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3. An effective organizer with skills in:
(a) Organizational development

3a2 Developing mission and vision statements and a strategic plan for ITS

Development Plan Portfolio Documentation
Describe tools used and processes followed with ITS managers in developing a mission statement and strategic plan for ITS.

ITS mission statement and strategic plan:

List the tools and methods used, and resulting mission and vision statements, strategic plan, and annual planning and review cycle.

  1. The Planning Process
  2. Mission and Vision Statements
  3. Goals and Objectives
  4. Draft IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan
  5. Revised IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan
  6. Third Draft IT Strategic Plan
  7. Annual Planning and Review Cycle

1. The Planning Process

The management team in ITS at Andrews University took some of the preliminary steps in developing a mission statement and a vision statement in late 1998.

We started with a review of the University mission statement since we felt this would give us some guidance in supporting the University in serving the students. Then we compiled a comprehensive list of all our customers, starting, naturally enough, with students, faculty, and staff.

Next, we used a novel approach to identify our current and possible future duties and responsibilities. It was a brainstorming technique that uses 6" hexagonal sticky notes. Each brainstorming idea is written on one of the notes. The pads of notes come in different colors which is handy for breakout sessions when working with a large group - each small group can have its own color.

The approach generally taken when using the stick hexagonal notes is as follows:

However, in our small group, we used "virtual" sticky notes.  I used Microsoft Draw in a Word Document projected on to a screen.  I created hexagonal drawing objects, and as ideas were suggested, I typed them in as labels for the hexagons.  When we finished brainstorming, I dragged the objects around the screen as we discussed the best way to group the ideas we had come up with (see landscape and portrait orientations).  We achieved nine groupings, which we further grouped into four main areas, as shown in the following table.

Activity Type

Things we do

Customer Support

Access to Technology
Customer Support and Development
Direct Services

Infrastructure Support

Infrastructure Support

Information Needs

Strategic Information Needs
Operational Information Needs

Technological Vision

Strategic Directions
Emerging Technologies

In addition to encapsulating what we do, we wanted our mission and vision statements to reflect our values.  So we had another brief brainstorming session to list values we considered to be important.  Then we took a vote to select the top four values from the list.  We wanted write a mission statement based on these four values.  The values were:

We created many different sentences and phrases and sequences, and finally settled on a statement that may still have been too long and complex, but we felt it was a good first attempt.

2. Mission and Vision Statements


It is the mission of Information Technology Services (ITS) to meet the information technology needs of Andrews University by providing reliable access, with responsive service and support, to the IT resources. In support of the University mission, ITS continually looks for ways to incorporate new technologies to improve processes associated with instruction, research, and administration. ITS provides information for strategic decision support and for tactical and operational needs. ITS also provides the information infrastructure (in terms of technology, training, and consulting) to empower people to make effective use of information resources.


To be recognized as a professional, proactive service organization, providing reliable, leading edge, flexible, user friendly information technology services.

This was subsequently revised as follows:

To be recognized as a professional, proactive service organization, providing reliable, leading edge, user-friendly information technology services for all its constituencies, and to enable Andrews University to serve in a caring and responsive manner.

3. Goals and Objectives

Using the clusters of things we do and the values we had identified to guide us, we developed a list of goals and objectives.  We developed a grid showing the current year and three years forward, and the year(s) in which each goal would be achieved.  We also assigned responsibilities for each goal.

By this stage, we were becoming too occupied with the details and were losing sight of some of the big picture strategic issues.  In February 2000, the IT manages met to simplify our 46 strategic objectives down to 6 or 7 (<10) strategic statements.  To assist in tracking the ideas we had compiled in our planning activities to date, I developed a Microsoft Access database.

In late 2000, the President of Andrews University asked the Strategic Planning Committee to bring its work to a conclusion and requested brief summaries on each of 10 "planks" that the committee had identified.  I went through the plan highlighting all the places where IT would be necessary or helpful in achieving goals that were stated.  I have created a cross-reference document of IT Links to the AU Strategic Plan.  I also summarized the items in the AU Strategic Plan that related to each ITS manager's area of responsibility.

4. Draft IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan

Using ideas generated from the many discussions with ITS managers, I wrote an IT Strategic Plan in an attempt to capture the broad thrust of those discussions, and presented it in the format adopted for the Andrews University Strategic Plan. While I had consciously tried to make the plan student-centric, and to eliminate the focus on technology that had been evident in the our previous work, I still fell short of where we want to be.

5. Revised IT Plank for Andrews Strategic Plan

I tried to incorporate the ideas share with me by the ITS managers in response to my first draft. This revised IT plan is virtually a complete rewrite, but is an attempt to create an atmosphere of compelling excitement at what is possible through appropriate use of information technology.

6. Third Draft IT Strategic Plan

Some sections were incomplete in the second draft and they have been amplified. In the third draft, we attempt to more thoroughly cover the areas of the Andrews Strategic Plan, and to acknowledge the potential (and the imperative) of IT for creating new value.

7. Annual Planning and Review Cycle

It was always our intention that the Strategic Plan would not become a once in five or 10 year exercise but that it would be an active document that was consulted frequently and reviewed annually, synchronized with the budgeting process.  However, because of budget cuts, this plan was put on hold for several years.  We still believe the cyclic review is a very important aspect of strategic planning, and hope it can be made a part of the budget preparation process.
Planning Cycle

See also ITS Strategic Planning Process and 2a2 The Strategic Planning process in ITS.

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Created: Sunday, February 20, 2000 05:18 PM 
Last Modified: Monday, September 28, 2009 5:02 PM