Creating an operational plan: how do you do the work?

Next, it is useful to develop an operational plan based on your program vision and strategic priorities. An operational plan is perhaps the most practical and important for the day-to-day functioning of your Guardian program. It provides clarity around how you are organizing and delivering your program.

Some Indigenous Guardian programs have an “Operations Binder” that includes all the relevant documents, policies and procedures related to the program. It is a great idea to have everything in one place so that information can be easily accessed and referenced by program staff and other relevant people.

Key areas you may want to address in an operational plan or include in an operational binder include:

  • Individual and/or program work plans.
  • Weekly/monthly schedule or calendar of activities.
  • Reporting templates and activities.
  • Safety policies and procedures. (more info)
  • Professional conduct policies and procedures (working with the public, uniforms, conflict, etc). (more info)
  • Equipment inventory, rental/leasing information, maintenance schedule. (more info)
  • Protocols/methods for monitoring and collecting data in the field (manuals, data forms, etc.). (more info)
  • Protocols/procedures for data quality, management, storage, and security. (more info)
  • Community engagement activities and schedule. (more info)

See the Hire and Manage Staff and Run a Safe Operation chapters for templates and policies you can use to build off what other communities have already done.

"Develop clear workplans and break them down to a week by week schedule. Budgeting for hours, fuel, etc. It’s the little details and pieces that are important. It is helpful if you work on a detailed plan and budget before field season starts. Clarify the details of work scheduling at the beginning."  

Scott Harris, Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Society

"Develop clear workplans and break them down to a..."