A new strategy had recently been implemented at this university when Thinking Futures was contracted to work with the university Strategy Office to develop a scanning framework. The aim was to provide a way for the university to understand what their operating environment would be like beyond the life of its current strategy. A small and limited scanning and scenarios project had been run a couple of years previously by Thinking Futures, with the scanning part well received by staff and leaders at the university.
A university marketing department needed to develop a strategic plan that focused its activities in ways that supported the work of its internal clients, as well as maintaining an effective external presence for the university. In the past, marketing efforts had been disjointed and not cohesive in terms of presenting a single university message. One of the aims of this exercise was to develop the core of a university marketing plan that could ensure a consistent approach to marketing across the university.
The Vice-Chancellor’s desire to use futures approaches in this university’s strategic planning resulted in the development of a scenario planning project, which aimed to provide the context for the review of its top level strategic directions statement. An earlier limited scenarios project had demonstrated the value of scenarios for the university, and a second, more formal project project was subsequently accepted.