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If You Fail to Plan, You Plan To Fail


The operating plan should include enough detail to inform management, board and committee members of the goals and objectives to be completed each month and by year end. Items to be included in the annual operating plan can consist of the following:

  • Board Meeting Dates
  • Board Orientation Date
  • Annual Meeting Date
  • Committee Meetings
  • Newsletter Schedule
  • Contract Renewals
  • Community Social Events
  • Budget Timelines
  • Maintenance and Replacement Schedules
  • Audit Schedule and Tax Filings

A consensus should be achieved on maintenance items that need to be completed and the timelines to be followed. The reserve study should be reviewed and incorporated into the operating plan. For example, if the pool needs resurfacing, provide information in the operating plan on the process that will be followed to obtain proposals, including the date the project should be approved. This should be completed for each component of the reserve study that requires completion in the year the operating plan is developed. This would prevent multiple projects being performed at one time because proper planning was completed that enabled the major projects to be scheduled at appropriate intervals. The contract renewal dates should be included, especially if a timeframe is required within which to cancel the contract prior to expiration. The following is a sample of one month of an annual operating plan:



Board Meeting: January 12

Social Committee: January 13


  • Organize files
  • Meet with board to approve auditor
  • Twice-monthly lawn service; pick up litter
  • Prepare 2010 files for audit. Set up 2011 files
  • 1/1/11- landscape contract renews
  • 1/1/11- deadline for canceling waste removal contract
  • Discuss 2011 preventative maintenance plan
  • Work with board to organize committees for 2011
  • Approve shrub fertilization and inspect spraying
  • Update maintenance calendar and review with board

The operating plan should be reviewed at each board meeting. Include a review of the operating plan on the agenda, so you can ensure the plan is reviewed and adjusted if necessary. Monitoring of the operating plan is vital to the success of achieving the stated goals and objectives.

Effective use of the annual operating plan will assist in operating the community as efficiently as possible and go a long way in preventing failure that results from the lack of planning

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