Alignment in Planning

Abstract

In March 2001, the NLII sponsored a focus session, Alignment in Planning, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The intent was to examine the ways in which institutions have been able to successfully operationalise their strategic initiatives while engaging the academic community in creating and sustaining a meaningful planning process that is transparent, continuous, thoughtfully aligned, open and shared. Based on the results of front end research at their home campuses, and through panel presentations, small group discussion and exploration of strategic and tactical examples, participants began to develop a framework describing the characteristics of an aligned planning process and evidence of success. Themes included assessing the readiness for change, the roles of decision makers and stake-holders, understanding institutional culture and climate, communication strategies, dimensions of scalability and sustainability, variations in process, project selection and assessment of progress. This session synthesizes the findings from the focus group, invites commentary from participants and explores ways in which the material could be further disseminated.

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