Case Study

University Strategy and Continuous Improvement

Sector

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Tenure

Company

A private Midwest university with 6,000+ students.

Challenge

A leading Midwest university had a strategic plan, and institutional planning culture, that needed an update. The university previously implemented five to ten-year strategic plans but needed a more flexible methodology to sustain growth. The university found traditional methods failed in reconciling long-term strategy with short-term actions.

Intervention

Bâton Global (B|G) leaders worked with the university to implement a continuous improvement planning process and culture. A university-wide scorecard was developed and leadership teams in all academic and administrative units developed customized plans adapted to their own unique goals and culture. B|G leaders supported the university in communicating the future vision to various internal and external stakeholders while managing the execution of the plans and measuring progress over time.

Results

The University has established a culture that embraces continuous improvement and growth at all levels. This has created insight and alignment between the student experience, faculty governance, administrative execution, board planning and institutional accreditation.

Project Scope

The scope of this project includes four main areas of activity:

Insight

  • Interviews were conducted with leaders across seven campus groups to further understand their common and unique aspirations.
  • The university’s senior leadership were oriented to continuous improvement methodology and best practices in implementing new strategies.
  • Summary findings from stakeholder interviews and external research were delivered to senior leadership and campus groups.

Innovation

  • Staff and faculty in each of the seven campus groups were guided to build individual scorecards with objectives, measures, targets, and initiatives aligned to their unique aspirations.
  • B|G leaders ensured strong alignment existed between the seven campus groups and the university’s shared vision.
  • The scorecard was further refined and dependencies between campus groups’ objectives and initiatives were tracked to ensure effective use of resources.

Integration

  • B|G leaders held information sessions to further articulate the aspirations of the university with stakeholders.
  • A sustainable process for maintaining each scorecard and tracking success was implemented to ensure the scorecards continued to deliver value to each campus group
  • The scorecard was integrated into ongoing management to ensure leaders had clear visibility into progress in reaching established targets and delivering initiatives.

Impact

  • Stakeholders across the university are aligned in achieving a common vision.
  • The university regularly reports successes (and failures) in achieving objectives which has led to increased transparency.
  • University leaders are focused on simultaneously improving education and administrative processes while effectively using increasingly scarce resources.
  • The university has made great strides in delivering an impactful student experience and has increased its community leadership and stewardship.