Operationalizing Strategic Initiatives

Translating Institutional Priorities into Resource Requirements and Budget Allocations

Topics: Strategic Planning, Administration and Finance, Cost Savings, Budgeting, Shared Services, Administrative Service Delivery Models

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Executive Summary

The recent economic downturn has not dampened the pace of competition in higher education. As a result, CBOs must focus on reducing costs and  ensuring that the institution’s precious resources are directed toward the strategic initiatives that best help move their institutions forward.

Although many CBOs would like to turn to their strategic plans to guide these tough budget decisions, the inclusive nature of strategic planning in higher education often leads to plans that are all-encompassing wish lists, leaving CBOs to wonder how they will prioritize and fund the strategic priorities that offer differentiation.

The Business Affairs Forum completed a major research study to profile the best practices and strategies for taking broad strategic goals and turning them into achievable, operational initiatives. This study profiles 14 best practices that help institutions:

  • Convert broad institutional goals into more discrete, actionable initiatives
  • Create cost and funding source estimates for new initiatives
  • Prioritize programs and initiatives based on institutional strategy
  • Communicate budget scenarios and interdependencies to the campus community
  • Fund strategic initiatives through a targeted reallocation process and a transparent competition for funds

Best Practices for Operationalizing Strategic Initiatives