Strategic Plan phases

There are five steps in our strategic plan development. These are outlined below.

Evidence Gathering

Between November 2017 and September 2018, Waterloo built evidence to inform the development of the strategic plan. Evidence was developed from four sources and shared broadly to internal Waterloo stakeholders:

  • A robust assessment and external scan, including both external and internal data and information which resulted in seven issue papers.
  • Waterloo’s 2013-2018 Summative Report, which provides a review of Waterloo’s progress and outcomes on each of the eight theme areas in Waterloo’s prior strategic plan.
  • Other materials and reports which were developed or commissioned, including internal discussion documents, benchmarking reports and position papers.
  • Strategic plan in action, Waterloo’s internal strategic plan accountability website, which provides more detail about indicators related to Waterloo’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. 

Waterloo’s internal community can access this evidence through an internal facing portal.

Consultation phase

Waterloo’s strategic planning is fundamentally based on a robust engagement plan, informed by evidence. Between September and November 2019, over 870Waterloo stakeholders took part in more than 30 face-to-face consultations, and over 2,100 completed an online survey. Waterloo’s president and vice-president academic and provost attended almost every consultation session, demonstrating their commitment and support. Stakeholder associations, groups and individuals also submitted input. More than 2,275 distinct concepts emerged during this process that will inform the development of Waterloo’s vision, values and goals and objectives.

Priority Setting phase

Between December 2018 and March 2019 Waterloo will identify our strategic priorities for the 2020 strategic plan. Combining the evidence gathered during the consultation phase with stakeholder input, we will create strategic priorities to create key statements that will reflect the concepts identified by Waterloo stakeholders. These statements will be validated with senior leaders, the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee and area experts to ensure that they reflect our best evidence and understanding of Waterloo’s policy and academic environment. When these key statements are confirmed, Waterloo stakeholders and leaders will prioritize them, identifying the core priorities for the University in the next Strategic Plan.

Strategic plan development

Waterloo will develop the strategic plan, building on the core priorities identified by the university leadership in the priority setting phase. The core components of the plan are the mission, vision and values. These will frame our university’s mission, vision and values in the academic sector in Canada and the world. It will also identify goals and objectives that will serve as direction to our institution, leaders, staff, faculty and students both about what we will do, and how we will do it. The strategic plan will be developed over summer 2019, with input and direction from the University president, deans and other senior leadership.

The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan goals and objectives are vital components of this plan. They will outline how Waterloo will accomplish the University’s vision. These will be built on the priorities identified in the priority setting phase. Waterloo will consult widely with internal and external experts to ensure that Waterloo’s goals and objectives are relevant, actionable and measurable statements of what Waterloo aims to achieve during the period of the next strategic plan.