You’ll need to create a vision for your transformation, and engage in a strategic planning process to convert that vision into a set of goals. Specific timeframes get attached to goals and act as benchmarks. Depending on your situation, you may announce a closure date up front, or you might just begin supporting individuals to move out of the workshop one at a time. At some point, though, a final cessation date will be necessary.
Setting short-term goals can help you determine progress towards your longer-term transformation goals. You might measure things like the achievement of job placement targets, time spent supporting individuals in the community versus the facility, and (later) employee retention.
Whether your transformation goals and timelines are fixed or rolling, it is okay to occasionally change plans. It’s more important to set your sights on the bigger picture of eliminating facilities, building organizational capacity, and being fiscally responsible than to hit every sub-goal perfectly. It’s even okay to make compromises and lower placement goals if they turn out to be too ambitious, however you must stay focused on forward momentum.
To create your strategic plan and goals, you’ll need to form a team or task force comprised of a range of stakeholders. This might take many forms. For example, your state department of intellectual and developmental disabilities may have resources to support coalition building. Or you could stick with a primarily internal team that represents the full range of your staff and board members. Such efforts create multiple points of view and potential gaps to be identified and addressed. This team creates a sense of cohesion and unification to achieve the goals collectively, and a shared responsibility for the plan’s implementation.
It might be help to consider hiring a consultant to guide and support your strategic planning process. This consultant may work in collaboration with your multi-stakeholder strategic planning team, but they’ll also bring their own skills and perspective. It can be well worth the investment to have an external, objective person with lots of strategic planning experience “in your corner.”
To learn more, see these suggested resources and provider promising practices