2020 Design Team Process
Since the start of efforts to craft a new strategic plan for the University of Kansas, there has been an emphasis not simply on strategic planning, but also on strategic doing. Provost Bichelmeyer has stressed that real advances come through defining objectives and then working to secure key results.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early spring 2020 forced KU students, staff, faculty and administration to approach learning, scholarship and work through new perspectives. As the pandemic raged and communications focused, rightly, on campus-wide health and safety measures, eleven design teams were formed to address the Jayhawks Rising institutional priorities. The teams, which met during the summer and fall of 2020 had the dual charge to help mitigate related challenges emanating from the pandemic. The work of these roughly 200 students, staff, faculty, and unit leaders helped ensure progress on Jayhawks Rising continued.
Design teams addressed “The Four Questions of Strategic Doing:”
- What COULD we do? What are all the possible opportunities using assets we already have?
- What SHOULD we do? We can’t do everything so which opportunities are most likely to lead to measurable success?
- What WILL we do? Where will we start and how will we commit to it?
- What’s our 30/30? Every 30 days, we will spend 30 minutes reporting on progress.
FY'22 Strategic Planning Process
In early 2021, objectives and key results (OKRs) were reviewed from the design teams as well as an evaluation of external metrics (AAU, KBOR, etc.) to finalize the core institutional priorities and corresponding objectives and metrics that represent our Jayhawks Rising Strategic Plan. In the spring of ’21, a new public-facing website was launched to share the university’s three core institutional priorities of creating a clear and ambitious direction to fulfill our mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world. The site displays the institutional objectives and metrics that align with the core institutional priorities.
In order to begin strategic doing and execute a plan, an implementation process was developed for FY’22 that involves three stages. These stages include the following: 1) reflect and re-energize the campus community on our mission and vision, 2) develop a foundation by appointing Team Leads to prioritize metrics, set targets and draw in key players to assist, and 3) begin strategic alignment by educating units on the institutional key results and setting unit level OKRs that align with the institutional OKRs and then monitor progress moving forward.
The high-level summary of the strategic plan implementation process for FY’22 are below. Please note that dates may be subject to change.
Re-energize and Reflect (April-May)
- Team Leads identified and provided overview of annual strategic planning process, including overview of their role as leader
- Preview of new Jayhawks Rising website to Design Team members, Team Leads, Deans and Vice Provosts
- New Jayhawks Rising website launched to campus community
- “Strategic Plan FY’22 Fall Preview” sessions held with 2020 Design Teams and various constituent groups to reflect on process, and reenergize around common mission, vision and values
Develop Foundation (Late July - October)
- Intensive Team Leader training
- Team Leaders identify and engage key players (stakeholders)
- Institutional KRs defined and strategic investment needs quantified
- Institutional KRs approved by Provost and shared with campus community
Strategic Alignment (October '21 - June '22)
- Team Leads hold campus community workshops focused on Institutional KRs and strategic alignment
- Unit leaders set unit level OKRs in alignment with Institutional KRs
- Progress is monitored quarterly to mitigate risks, and provide support and guidance
- Annual pause & reflect to celebrate successes, reflect on where we've been and where we're going, and kickoff process for next FY
Jayhawks Rising Relaunch (May 2021)
Jayhawks Rising Timeline Milestones
A preparatory exercise involving a small but broadly representative group of staff and faculty from all KU campuses. The goal was to identify characteristics that define KU at its best.
Smaller conversations continued, Design Teams formed from Strategic Planning Kickoff volunteers and campus leadership.
These groups, which involve more than 200 individuals on the Lawrence and Edwards Campus, were tasked with developing areas of focus (Objectives and Key Results – OKRs) for KU’s Strategic Plan as they also addressed overlapping changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Design Teams submit initial recommendations, and work begins to address recommendations for Fall 2020 semester.
Implement Design Team action plans. Teams continue to identify priority objectives for the next 30-day and 60-day periods.
Synthesis of Design Team OKR Feedback
Collection and evaluation of appropriate external metrics from sources such as the Association of American Universities, Kansas Board of Regents, US News, etc.
Creation of a new public-facing website that incorporates all institutional priorities, as well as the objectives and metrics.
Team Leads have an institutional connection to improve the outcomes for their particular objective. They will oversee team creation with constituents from across campus and will work to further refine objectives and desired results.
The work continues – Jayhawks Rising is just beginning. Your involvement will help ensure KU establishes and pursues the right goals and that our actions are woven throughout work taking place in offices and programs across our campuses.Get Involved