“Oh Great, (just) Shoot Me!” Those OGSM words have been heard more than once when a new strategy planning process is about to begin. Born in the fear and anxiety we feel about increased accountability and evaluation, that’s a natural response.
Of course, OGSM isn’t an abbreviation for “Oh Great, (just) Shoot Me!” It’s an acronym for classic strategy planning in four steps: Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures.
Start with the strategy planning pre-requisite—vision and values. Vision answers the question: WHY does the organization exist? A model vision statement is the one adopted by Willow Creek Community Church:
Willow Creek exists to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Values are an outgrowth of ministry vision. They are a set of PRIORITIES that govern everything that happens in a ministry. Everything that you do—every event, program or initiative—will somehow address these priorities.
For example, a church might have values that clarify its priorities like this:
- Prayer – Prayer is our foundation.
- Worship – Worshiping together is important to us.
- Missions & Evangelism – We actively share our faith with neighbors and nations.
- Discipleship – We grow spiritually in small groups.
- NextGen – Faith at home matters for the next generation.
With vision and a set of values in your pocket, strategy planning can begin. The OGSM acronym spells out a straightforward process:
- Objectives – WHAT will you do to accomplish each value? Typically, you will develop 2-3 objectives for each organizational value. Use WORDS for your objectives.
- Goals – What is your numerical goal? Develop a goal for each strategy, plan and objective. Set goals either early or late in the process. Set incremental benchmarks (short and medium-term goals) to achieve throughout the year. It may be useful to establish goals as a FINAL step in the process. Use NUMBERS for your goals.
- Strategies – HOW will you accomplish each objective? WHAT will you do? Develop several strategies and plans for each objective. Use WORDS for your strategies.
- Measures – What does success look like for each strategy? How do you MEASURE success numerically for each strategy and plan? Brainstorm several ways to measure success for each strategy and plan. Use NUMBERS for your measures.
Objectives usually have a “we will” structure. In order to accomplish organizational vision and values, your objective is what you will do to accomplish those priorities. For example, ministry values might lead to objectives like:
- Prayer – We will seek the face of God and pray for spiritual renewal as the first step in total commitment to Jesus Christ.
- Worship – We will give our best offering to God with a worship blend that celebrates the old and the new.
- Evangelism – We will build relationships to introduce friends and neighbors to Jesus Christ.
- Discipleship – We will reach, teach and care for people through Bible Fellowship and community groups.
- NextGen – We will equip parents to raise godly kids and be spiritual leaders at home.
Strategies are the action plan for each objective. They answer the essential HOW and WHAT questions with strategic plans, tactics and details. Quantitative MEASURES help you evaluate a plan’s success or failure. Finally, GOALS are the objective stated numerically.
So what’s the Big Idea?
Establish an organizational vision and a set of values. Then write your strategic plans in four steps: Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures. It’s the way you achieve more for the Kingdom personally and keep the organization aligned with the Great Commission.
- OGSM Worksheet (PDF Worksheet)
- Advanced Strategic Planning by Aubrey Malphurs
- Church Unique by Will Mancini
- “Clarify God-Sized Vision and Focus” on Serve. Grow. Lead.
- “3 Ways to Measure Church Health” on Serve. Grow. Lead.
- Ministry Action Plans
“What Willow Believes,” Accessed March 5, 2015, http://www.willowcreek.org/aboutwillow/what-willow-believes.