Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning
Right now at Franklin University we are undergoing a revision of the university's strategic plan. The strategic plan was initiated five years ago when our current president, Dr. David Decker, took leadership of the university. The university's goal is to match the needs of students and employers and provide meaningful education to as many people as possible.This goal is expressed in the university's mission, which is described here.

I was asked to serve as part of the steering committee for the revision of the strategic vision, and I am also co-chair of one of the sub-committees that is researching and writing a small section of the plan. Franklin's mission as a non-profit organization is something I can stand behind, and I have enjoyed being a part of the strategic planning process.

What is Strategic Planning?
Since I am fairly new to this concept, I thought I would write a little about what strategic planning is. Strategic planning is an organization's process for creating its strategy. It usually includes plans for implementing this strategy, including plans for allocating resources to achieve its goals. Strategic planning is a process in which the following are typically identified:
  • The organization's current state
  • The desired state of the organization, including specific goals and objectives
  • A proposed path for reaching the desired state, including allocation of resources, sequence of activities, and milestones
  • Description of opportunities and barriers, strengths and weaknesses, and internal and external threats to the plan
Strategic Planning and Human Performance Technology
This process is very similar to the 2012 HPT Model, which is a process model for improving human performance. The basic phases are very similar, though the HPT Model tends to focus on causes of poor performance and the creation of a solution that addresses these causes.

Strategic Planning and Goal Setting
The Strategic Planning process is also very similar to the process used for goal setting. However, goal setting is usually used by an individual, and strategic planning is typically used by and organization. 

Strategic Planning at the IDPT Program
As I have gone through this experience in assisting with the strategic planning initiative, I have realized that I can use the same process to create a strategic plan for the IDPT Program at Franklin University. I have done this in part, but a more comprehensive strategic plan could really help me to create a program that more fully serves the needs of its students and the organizations that hire its graduates. I hope to create some time for developing this strategic plan beginning sometime in the beginning of Summer 2013.


Scott Weersing said...

The one thing that is often missing in strategic planning is how the organization is going to measure and evaluate the plan.

So I would say:

"The organization's measured current state"

You need to have a baseline measure if you want to improve it.

-Scott Weersing

joel gardner said...

Totally right, Scott. The issue of measurement is absolutely crucial. Most people and organizations operate on their assumptions instead of on the reality. This is because measuring performance by gathering data is difficult and takes time, but that is not really a good excuse, in my opinion. Effective measurement must be a priority.

Thanks for your comment!