:async: Strategic Planning -- A Guide to Avoiding the Pitfalls and Achieving Your Vision

Authors: Una Daly, Lisa Young, Susan Tashjian
Institutions: Open Education Consortium, Scottsdale Community College, Northern Essex Community College
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Community College
UNESCO Area of Focus: Sustainable OER
Session Format: Presentation


Why do open education programs with great intentionality stop growing after a period of time and what enables other programs to achieve longevity and continue to be relevant and sustainable over time? This discussion probes into the role of strategic planning in the development, implementation, and measurement of successful OER programs.

Strategic planning provides an opportunity for organizations and workgroups to engage in self-reflection, examine competitive trends, and plan for future accomplishments. But in order to be effective, there must be agreements, milestones, and metrics for completing the planning and measuring progress. Simply following the steps outlined in a strategic planning guide may result in lofty but unachievable goals and a mission that doesn’t fully resonate with your key stakeholders including staff, collaborators, and other advisors. A concrete plan for building consensus on proposed objectives including a competitive analysis of projects is needed. Without these mechanisms, the insightful data gathered from multiple sources including surveys, polls, and external stakeholder interviews may not be actionable.

The presenters will discuss effective processes used for strategic planning at higher education organizations including non-profit organizations, large systems, and individual colleges. Case studies will be used to illustrate challenges commonly encountered and the pitfalls to avoid while successfully sustaining and growing your open education program.

Discussion topics include:

  • When is the right or wrong time to commit to a strategic planning process?
  • What information do you need to collect to start the process?
  • What must be in-place at the end of the process?
  • How can you engage and get buy-in from key stakeholders?
  • How will the resulting plan be used and by whom?
  • How do you measure impact and update over time?


Vision statement, Stakeholder alignment, Competitive analysis, Measuring outcomes

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We’re looking forward to discussing your successes and challenges with strategic planning at your institutions and organizations. Here the slides for our guide presentation.

Please contact us here in the chat,
Una, Lisa, and Sue

CCCOER used the SOAR Framework based on Appreciative Inquiry rather than the more traditional SWOT framwork. Hear why we chose SOAR in our session recorded here.

As you move your open education project forward, having a strategic plan provides you with a roadmap for short term and long term goals and a way to check in on progress towards meeting those goals.

How has a strategic plan helped your open education efforts?