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Creating a Process Plan and Road Map 27 (Up to 20 years) (3-5 years) (1-2 years) (1 year or less) STRATEGIC INITIATIVES ACTION PLAN MISSION AND SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM (who will VALUES OBJECTIVES do what?) OBJECTIVES Exhibit 3-3. Strategic planning implementation framework (typical timelines). To define the scope of the organization's strategic planning process, complete Questions 1 through 4 of Worksheet 3.03, "Project Scope and Leadership Selection." 3.4.2 Establishing a Schedule for Developing the Plan The length of the process required to complete the strategic plan and conduct the analyses depends on the following: · The organization's complexity · Whether or not the organization has completed a strategic plan in the past · Whether or not the organization has a performance measurement system in place · Whether or not the organization is actively monitoring industry trends · The level of detail desired · The number of stakeholders involved in the process · How much time the organization is willing to commit to the process · The continuity of the process (i.e., the departure of key senior leaders may slow or stop the process) · The number and frequency of meetings required, to be determined by the organization Exhibit 3-4 provides a sample of the planning activities and the sequence in which they may be conducted as part of the process. Grouping planning activities are often helpful because the process is then subdivided into manageable and discrete parts. Define the schedule for developing the plan using Worksheet 3.04, "Establish Schedule." 3.5 Defining the Expected Outcome of the Process in Terms of a Written Plan A standard output of the strategic planning process is the creation of a written plan setting forth key decisions and findings from the planning process. As described in Section 9.1 of Chap- ter 9, the exact content of the written plan will vary depending on the stakeholders to whom it will be distributed; however, the contents of the written plan should be envisioned prior to engaging in the planning process.
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28 Strategic Planning in the Airport Industry Activity Group 1 - Establish Strategy Team - Meet with Policy Board for Approval of the Process - Working Session #1 Discuss and Establish the Work Plan Activity Group 2 - Working Session #2 Scan the Internal Environment Activity Group 3 - Working Session #3 Scan the External Environment Activity Group 4 - Strategic Planning Awareness Conference Activity Group 5 - Establish Mission, Vision, and Values Activity Group 6 - External Stakeholder Workshop - Internal Stakeholder Workshop Activity Group 7 - Working Session #4 Integrate Input from Stakeholders and Update Mission and Vision Statements Activity Group 8 - Working Session #5 Prepare the Plan Activity Group 9 - Working Session #6 Prepare the Plan - Working Session #7 Discuss the Plan with Department Leaders Activity Group 10 - Working Session #8 Revise the Plan Activity Group 11 - Approve the Plan Activity Group 12 - Distribute the Plan Exhibit 3-4. Sample planning activities and sequence. 3.5.1 Content The content of the strategic plans collected as part of the research for this project varied from plan to plan, but the majority contained some common elements. These elements include mis- sion and vision statements, a review of the business environment in which the airport currently operates, a review of future challenges, a definition of long- and short-term objectives, perfor- mance measurement criteria, and an implementation plan. These elements are discussed in the following sections, and an abbreviated outline for a typical strategic plan document is provided.
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Creating a Process Plan and Road Map 29 126.96.36.199 Mission Statement Mission statements are tailored for the individual circumstances of a particular airport and are typically structured to answer two main questions. The first question (Who are we?) addresses the purpose for the organization's existence and what it seeks to accomplish. The second question (What do we do?) addresses the main method or activity through which the airport organization tries to fulfill its purpose. Chapter 5 provides a detailed description of how to develop a mis- sion statement, but generally the mission statements reviewed answered the following questions: · Why does our airport exist? · What services does our airport provide? · Who are our airport's customers? · What values guide our airport? · What is our airport's competitive advantage? In addition, the majority of the reviewed mission statements included some or all of the following: · A description of the organization's desired public image · A definition of the target customer · A discussion of the airport catchment area · Information on the positive economic impact of the airport on the communities it serves 188.8.131.52 Vision Statement The vision statement contains a brief description of the airport operator's aspirations and values for the airport and the ideal state that the airport operator aims to achieve in the future. A vision statement is future-oriented, whereas a mission statement is operational and focuses on the purpose of the airport, including its current activities. The vision statement is typically intended to be a memorable and engaging statement that will serve as a benchmark and source of inspiration for airport employees. Chapter 5 provides more information on how to prepare a vision statement. 184.108.40.206 Review of Existing Operating Conditions The majority of reviewed strategic plans contained an assessment of the business environment in which the airport currently operates. Examples of topics generally included in these assess- ments include the following: · The amount of passenger leakage from the airport to surrounding airports. · A review of all potential competing airports. This may include an examination of how an air- port fits into a regional airport system or an analysis of why competing airports may make it difficult for an airport to attract commercial air service. · Competing modes of transportation. · A review of local or regional socioeconomic conditions, including population growth, employ- ment, emerging industries, and so forth, and other economic trends affecting demand for air travel at the airport. · An industry-level evaluation of the current state of airline competition, airfares, alliances, and consolidation. 220.127.116.11 Review of Future Challenges A review of the future challenges an airport may face is almost always a part of any strategic plan. Commonly addressed challenges include the following: · Increasing passenger awareness of existing services · Expanding facilities to accommodate growth in passenger volumes
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30 Strategic Planning in the Airport Industry · Positioning an airport to attract new/more frequent airline service · Meeting expectations for customer service · Achieving long-term financial stability · Responding to unfunded or underfunded federal, state, and local mandates As further discussed in Chapter 6, future challenges can consist of internally focused issues, to which the airport organization has the ability to shape a successful response, or externally focused challenges (e.g., unfunded mandates) to which the airport organization may have less ability to respond successfully. 18.104.22.168 Long- and Short-Term Objectives Definition Airport strategic plans generally include a definition of the long- and short-term objectives that an airport organization hopes to achieve in the future, including both qualitative and quantitative elements. Typical areas for which objectives are set include the following: · Air service development (passenger and cargo)/marketing · Airside/landside operations · Community/government relations · Customer/tenant service · Diversity · Employee relations · Environmental sustainability · Financial sustainability · Governance/management practices · Improvement and maintenance of airport infrastructure · Information technology (IT) systems · Land development · Non-airline revenue opportunities · Regulatory compliance · Safety and security 22.214.171.124 Performance Measurement There are examples of both small and large airports pairing their long- and short-term objec- tives with performance measurement criteria. Fewer than half of the plans reviewed as part of the research for this project contained specific performance measurement criteria. Performance measurement criteria for financial objectives, however, were quite detailed. Often, objectives are more qualitative and thus more difficult to measure in the areas of employee relations and customer service. Objectives such as conducting user surveys to measure customers' wants and needs are simply measured by whether or not they are completed. 126.96.36.199 Implementation Plan Fewer than a quarter of the strategic plans reviewed contained an implementation (action) plan that explained which airport operating divisions would have responsibility for implement- ing the objectives and how they would be implemented. 188.8.131.52 Typical Outline An abbreviated outline for a typical strategic plan document generally resembles the following: · Executive summary (highlights mission, key objectives) · Existing conditions summary (both airport-centric and general economic) · Strategic intent and direction (includes the organization's mission, vision, future challenges, and long- and short-term objectives)
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Creating a Process Plan and Road Map 31 · Implementation considerations (discusses organizational structure, policies and procedures, human resources, and other resource allocation issues likely to affect implementation of the organization's strategic plan) While they are important to implementation of the strategic plan, detailed action plans are generally not included in the core document of the written plan. As further discussed in Chap- ter 9, detailed action plans, performance measurement criteria, the monitoring and evaluation plan, and the communications plan are generally included in appendices to the strategic plan. 3.5.2 Format The format of a strategic plan can usually be determined by reviewing the size and scope of an airport's operations. If an airport's operations are large and complex, it may be necessary to explain the strategic plan in greater detail with more descriptive writing. Larger airports may also have greater financial resources that would enable a more polished plan to be prepared for dis- tribution to interested parties. 184.108.40.206 Level of Detail A majority of the publicly available strategic plans examined as part of the research conducted for this project were less than 20 pages in length. The large and medium hub airports for which full strategic plans were publicly available had plans between 20 and 40 pages in length. The length of a strategic plan is not necessarily a useful proxy for the level of detail contained within it. Some plans were short (8 pages), but discussed 10 broad strategic goals with detailed action steps for implementing them. Most strategic plans reviewed avoided extensive use of technical terms of art, preferring to describe the plan in text understandable to a reader from outside the airport industry. Some plans, however, included extensive detail about industry financial metrics using technical terms such as "operating cost per enplaned passenger" as part of a section on "Key Success Measures." As Goetsch has noted, "it is important to separate the strategic and execution elements of the strategic plan. The former provides the big picture information for the organization, and the lat- ter provides the specific day-to-day details."10 The strategic elements of the strategic plan estab- lish the major programmatic, policy, and management goals of the organization. In the written document, these can be discussed in broad terms. These elements, however, may be too broad to offer useful guidance for an operating manager when making day-to-day decisions on how to allocate resources. As such, it is critical that the execution elements of the strategic plan, includ- ing short-term objectives and action plans, provide the details for executing the organization's strategic plan, describing the work that will be performed by each department to support the organization's grand strategies and long-term objectives. Each department within the organization should be responsible for preparing a detailed plan that establishes the activities it will accomplish in a particular year. Ultimately, these detailed plans are the building blocks that collectively support the organization's annual plan, as well as implementation of the organization's mission, goals, and objectives. These plans include the level of detail appropriate to enable management and staff to create team and individual work plans. These plans, however, are generally not made available to the public and are only used internally. 10 Ibid.