Using External Environmental Scanning and Forecasting to Improve Strategic Planning Joel D. Lapin
Planning • A formalized procedure by which decisions are made and integrated in organizations.
Strategic Planning • A systematic and ongoing activity that an organization uses to anticipate and respond to major decisions facing it during a three- to five-year period beyond the present. • An “outside-in” approach that answers the question – what do we do?
Strategic Planning • Characteristics • Systematic and ongoing • Anticipates and responds • Three to five years beyond present • Focuses on external environment • Deals with “big” issues • Spans organizational boundaries • Deals with uncertainty • Values expert judgment
Operational Planning • An “inside-out” approach that answers the question – how and when we do it? • Characteristics • One- to two-year timeframe • Internally focused • Determined by strategic plan • Deals with micro issues • Tied to organizational units • Tied to budget/spending • Relatively certain • Highly participatory
Components of a Strategic Plan • Vision – An ideal, credible, attractive, and unique future image for an organization. • Mission – A general statement of the fundamental purpose of an organization and the foundation for developing the organizational goals and objectives. • Goals – A broad statement that describes ultimate ends and achievements for an organization.
External Environmental Scanning and Forecasting • A kind of radar to scan the world systematically and signal the new, the unexpected, the major, and the minor. (Morrison and Held, 1989)
External Environmental Scanning and Forecasting • Scanning involves the following: • Detecting changes in the external environment • Defining the potential threats or opportunities and potential changes for the organization caused by these changes • Promoting a futures orientation in leadership in the organization • Alerting leadership to trends and emerging issues and their future direction
Environmental Scanner’s Role • When scanning ask if the items: • Represent events, trends, developments, or ideas never before encountered • Contradict previous assumptions or beliefs about what seems to be happening • Represent new twists to old arguments • Can be linked to other abstracts previously written or seen • Have implications for the long-range program or management of the organization • Contain polls or forecasts • Morrison and Held, 1989
Purpose of Scanning • The purpose of external environmental scanning and forecasting is to enable an organization to develop or change a strategic plan based upon external trends.
External Environmental Scanning and Forecasting • The purpose of environmental scanning is to give an organization a competitive edge
“When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside, the end is in sight.” Jack Welch
You Scan to Plan . . . Not Plan to Scan.
External Environmental Scanning and Forecasting and Its Role in a Strategic Plan Document and Evaluate Key Results Vision Future Image – What Should We Be? Mission (Fundamental Purpose) Who Are We? What Do We Do? For Whom Do We Do It? Why Do We Do It? External Environmental Scanning & Forecasting Which Results in Trend Statements and a List of Core Trends Institutional Goals What should the college do to address the most consequential trends in its external environment? Goals determined after full and honest discussion of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Select “X” number of manageable achievable goals to be accomplished with “X” year(s) Develop Operational Plan Administration Instruction Student Services Institutional Adv. Recommendations (Monitor External Environment)
Trend A statement of the general direction of change – usually gradual, long-term change—in the forces shaping the future of an organization, region, nation, or society in general. Trends are often longitudinal in that they have been observed over a time frame. --Morrison and Held, 1989
Buying Time Busy People Becoming Night Owls to Get Chores Done Article by Eric L. Wee,Washington Post, December 19, 1994
Identifying and Defining a Trend • “What is true about futures research in general and was validated in the scans is that trends do not speak for themselves. They do not jump out of a pile of data. Identifying and defining a trend, testing it, and evaluating it is a partially creative and partially empirical process. The statement of a trend and its direction evolves out of accumulated information. The way in which that statement can be framed can be modified to fit the circumstances, to fit the client(s) needs, and to be salient, uniform, and in a style compatible with other trends.” --Joseph F. Coates
Event • A one-time or non-repeatable phenomenon usually visible or dramatic, which has a short-term effect on a system. An event focuses attention of an occurrence at one point in time. In contrast with a trend, an event can be viewed as a cross-sectional phenomenon. --Morrison and Held, 1989
Emerging Issue • A potential controversy that arises out of a trend or event, which may require some form of response. -- Morrison and Held, 1989
Wild Card • A change in the external environment having a low probability of occurrence, but an inordinately high impact if it does. --Rockfellow, 1994
Scanning Abstract Form Author and Title Source Taxonomy or Change area Identify the change or the most important idea that indicates change: Probability of occurring in the next 1 – 2 years: ____low ____ moderate ___high Probability of occurring in the next 3 – 5 years: ____low ____ moderate ___high Implications for communities served: How might the change affect people and groups in communities the college serves? Potential consequences/impact on the community: ___ minor ___ moderate ___major ___ unknown at this time Implications for college: How might the change affect the college’s programs, student services, faculty and staff, funding, etc.? Potential consequences/impact on the college: ___ minor ___ moderate ___major ___ unknown at this time What might the change mean for future learning – skills, knowledge, behaviors?
Joliet Junior College Joliet, IL January 2008
Core Trends • Competition Trend #5—Institutions that have the capacity to offer online courses will likely capture a larger share of the enrollment market, particularly those that are creative at creating pedagogies and provide evidence of environments that enhance learning. • Education Trend #7—Evidence as to how prepared high school students are for college is mixed. Two trends are evident in this area; (1) There is evidence of an increasing gap between high school and college expectations for learning and curriculum, and (2) Many students defined as underprepared have attended community colleges and there is no evidence to suggest this will not continue.
Core Trends • Labor Force Trend #5—The largest number of jobs will be created in health care related occupations over the next three to five years. • Demographics Trend #2—Between 2005 and 2015, the minority population in the JJC district is projected to grow by 58.2% from 173,382 to 274,350 and will represent 30.7% of the district’s population. • Demographic Trend #5---The population for the Joliet Junior College District 525 is predicted to increase from 868,631 in 2006 to 1,088,146 by 2001, which reflects an increase of 25.3%.
Core Trends • Demographics Trend #1—Between 2000 and 2030, Will County’s population is expected to increase from 502,584 to 1,076,446 residents (114% increase) • Economics Trend #9—Through 2014, Will County will experience a decrease in its manufacturing economy. The economy will shift to professional and business services, financial activities, transportation and warehousing, education, health care and hospitality.
Core Trends • Economics Trend # 11---The U.S., by far, consumes more resources per person than any other large and developed country in the world. Growing regions with available natural resources and space, like the JJC district, will likely want to incorporate sustainable efforts in planning and development. • Politics Trend # 8---State commitments to fund higher education in the near future will be much less reliable than in the past. The revenue picture is difficult to predict, particularly in Illinois. Still, community college funding structures are built upon historical assumptions about revenue generation and will likely need to be changed.
Core Trends • Social Values Trend # 6---The necessity for a post-secondary education for success in the workplace will continue to become more prevalent over the next 3-5 years or longer, especially among the growing Hispanic population and other underrepresented groups.
Core SWOT Analysis • Strengths • Low tuition and reasonable cost • Growth in District • Strong JJC Foundation • Weaknesses • Lack of online classes • Class scheduling
Core SWOT Analysis • Opportunities • Partnerships • Distance education • Growth • Threats • Competition • Lower/lack of state and federal funding • Underprepared students
Joliet Junior College Strategic PlanFebruary 26, 2008 • Vision • Joliet Junior College , the nation’s first public community college, will be a leader in teaching and learning, and the first choice for postsecondary education. • Mission • Joliet Junior College enriches people’s lives through affordable, accessible and quality programs and services. The College provides transfer and career preparation, training and workforce development, and a lifetime of learning to the diverse community it serves.
Strategic Goals • Improve student success with an emphasis on enrollment, retention, graduation, and transfer rates and effective teaching strategies and learning outcomes. (Trends: Competition #5, Education # 7, Demographics # 12,5, Social Values 6). • Increase institutional sustainability with an emphasis on obtaining necessary resources, state-of-the heart facilities, professional development, and environmental stewardship. (Trends: Politics 8, Economics 11, Demographics 1,5).
Strategic Goals 3. Increase and improve partnerships with organizations that support the college’s mission. (Trends: all core trends). 4. Utilize technology strategically to advance teaching and learning, expand online and alternative delivery methods, and increase effective administrative and support services. (Trends: Competition 5; Labor Force 5; Demographics 1,2, 5; Economics 9,11; Politics 8; Social Values 6).
Strategic Goals 5. Improve the success of minority, underrepresented, and underprepared student populations in addition to closing the gap between high school and college performance. (Trends: Social Values 6, Demographics 2, Education 7). 6. Develop programs that anticipate and respond to labor market demand. (Trends: Labor Force 5, Economics 9, Social Values 6).
North Harris Montgomery Community College District The Woodlands, TX
Workforce DevelopmentCore Trends • Advanced Manufacturing # 2---Growth in advanced manufacturing related to the oil and gas industry is continuing in Harris and Montgomery Counties to support the exploration and production efforts in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico area.
Competitive Education # 8 • Accessibility of classes, at times, locations and formats attractive to the student, will be a major factor in the continued growth of for-profit education, although this growth has moderated somewhat in the past five years, due partially to legal/political challenges for-profit companies are facing.
Demographics # 4 • While the Texas population will increase in the future, the Hispanic population will evidence the fastest growth among identified groups, and Anglos will evidence the lowest growth among identified groups.
Demographics # 7 • The percentage of economically disadvantaged students in the 11 school districts served by the NHMCCD service area has consistently increased for the last five years, and is expected to continue for the next three to five years.
Economics # 9 • The result of expansion activities of the Port of Houston and the Houston Airport System will have an increasing economic impact on the Gulf Coast region as additional cargo and passenger traffic, both internationally and domestically, is expected to grow for the next three to five years.
Education # 9 • In the next three to five years, career and technical programs at the secondary level will be recognized as critical for postsecondary preparation and become a priority for closing the nation’s skills gap.
Labor Force # 5 • Healthcare occupations are expected to produce the greatest number of jobs and have the most significant rate of growth over the next three to five years in the Gulf Coast region.
Labor Force # 13 • In the next three to five years, the emerging labor force will have fewer applied skills such as critical thinking and teamwork as well as deficits in reading, writing and math.
Politics # 3 • Funds available from taxes will continue to diminish, continuing the general trend of the college district becoming more and more dependent on its authority to levy tax and to charge tuition and fees.
Social Values and Lifestyles # 12 • Boomers will retire like no other generation before them by continuing to work, having multiple careers and pursuing educational and leisure opportunities.