Institutional effectiveness is the degree to which an organization is meeting its stated mission. Universities are large complex organizations composed of many divisions and departments that must all work together to accomplish that mission. Planning is the means of coordinating human, physical, and financial resources toward achieving goals that support their common mission.
Baylor University’s mission statement reflects its enduring organizational purpose, focus, and scope of activities. The Mission Statement website provides the one sentence summary, along with the historical background of the institution and an explanation of the university motto “Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana”.
In 2012, Baylor University initiated Pro Futuris Strategic Vision, and recently published the Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. Operational planning occurs along with the annual budget cycle, but it is the five-year strategic plan and ten-year strategic vision that provides the context for meaningful annual goals.
Annual planning occurs at different levels of the institution, from individual goals stated in performance appraisals, to departmental budgets, to divisional plans. Aligning planning across levels of the organization is essential to coordinate efforts and distribute resources to meet annual goals as well as the longer term strategic goals.
Sometimes, planning does not fit within organizational units or the annual budget cycle. In those cases, project management tools are helpful to plan and execute initiatives. Traditional project management attempts to define requirements, scope, and schedules at the beginning of a project, and is often referred to as Waterfall project management. Agile project management methods utilize an iterative planning process for projects that operate in a dynamic environment, where project requirements may change frequently. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) publishes tools, templates, and best practices for traditional and agile project management methods.