There are a few key elements that need to be established inside of Planning before users may go in and begin using the application. Those key elements are as follows:

  • Time Period(s)
  • Organizational Structure
  • Plan Framework
  • User accounts & permissions

Time Periods

Time periods are the parent container of everything else inside of Planning, which means that one must be established before an organizational structure or content is created within Planning.




Organizational Structure

Only after a time period has been established may a site administrator develop an organizational Structure (org tree). Each time period will have an independent organizational structure from a previous or future year(s). This means that the academic year 2018 may have an entirely different organizational structure than that of the previous year without affecting data.



Establishing A Plan Framework

While a plan and plan templates can be created before establishing an organizational structure or time period, we recommended you follow these steps when setting up your institution's Planning application. A plan framework is the highest level of abstraction when it comes to the Planning application. Planning can accommodate multiple frameworks at any given time (institutional strategic plan, academic affairs strategic plan, student affairs strategic plan, unit strategic plan, special initiative plan). Developing a plan framework means you've thought about the pieces that make up a given plan and how they connect.

For example, most institutions follow a framework for their strategic plan that might look something like this:

Institutional Strategic Plan

Institutional Vision

  • Institutional Mission
    • Institutional Goal(s)
      • Institutional Objective(s)
        • Institutional Measure(s)/Assessment(s)

Here we can see that our institutional plan has a few different elements to it. First is the plan itself, which is called the institutional strategic plan and is the container for the remaining elements. This view should be carried into the planning application itself, as the first step is to establish a plan that will act as a container for the rest of our plan's components. Here we can see that the other components of our strategic plan are a vision, mission, goals, objectives, and institutional measures/assessments. These are referred to as templates within the planning application.

From our diagram above we can see that each of our templates has a tier structure that indicates a support framework. Many institutions follow a waterfall type framework that is based on sequential design. This means that a vision will come before a mission and a mission before a goal and so on. This type of framework is well suited for the Planning application through the connections feature to show a supporting structure.

The supporting structure is something you will want to think about, not only within a single plan but how this may function across plans as well. For example, do you want users to make connections from the student affairs plan or the academic affairs plan to the institutional strategic plan? Or will a plan be used by a single organizational unit or by multiple? How you answer these questions will impact how certain template settings are managed.

Once a plan has been established inside of Planning our next step is to finish building out the rest of our framework. Based on the framework we will now need to create vision, mission, goals, objectives, and institutional measures/assessments templates for our institutional strategic plan. After our templates have been established inside of our strategic plan, users will then be able to begin creating content.


 Example of framework inside of Planning.

User Accounts & Permissions

Once a time period, organizational structure and plan framework are in place the site is ready to begin adding user accounts and setting their permissions. While accounts can be added at any point, permissions can only be set once the organizational structure and plan framework is in place. A user's permission is set by where they are placed in the organizational structure and the level of access given to a plan's templates.