Draft your strategic plan

The strategic plan is designed to be a live document, a work in progress. You'll keep iterating all the way through the project – perhaps for years to come. The important thing is to make a start. First up, download the Strategic Plan worksheet and then get going:

1. Plug in your Impact Vision at the top.

2. Using the four Impact Dynamics we have identified as prompts, brainstorm all the possible parts of the problem that your film project could potentially address in the first column. Try to identify as many as possible, even if some feel like a real stretch – it's better to delete them later.

3. Use the headings to break down what your contribution to each one of these problems could be. In particular, try to come up with one or two first tasks against each. If you can't, or it just feels wrong, then you might want to delete that line. The questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • Film Messages: What are the specific problems you identify in the film? If you can, start with the headline problem which has defined your primary dynamic.
  • Goal: What would a concrete solution/reversal of each problem be that your project could aim for?
  • Key Agents: Who could make this happen? What audiences can you speak to and mobilise through your film or the campaign around it? Can you get beyond the choir?
  • Impact Dynamic: What kind of impact would this be?
  • Tasks: What do you need to do within your project (either with the film or within the film) to make the agent deliver the impact goal?

4. Finally, have a first stab at identifying your primary Impact Dynamic. Once you've got down and fleshed out as many problems and impact goals as you can, prioritise them by asking yourself two questions:

  • Which of these would do most to deliver the Impact Vision?
  • Which of these is our film best suited to?

Think about an order that reflects this – whatever comes out top is your primary Impact Dynamic, at least for now. This will help you to think about which film projects you could best learn from.


There are more examples here.

Other films:

There are more here.

My Impact Plan

Use this interactive form to create your own impact plan.

To save it you need to log in with an existing Doc Society login or create a new log in.

Your strategic plan is in its first iterations

'Documentarians can take inspiration from successful efforts by other types of creators to incorporate evaluation into the lifecycle of production – and to reconceptualize production as ongoing and iterative service rather than one-time creation'

Social Justice Documentary: Designing for Impact (2011) Center for Media & Social Impact, American University

Don't hesitate to revisit, and we strongly suggest that you do, as your project moves forward. The plan is a great way to introduce new team members to the process, gather new ideas, and determine points of action. In the next chapter, we dive into those details: the concrete workforce, tools and resources you'll need to see your plan come to fruition.

Start tracking impact now

What you've done is create a first idea of how you think your film can drive change in the world. Everything that happens from here on in is data that will either tell you that you're on the right track, or that you're not, or there's another pathway to change that you hadn't yet thought of. By developing a Strategic Plan, you’ve already taken the first step toward evaluation. Now you can:

Made byDoc Society Made possible by: Ford Foundation - Just Film Bertha Foundation Sundance Institute Knight Foundation Dox Box DOCSP Ambulante MX