Could you outline the business planning process?
This is a University-wide process that takes place on an annual basis. The outcome is a plan, with a three-year timescale, that is based on the academic year from August to July.
The process to agree the plans begins in the autumn, with student numbers and financial planning, and runs through to the summer when the business plans are signed off by Council in July. The plan then comes into force in August.
The Business Planning Management Group oversees the whole cycle, maintaining oversight of all the plans and how they work together to progress the strategy. We also provide updates to the University Executive Board and University Council on the outcomes and implications that arise from the process.
How will the process change this year, in light of the new strategy?
As you would expect, each of the faculties and professional services are identifying or amending their priorities and setting targets to align their activities with the new strategy, its goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). The planning cycle is running slightly later to allow for this, following the launch of the new strategy at the end of January.
What do you enjoy about this process and on the other side, what keeps you awake at night during the planning cycle?
For me this is a time of year when I get to properly engage in the innovation and creativity around the development of our strategy in practice across facilities and Professional Services. What keeps me awake at night, apart from the dog deciding she doesn’t want to sleep in the kitchen any more, is thinking about how the business plan tensions our mission to change the world for the better with the need to generate the resources we need to deliver the scale of our ambition.
Where do faculties and departments go if they have questions?
This will depend on the nature of the query as different members of the professional services specialise in specific areas. The heads of faculty operations and the heads of faculty finance provide the main link between the faculty and the planning team.
Any member of staff can view a detailed timetable of activities on the Business Planning SharePoint site.