This course has passed.


The ability for any public sector organisation to plan strategically for the future can be a challenging task to undertake, especially during current times.

Attend this virtual Effective Strategic Planning course to learn how to better appreciate the bigger picture and implement horizon scanning techniques to pre-empt and plan for big events before they happen.

Led by former civil servant and strategist Sheree Dodd, develop the skills to forecast and analyse trends which might have an impact on your organisation – including cultural, political and economic developments. Leave the day with tools and techniques to implement a strategic plan to ensure your organisation is taking the correct steps forward.

Unlocking the Power of Virtual

Our virtual courses have been designed with you in mind. From group exercises in breakout rooms to live chat, whiteboards and interactive polls, we use a range of tools and techniques to ensure that you can connect with your trainer; network and share best practice with your peers and leave the day with the skills you need.

Our courses provide you with an interactive and engaging learning environment that can be accessed from any location, helping you to continue to connect, learn and grow. Click here to discover more!

Please note this course will be delivered via Zoom.

trainer photo
Sheree Dodd
Former Senior Civil Servant and Strategist

Sheree Dodd is a former senior civil servant and strategist, who was responsible for  strategic communications planning at the former Department for Trade and Industry and has led on strategic planning for the International Diabetes Federation.

A former Director of Communications at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Deputy Director at DWP and Head of News at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), she offers a powerful combination of experience in leading complex communications activity as well as national media practice from many years as a senior political journalist.

Sheree has extensive experience of handling ...

Read more

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine a range of examples of strategic planning techniques
  • Gain a thorough understanding of horizon scanning and its uses
  • Discover different approaches and receive tailored advice on implementation
  • Understand a range of tools and techniques to effectively map information
  • Identify possible future threats and opportunities specific to your organisation and the public sector
  • Develop an action plan to implement the right methodology within your organisation
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


Collapse all
09:35 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Ice Breaker and Clarification of Learning Objectives

  • The Chair will discuss delegate experiences to identify personal objectives for the day and tailor the course to specific requirements
10:00 - 10:45

Strategic Planning and Horizon Scanning

  • Appreciate the bigger picture – why do we need to plan ahead?
  • Get to grips with different definitions and theories
  • Learn about different scenarios when horizon scanning is used
10:45 - 11:30

Strategic Planning in Specific Contexts

  • Understand different approaches and methodologies
  • Consider when different approaches are most useful
  • Look at your own organisation and what to consider throughout planning
  • Apply the benefits of each approach to your organisation
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 12:45

The Importance of Analysing Trends

  • Discover how analysing trends could benefit your organisation
  • Analyse specific cultural, political and economic trends
  • Forecast which trends will most impact your work and your team
12:45 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:45

Reflection Session

  • Trainer will review the day’s learning and the next stages of the course
  • Delegates will have time to ask questions and share views with one another
13:45 - 14:30

Threats vs. Opportunities

  • Discuss the importance of outlining potential threats and future opportunities
  • Consider the threats facing different organisations and industries
  • Engage in discussion around your organisation’s challenges
  • Draw conclusions on the best ways of mitigating your challenges and how best to uncover opportunities
14:30 - 15:00

Recognising the Importance of Building in Communications

  • Discuss the role of communications in strategic planning
  • Understand when to seek advice on communications
  • When are communications most effectively deployed
15:00 - 15:15


15:00 - 16:00

Workshop: Applying the Right Approach to Your Organisation

  • Recap the methodologies and tools covered throughout the day
  • Formulate an action plan to implement horizon scanning in your organisation
  • Receive dedicated advice from the Chair on your action plan
16:00 - 16:15

Round Up and Key Takeaways