The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) uses the strategic planning process to establish a vision and mission and then to create a plan to fulfill that mission. Along this path ACBSP uses the process to formulate strategy, implement the strategy, evaluate progress, and make adjustments. Neither the plan nor the process is static.
While there were elements of a strategic plan prior to 2004, the launch of the current strategic planning process began in 2004, with a newly formed taskforce, a relatively new management team, and the consulting services of Steven Worth, Plexus Consulting. The process started by asking attendees of regional meetings held during 2004 to help identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, weaknesses, and potential threats for ACBSP. Once a consensus was reached, the taskforce met in January 2005, to develop the first plan, comprised of a mission and vision document, which was released and distributed to the ACBSP membership. A companion action plan document was provided to members upon request.
In 2006, this taskforce became a standing committee and has met annually to review and update the plan. In 2008, the two separate documents were merged into one planning document. In 2010, the committee, which now had a number of new members, began the process of creating a new planning document, again using the services of Steven Worth, Plexus Consulting. The previous plan was used only as a reference.
The plan begins with a vision statement and a mission statement. The following are the current statements:
Vision: Every quality business program worldwide is accredited.
Mission: ACBSP promotes continuous improvement and recognizes excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world.
To accomplish the mission, ACBSP commits to ensuring that a series of guiding principles is reflected in any and all of the programs and initiatives it undertakes. The principles, listed in no certain order include:
- Focuses on student-centered learning and engagement
- Celebrates teaching excellence
- Promotes access and inclusiveness that recognizes the diversity of institutional missions worldwide
- Advocates continuous improvement
- Encourages involvement and professional development of individual members
- Requires outcomes that are results-oriented
- Fosters scholarly activities and best practices in research, application, integration, teaching, and service
- Commits to meeting the needs of stakeholders
- Forges mutually beneficial partnerships
- Embraces visionary leadership
- Strategically plans for the future
The plan is further advanced by the development of goal statements. ACBSP currently has three goal statements:
I. Global Presence: Significantly increase ACBSP's presence worldwide
II. Accreditation: Continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the accreditation process
III. Awareness: Increase ACBSP's visibility in educational and business communities worldwide
All three were developed with deliberate thought and extensive discussion during the strategic planning process.
For each goal statement a series of strategic objectives are developed and action plans are established that will lead to the accomplishment of the strategic objectives. For instance, Goal I for Global Presence has five strategic objectives and one reads as follows:
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE A: Develop a long-term plan for accommodating worldwide growth and take actions to strengthen human resource needs, organizational focus, governance structure, and organizational infrastructure.
The final component is the development and reporting of action plans. The 50 action plan statements included in the current plan that describe the specific steps to implement the Strategic Objectives include separate components stating the individual or the group that is accountable for implementation, the resource requirements, a deadline for implementation, and a statement on how the results will be measured.
Each year the Strategic Planning Committee meets in Kansas City for two days as current ACBSP staff leads the standing committee through a review of the plan, setting aside components that have been completed or are no longer obtainable. Other components are updated and revised.
Following action by the Strategic Planning Committee, the plan is presented to the ACBSP Board of Directors for approval.
Following this approval, the different action plans in the approved plan document are divided into single units and released to various staff, governing boards, committees, and other groups for their comment or action during the year. The content of the individual action plans appears on the agendas of various meetings and is incorporated into the annual budgeting process.
A report of the actions and comments is provided to the Strategic Planning Committee each year at the beginning of their deliberations and as the first step in creating a revised and updated strategic plan. This process ensures the strategic planning process is not a static one.