Prince Sultan University PSU
Policy Management System
Strategic Planning Policy

Policy Code: GV0002
Policy Name: Strategic Planning Policy
Handler: Strategic Planning & Development Center
Date Created: 15 August 2020
Date of Current Review: 15 August 2020
Approved by: University Council
Date of Approval:


Strategic planning is a structured approach to create a vision for the future of an organization and charting a roadmap for realizing that vision. According to Bryson (Bryson 2011):
“Strategic planning is a deliberative, disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it”


The purpose of this policy is to ensure PSU develops a new strategic plan every five years using best practices. The plan is formulated through collaboration between the Strategic Planning and Development Center, the Institutional Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and the Institutional Strategic Planning Higher Committee

Policy and Process:

  1. The strategic planning process has four major consecutive phases:
    • Strategy Formulation –conducting an environment scan to better understand the situation at PSU.
    • Validation and Delivery – preparing the document for presentation to the stakeholders.
    • Implementation and Monitoring – putting the plan into effect and overseeing the execution.
    • Evaluation and Feedback – providing the departments and units feedback on successful implementation and recommend corrective actions.
  2. The top administration establishes an initial task force to prepare a plan for the strategic planning process (plan for the plan). The plan includes among other things nominations for the Strategic Planning Sponsor (Rector), the Strategic Planning Higher Committee, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the Strategic Planning and Development Center, and the Strategic Planning Teams (SPTs). A schedule for activities and events, a detailed budget and general requirements are also provided.
  3. The top administration reviews and approves the plan. Based on the approval, terms of reference for all committees and involved teams are issued.
  4. The ISPSC starts by identifying the mandates and obligations of PSU: what are the mandates dictated by the governing body and external authorities? What are the obligations dictated by the university charter and related documents? For what purpose has the university been created? …etc.
  5. Prepare documentation with clear responsibilities.
  6. Prepare and disseminate detailed guidelines for the process. This guideline should be used as a blueprint for the process with detailed descriptions for sub processes and activities including the forms, templates and tools used.
  7. Identify PSU stakeholders and indicate how they can participate in the process: how to communicate with stakeholders? Who will represent them in the process? What are the sessions in which they will be participating? What is the scope of participation?
  8. An institution-wide meeting is organized to launch the process. It is important that a wide range of stakeholders attend this meeting. If need be, different sessions for different categories of stakeholders may be organized. For example, a special session for the board of trustees, employers and community leaders may be organized.
  9. The institution-wide meeting should immediately be followed by an awareness campaign and a series of workshops to describe the process and encourage wide participation.
  10. Conduct a number of activities and sessions to identify stakeholders’ anticipations and needs. These may include discussion groups, surveys, focus groups …etc.
  11. Based on stakeholders’ feedback, revise PSU mission and refine it in view of the mandates and the feedback received. The feedback from stakeholders may also be used to create the values and formulate an initial sketch for the vision.
  12. Assess the external and internal environment and conduct some variations of SWOT analysis to identify weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, and threats. This activity requires some preparations and good planning. Participation of experts and external stakeholders in this activity is crucial to the success of the process.
  13. Identify strategic issues and priorities: Based on the input from stakeholders, the mission statement, the SWOT analysis, and PSU mandates, identify the strategic priorities, issues and areas of improvement. These priorities and issues will be the basis for drafting the strategic plan.
  14. Formulate the strategies to manage the priorities and issues: This is where the strategic plan will start to take shape and appear in its semi-final format. In this step, the strategies to handle the issues and priorities identified in the above step are formulated. The work starts by grouping the issues and priorities under broad strategic themes. Each theme will be assigned to a working group from within the Institutional Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Work for each theme will start by formulation of the goals. Each goal will then be translated into a number of measurable objectives with clear KPIs. For each objective, a detailed action plan is formulated with target achievement dates and responsible entities. It is important that a careful plan for this step is prepared, ensuring the participation of a wide range of stakeholders. It is expected that this step will be iterative and should be given the appropriate time to converge and mature.
  15. The first version of the strategic plan drafted in the above step should be thoroughly revised by all stakeholders to ensure commitment and adoption.
  16. A final version of PSU vision for the future is drafted based on the anticipated change after the successful implementation and execution of the strategic plan. The vision is taken as a guide for plan implementation rather than a guide to plan formulation. During the previous planning steps, the vision is implicit and greatly related to the ambitions of the plan (how ambitious the plan is).
  17. Develop an Implementation Plan for the Drafted Strategic Plan: In this step, adopted strategies are implemented through the relevant systems. Wide involvement of stakeholders in formulating the strategic plan will ensure a good implementation plan for the strategies 18- Reassess the Strategies and the Strategic Planning Process: review the implementation to see what worked and what did not work
Strategic Planning Process