The Citadelís Budget Planning Process
In Terms of The Strategic Plan
Analysis of Internal & External Environment: The first step in our strategic planning process is to complete an in-depth analysis of both the internal and external environment. This includes: identifying factors such as the political environment which in turn may reflect on resources that will be available or not available, declining or slow-growth revenue base, increasing costs, technology capabilities, identifying customers (internal and external), and define key results areas (customer requirements and expectations) all which will likely impact the mission of the school. An environmental scan (at a lower scale) is conducted each year to validate vision, values (corporate culture), mission and institutional goals.
Envision the Future: Envisioning the future makes strategic planning proactive versus reactive in nature. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) endeavors to visualize the future, develop possible scenarios and plan the direction of The Citadel. The Citadelís vision statement should be validated on a yearly basis as a means to link budget priorities to vision.
Develop/Assess the Mission Statement: The Citadelís Mission Statement concisely expresses the reason for the collegeís existence. The key elements include the collegeís purpose, who it serves, how and why. Based on a changing environment, The Citadelís mission statement is validated on a yearly basis and, if needed, updated during an in-depth strategic planning year.
Assess Current Capabilities: In order to progress into the future The Citadel needs to understand where it currently stands. Identifying issues and opportunities (strengths and weaknesses) is the analysis and appraisal of the collegeís current state. The primary objective of this effort is to reach consensus on the significance and potential impact of these strengths and weaknesses. This is accomplished by studying performance measures, conducting a self assessment, benchmarking and evaluating key processes to see if the college is addressing current and future customer requirements.
Gap Analysis: The gap analysis identifies the progress needed and perhaps the resources required to move the college from its current capability to the desired future state. Included in this analysis is an assessment of obstacles and/or barriers to achieving a plan to get to the future state.
Develop Action Plans: The Strategic Plan and Department level action plans address how the department intends to get from its current state (who we are now, what are we doing now) to a future state (what we want to be, what we want to be doing). Also an action plan must address the potential problem areas toward achieving the future state. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee should key on these problem areas and if they hinder The Citadelís accomplishment of its mission and/or achievement of its institutional goals and objectives then perhaps the SPSC will focus resource attention to the problem by addressing it as a budget priority.
Assign Priorities (Key Performance Areas) for Resource Allocation: In the planning process the strategic plan should conceptually address what the priorities are for use of the collegeís limited resources in the achievement of its future state (to get it across the gap if you will). These priorities or key performance areas will focus the budget more on the strategy of the college and less on the tactics. They will be the linkage between the strategic plan and the setting of budget priorities.
Budget Priorities: To bridge the gap, departments must determine what operational requirements they need to accomplish their mission and take The Citadel into the future. This information should be communicated to the SPSC in their Annual Reports. The SPSC prioritizes all out-year unfunded requirements and identifies the top priorities as budget priorities for building the next years development budget. These priorities are coordinated with all VPs, briefed to the President and approved by The Citadelís Board of Visitors. The Budget Office uses these budget priorities to develop the preliminary budget submitted to the State and uses them as a justification for reallocation of resources during the budget development year.
Performance Measures: For the budget process to work as described in the attached flow diagrams and time line charts is dependant upon some means of accountability and methodology for measuring results be in place. At minimum this methodology should be used at the institutional level (ideally at the department level) from which the decision-makers (Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Vice Presidents, Departments Heads and Budget Office) can make justifiable budget decisions. These measures would be linked to the goals and objective of the college thus making them quantifiable. A typical performance measure might include input, output, efficiency, service quality, and outcome indicators. In theory, this methodology shifts budget emphasis from departmental issues to the needs of the service recipient.
Department Annual Reports: This would be the formal tool which departments could communicate to the SPSC and Vice Presidentsí on an annual basis their success stories and their problems or requirements to ďcross the gap.Ē This information would be justified/supported through information gained from review of performance measures (applicable institutional measures or department measures). This tool could be used to document the departmentsí out-year and next year requirements.