The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan – Chapter III


From Vision to Action – Implementing the Plan with Critical Enablers

The University is at a decisive juncture in pursuit of its vision to become a regional center of excellence in higher education. What is laid out in this strategic plan charts the path to make this vision a reality, with high expectations of achieving key developmental goals in the next five years.  Learning from the past, we know that successful implementation of this plan entails support from various stakeholders and the sustained involvement of the whole IUGB community – board members, senior management, faculty, staff, and students.  The following presents a structure for this involvement.  It identifies the enablers critical to its success, and it lists the process-owners along with their respective responsibilities to ensure that all activities are undertaken and systematically pursued. Prioritization and a timetable for these activities follow, along with the criteria to measure, monitor and assess their implementation’s progress.

  • Two Enablers for Successful SP Implementation

Enablers are the critical determinants (conditions and means) required to achieve the University’s vision.  Two critical enablers stand out, and we intend to address them during the current planning period. These are: (1) A highly competent faculty and staff committed to fulfilling the institution’s mission; and (2) The logistical and technological infrastructure and work environment that will facilitate the work of faculty and staff while providing students with a supportive learning and living environment.

A pervasive concern since IUGB’s creation and specifically addressed in the current SP under the goals of Internationalization and US Institutional Accreditation is the need for highly qualified faculty and staff. We envision heavy investment in their professional development. This will be done through a series of actions, such as careful hiring of new faculty and staff who are then provided with opportunities for their professional development, including increased international mobility through assignments abroad, as well as by seeking new MOUs and memberships in key academic networks. Our faculty and staff must be professionally interchangeable, at par, with their peers from well-established international universities.

Concerning logistical and technological infrastructure and the work environment, one of our flagship initiatives is building a new campus featuring cutting edge design, technology and equipment. Without such an infrastructure, key goals and their respective results or target KPIs specified by the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan cannot be reached. This is especially the case with fulfilling our targeted enrollment projections, which in turn impact financial results as well as overall educational outcomes and the University’s ability to stay competitive by effectively deploying a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment.

  • Process Owners and the Assignment of Tasks

To make sure that the Plan is implemented, we need to assign roles and responsibilities while clearly defining a formal process of monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting and accountability.  During the preparation of this SP, many of our staff members, including all heads of business units, helped define the KPIs and their target values. These staff members will be responsible for gathering the actual data to match against the target values of the KPIs. The responsible staff members are listed in the last column of the Results-Based Logical Framework (see Annex 2).

  • Prioritization and the Timetable for Activities

A detailed timetable and prioritization of activities has been determined in a participatory manner to ensure commitment to and ownership, beyond simple awareness, of the critical deadlines and major deliverables of the current plan.  Borrowing from best practices of successful strategic-plan implementation followed by some U.S. universities, we convened a senior management retreat at the outset of the planning period, during the Fall 2016 semester, to decide on a high-level prioritization plan. Subsequently, individual units began to drill down into detailed implementation plans for their activities. In Annex 3 we present an overall, institution-level timetable of activities for the four priorities of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.  The timetable includes: (1) Completion of the first Long-Term (20 year) Master Plan for IUGB by the end of December 2017; (2) Completion of the Long-Term Financial Framework by July 2017; and (3) Hosting a 10-year stocktaking international roundtable of major IUGB stakeholders, partners, and donors by November 2017.

  • Measuring, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Progress

We need to track progress toward the goals of the SP in real time and report corrective actions when needed[4]. For this purpose, the Results-Based Logical Framework, presented as Annex 2, will be our main guide.

Monitoring. We will monitor this Strategic Plan using two main tools: a quarterly dashboard and a semester status report.

Quarterly Strategic Plan Dashboard (QSPD).  This dashboard will be prepared by the various University units with respect to the indicators for which they are responsible. It will contain a few selected indicators that summarize the progress in implementing the SP made during the quarter. The QSPD will be submitted to senior management.  A model form for the QSPD is presented below.

Quarterly SP Dashboard Framework

 

Semester Status Report (SSR). This will be a narrative report produced every six (6) months and presented to the University President. Based on the data in the dashboard, the SSR will describe the main achievements in implementing the SP, analyze challenges, and provide recommendations as needed.*Status of indicators can be color-coded with flags: Green, Orange, or Red to indicate “Fully on track or better, slightly off track, or fully off track”, respectively.

Evaluation. Two main evaluations of the SP will be carried out, one half-way through (Mid-Term) and one at the end of the SP period (Final).

The mid-term evaluation will provide a thorough assessment of the implementation of the SP 30 months after its start.  This evaluation will provide the opportunity to: (1) Reflect on the achievements as compared to the expected results of the plan; (2) Review the implementation process by describing the challenges that have been met and the way that the institutional environment has changed; and then, based on lessons learned, it will (3) Provide recommendations for eventual changes to improve the relevance of the SP and thereby facilitate the pursuit of our vision and mission.

The final evaluation will assess the accomplishments of the SP, draw key lessons learned and make recommendations for the next SP.
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[4] We view “monitoring” as a systematic, continuous and routine process that follows the evolution of a set of critical and sensitive indicators to take any necessary corrective actions quickly. On the other hand, “evaluation” is a more discrete assessment based on information provided through the monitoring process. It appraises data and information to guide informed strategic decisions including the adjustment of objectives. “Monitoring” helps to improve the course of SP implementation and thereby improves the SP itself for the immediate future. Then finally, when carried out at the end of the SP, it provides useful lessons and recommendations for the next SP. “Evaluations,” however, assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the SP.
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  • Institutional Monitoring and The Evaluation Framework

The implementation of the 2016-2020 SP is the responsibility of all management units.  Roles, responsibilities and accountability must be clearly defined and formally communicated to ensure that expected results are achieved. At the central level, overall responsibility for the implementation of the plan will rest with the Offices of the VPCOO and the VPAA.  The two Vice Presidents will be responsible for coordinating SP implementation and reviewing the periodic self-assessment reports by the various units (QSPD and SSR) before their consolidation into the university-wide deliverables – the quarterly dashboards and semi-annual reports required by the SP.

Heads of the various management units will be responsible for implementing, monitoring progress, and reporting on the KPIs pertaining to their units.  At the beginning of each year, all management units will set their target KPIs as part of their annual work plans as derived from the University SP. The quarterly reports from the various units will be consolidated at the various levels until there is a University-wide performance review report.

Performance evaluations shall be carried out quarterly and annually in all management units and at the University management levels. The agreed target KPIs at all levels will be used as benchmarks for this evaluation. The outcome of the annual evaluation will facilitate forward planning and allow for operational adjustments to be made as appropriate to meet the goals and broader objectives of the strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

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