Why Your Chapter Needs a Program of Work

Photo courtesy of @andy_stebbins on Twitter.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Stephen Covey

Having a vision is important, but the mission of prioritization and objectives on how to achieve the aforementioned vision is more important. This simple document can help your organization gain focus, create accountability measures for your team and convey transparency to your delegates; the upfront time it takes to make a program of work pays dividends in future years.


When it comes to focus over a work term, I think of a tug of war; everyone joins a team with their own vision and wants to accomplish it by the end of the year, The issues is this: If you’re all pulling in different directions, no real change will happen over your term.

A Program of Work lays the foundation for directed team efforts, it unites team in common mission. Although some teammates may be upset their platform isn’t fully included they will understand how a united vision impacts the organization as a whole.

The Collegiate DECA Executive Officer Team begun their program of work by creating a vision statement. Different than DECA’s mission statement, our vision statement acts as a guide for the year which encompasses the personalities, and goals of the teammates. From the vision statement the rest of the program is derived.


I pose a question: Without defining your goals, how can you look back and qualify success? By defining portfolios where your team wants to grow, and setting objectives and targets for growth/development, not only are you able to define success but your team gains the ability to check in on (and measure) progress throughout the year.

The key for the Collegiate DECA Executive Officer Team was to develop a program vague enough that we can be creative within the constraints we have set ourselves, but focused enough that we will know if we are achieving goals throughout and at the end of the year.


Within upper management, delegates and advisors making your POW public can allow your stakeholders to provide input on the direction they see your organization going, and allows them to see your mission. This is an easy way to gain trust from your members, advisors and stakeholders. Not only will you develop a stronger relationship with your stakeholders, but the feedback from stakeholders can be invaluable.

Stay tuned for a DECA Direct article highlighting the contents of our Program of Work!

Follow Jake on Twitter @JakeJardineDECA.

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Executive Officers, Leadership