To many people, strategic planning is something meant only for big businesses, but it is equally applicable to any type of business entity or organization. Strategic planning is matching the strengths of an organization to available opportunities. To do this effectively, an organization need to collect, screen, and analyze information about its environment. The organization also needs to have a clear understanding of its strengths and weaknesses - and develop a clear mission, goals, and objectives (Wikipedia, n.d.). Acquiring this understanding often involves more work than expected. The organization must realistically assess its current state and device a plan of action to successfully make it better. So how does an organization gauge how well they are doing in term of matching their strengths to available opportunities? A self-assessment using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence can help an organization achieve high performance and move toward performance excellence (Balbridge.com). Even if the organization isn’t ready to apply for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Baldrige criteria are a framework for evaluating any organization’s processes, their impact on results, and its progress toward goals and objectives. The Baldrige criterion consists of seven key categories/indicators of success. One of these categories is strategic planning and it contains ten questions that are not routinely asked on how an organization can function more efficiently. In the case of University California, Berkeley’s and University of Colorado, Boulder’s campus-wide IT strategic plan, this paper will address some of these questions as they relate to Balbridge’s criteria for assessing strategic planning. The questions I will cover are: describe how the organization sets its strategic objectives into action plans, what the organization’s action plans are, and how the organization is able to project future performance on these key performance indicators or measures. In addition, this paper will also describe the following: how each university used the strategic planning process to address their needs, what are the university’s current strategic objectives, and the goals for each objective and the timetable for achieving these objectives. First of all, one of Baldridge’s criteria in strategic planning is answering the question of the organization’s current strategic objectives, the goals for each, and the timetable for achieving them. The following are the objectives for UC Berkeley: 1. Basic IT resources that are adequately supported and refreshed in order to carry out their research, teaching and learning, and administrative work. 2. Seamless, integrated, immediate, and continuous self-service access to information and services. 3. Robust technology tools to support collaboration.
4. Access to tools and data/information that enable community members to develop their own integrated solutions. The UC-Bolder defined their strategic objectives as the following: 1. Universally available wireless network including all campus buildings and strategic open common spaces as well as access to a campus VPN. 2. Faculty purchase and renewal program allowing all faculties a significant subsidy for a new computer every several years. 3. Free antivirus and encryption to protect data as well as access to a variety of major software licenses. 4. Integrated email, calendaring, and scheduling (Exchange). 5. Accessible and multi-layered IT support including both centralized and dedicated IT personnel. 6. Classroom and online IT training.
Although I did not go in depth about their objectives and timetables, clearly in each report, both universities exclusively defined what their IT strategic plans and objectives are for their future success. Charles McNamara (n.d.), a leading strategic planning advisor, stated that goals should be designed and worded as much as possible to be specific, measurable, acceptable to those...
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