process documentation on the internal wiki.

Mapping organizational structure: The OTW’s organizational structure is easily describable and has been visually mapped.

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development, icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project

Chair/lead basic training: Volunteers & Recruiting assists chairs & leads in developing and implementing training procedures for basic skills needed by all chairs/leads to be successful in the positions, such as leadership and management skills.

Grow and Support Existing Projects, icon by XOXO for The Noun Project

Revamp workflows and purviews for transformativeworks.org website: Clear and complete documentation exists regarding transformativeworks.org design, content management, support, and development.

24 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Committee/workgroup roadmaps: Committees/workgroups have developed a roadmap describing their priorities and setting specific objectives for the future, including potential new projects they may wish to undertake.

Committee/workgroup budgets: At least 3 committees/workgroups submit a budget to the Treasurer and receive feedback on it.

Stronger and More Efficient Board, icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project

Operations structure with chair participation: The Board has revised its functioning and added new positions, structures, and procedures, so that OTW operations management incorporates participation from all committee chairs and current Board of Directors.

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development, icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project

Skills labs/workshops: The OTW creates plans for skills labs/workshops in specific areas, such as wiki code or international outreach, and at least one is conducted.

Pilot mentors for chairs/leads: At let 4 chairs/leads volunteer their services and work with Volunteers & Recruiting to create a chair/lead mentoring program for the OTW.

Committee/workgroup plans for staff/volunteer engagement: Committees & workgroups create plans for regular check-ins, tracking progress, and rewards to show appreciation.

Grow and Support Existing Projects, icon by XOXO for The Noun Project

Fanlore-dedicated design & support staff: Fanlore acquires the needed staff to maintain and grow.

Roadmaps and/or accomplishments for each project: Each OTW project develops a public roadmap identifying its objectives and goals for the next 5 years. This is: the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, Fanhackers, and the transformativeworks.org website.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity, icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Security overhaul: The process to update and improve the security of our financial and operational information and accounts is complete.

Committee/workgroup budgets: At least 3 committees/workgroups submit a budget to the Treasurer and receive feedback on it.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

International and inclusive roadmaps: As part of infrastructure documentation goals, all committee roadmaps include explicit plans for inclusivity and international representation.

Inclusivity trainings: The OTW holds at least 3 trainings, open to all personnel, on internationalization and how individuals enact inclusivity and reach out to their communities.

Inclusivity survey: The OTW conducts at least 2 surveys for internal and external stakeholders regarding internationalization and inclusivity.

30 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Purviews clarified and documented: With Board’s assistance, each committee/workgroup drafts, approves, and circulates a detailed document of their purview within the OTW.

Internal tool review and research: The OTW reviews current internal tools and researches better alternatives for suboptimal tools plus new tools to fit unmet needs.

Stronger and More Efficient Board, icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project

Training plan for Board in place: A training process is available that can be utilized by all newly elected Board directors and by any qualified staffer who is considering stepping up to join the Board in the future.

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development, icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project

Organizations-wide internal skills training: Mirroring the chair/lead basic training goal, basic training procedures are developed and implemented for skills needed by all personnel.

Complete chair/lead training plan: Expanding the basic training goal, the OTW implements a standard plan for all new chairs/leads covering both general and OTW-specific skills.

Administrative support/procedures for chairs/leads: Committees & workgroups create plans for handling routine communications, scheduling, minutes, task management, etc.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity, icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Achieve 3-month reserves covering operating costs: The OTW has saved financial reserves sufficient to cover 3 months of the organization’s operating costs without any additional fundraising.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Research best practices for international organizations: The OTW researches best practices for international organizations, prioritizing research on organizations that have a non-Western and/or non-Anglophone perspective and organizations that serve marginalized populations in the western, English-speaking world.

Survey data collected and reported: The diversity workgroup reports on the results of the analysis of the inclusivity surveys and prepares recommendations for the OTW base on said results.

36 Month Goals

Stronger Infrastructure, icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project

Organization handbook: The OTW creates and handbook which includes basic information on the OTW that every staff or volunteer needs to know, such as orientation to the committees & workgroups and how-tos for the organization’s tools.

Purview gaps addressed: Where the purview statement have identified tasks being handled by committees & workgroups outside of their purview, this overextension is addressed.

Stronger and More Efficient Board, icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project

Board succession plan: The OTW implements a Board succession plan where exiting Board directors & officers feel their knowledge and responsibilities are securely preserved and new Board directors & officers feel supported and informed in their training and transition.

New operations model plan: The OTW develops a plan for revising the operations management structure of the organization.

Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development, icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project

Organization-wide self-assessment: Self-assessment is implemented at every level: individual staff and volunteers, committees & workgroups, and the OTW as a whole.

Organization-wide external skills training: All personnel have access to external training programs and courses for skills that are difficult to develop internally.

Mentoring program for chairs/leads: The individuals available to mentor other in specific areas or skill sets is well documented on the internal wiki and the mentoring program is standardized across the OTW while remaining flexible to fit each committee/workgroup.

Explore a structure for inclusive annual meeting(s) that are not Board retreats: The Board explores the possibility of holding organization-wide meetings.

Expand and revise personnel outreach and recruiting strategies: The OTW expands methods an strategies for recruiting staff and volunteers.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity, icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Annual fundraising raises annual operating costs plus 10%: The OTW’s annual fundraising consistently raises enough to cover our annual operating budget plus 10%.

Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project

Inclusivity survey structure: A procedure, set of tools, documentation, and support structure are set up for the OTW to regularly survey internal and external stakeholders on issues of diversity, inclusion, representation, and internationalization.

All icons are from The Noun Project: http://thenounproject.com

Stronger Infrastructure icon created by Yamini Chandra for The Noun Project
Stronger and More Efficient Board icon by Till Teenck for The Noun Project
Increased Volunteer Engagement, Retention, and Development icon by Joao Santos for The Noun Project
Expand Fundraising and Financial Capacity icon by Olivier Guin for The Noun Project
Grow and Support Existing Projects icon by XOXO for The Noun Project
Expand Inclusivity icon by OCHA Visualization Unit for The Noun Project

5 thoughts to “2016–2019 OTW Strategic Plan Approved”

  1. I know the Strategic Plan has come up a few times during this election, so it was very good to see what was in it and thank you for posting it.

    I do have a question though: I know the OTW is putting out a new budget within the next month but “Committee/workgroup budgets” is listed as a 24 month goal. How does the OTW see this goal becoming part of a yearly budgeting process, given that the timeline is more than a year out?

    1. Hi puckling!

      That’s a great question. While the Strategic Planning Committee anticipates the OTW having yearly budgets going forward, 24 months is the milestone for fully integrating budgeting into committees’ and workgroups’ procedures. The 24 month goal encompasses a few sub-goals, including templates for yearly budgets, training on how to plan a budget, and the integration of budgeting into each committee’s planning and roadmaps. However, given that we have prepared an OTW-wide budget for this year, it’s also quite possible that we will achieve committee and workgroup budgets earlier than scheduled on the timeline.

      Kind regards,
      Kiri Van Santen, OTW Communications Committee Co-Chair

  2. Thank you very much for explaining a little more about how the Strategic Planning Committee thinks of the budget goal. I’m especially glad to hear that this goal might be coming sooner than expected.

    I do have a follow up question: If the timeline stays as expected, will the committees still be asked to give financial feedback for to help create next year’s budget? I’m afraid I’m a little unclear whether these financial goals are more about standardization so all committees are communicating their financial needs to the board in the same way, or whether the goal is targeted at actually getting that financial feedback in the first place.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I have a number of questions and comments but I know you will be sharing a few more documents related to management, finances, and operations this month, so I think it makes sense to comment on them as a whole. With a few exceptions these all describe baselines for non-profit operations, so I assume the timelines here reflect longest-possible delivery dates as opposed to an ideal calendar?

    Regarding the hiring of a “second accountant”, does this refer to a first external accountant (is the ‘first’ the Treasurer?) or do you plan to hire an initial external accountant immediately and then hire a second before 12 months are up? Based on the last post from the Board I had understood that this would be a before-2015-is-up measure, as the org thought this was an immediate priority?

    Thanks again for sharing this with users and members and I look forward to discussing the full package later this month!

    Mirroring this comment from AO3 just in case.

    1. Hi syllic!

      I answered your followup on AO3 but will copy here:

      Your assumption of longest possible dates is correct.

      Whether the “second accountant” is internal or external is a decision our current Treasurer will make with guidance from our Board and Legal Committee. We encourage you to contact our treasurer if you have specific concerns in that area. External auditing is an important part of our plan and will happen regardless.

      Kind regards,

      Kiri Van Santen, OTW Communications Committee Co-Chair, on behalf of the Strategic Planning Committee

Comments are closed.