Developing a Strategic Plan
The Big PictureOur community colleges are complex organizations that must be able to succeed in constantly changing environments. They must be responsive to a broad range of stakeholders with different interests and needs. So how do we take our colleges in the right direction? And how do we excite everyone we need to help us get there? Strategic planning is about how you get your college from where you are to where you need to be while energizing the people along the journey.
Take the Long ViewStrategic planning takes a long view, setting goals three to five years out. The plan is your roadmap for where your college needs to go, the resources you need to get there, and how you will monitor to stay on the right path. Your strategic plan is the touchpoint for all your college’s other plans. Each year you systematically evaluate performance so you know how well your plan and process are working. And your key to success is engaging stakeholders’ voices, including your students and community, throughout the process.
Bring the Right People to the TableEvery college is different, and your strategic planning needs, timing, and process will be unique. What’s important is that you bring together the right people, base your decisions on data and evidence, make the process transparent and inclusive, and use the Integrated Planning process to guide you.
A Step-by Step Example
The following steps illustrate one possible process for developing a college strategic plan. The steps and resources are there for you to adapt and modify based on your specific situation and needs.
|Task Step||Related ASK Resources|
Determine evaluation schedule and methods
In this step, you plan how often to evaluate strategic planning goals and the methods you will use to gather the information.
Determine who will conduct the evaluation
Identify those who are best equipped to implement and monitor the evaluation plan. This role might also require making adjustments in the evaluation process itself, so you get the evaluation results you need throughout the process.
Determine how evaluation results will be used
Think through how you’ll use evaluation to determine gaps between actual results, and strategic plan goals and objectives. Ask yourself, "How will we handle the gaps?" Then plan the actions you’ll take to address them.