Get to Know SWE Senate’s Strategic Planning Team

Learn about the role of the SWE Senate's Strategic Planning Team, and stay tuned in the coming weeks for more blogs in this Senate series, which will detail what the other FY20 Senate sub-teams are working on for SWE this year!
Get To Know Swe Senate’s Strategic Planning Team

“Get to Know SWE Senate’s Strategic Planning Team” was written by Hope Toole Schwalls, FY20 Deputy Speaker of the Senate.

In the first post in this Senate blog series, SWE’s current Speaker of the Senate, Alexis McKittrick, introduced the Senate, its sub-teams, and the initiatives that are being studied during fiscal year 2020. As Deputy Speaker of the Senate, I lead the Strategic Planning team within the Senate, and this second blog post will focus on the goals and efforts of my team.

As the Senate is the strategic body of the Society, the strategic planning team is a standing sub-team of the Senate.  The Strategic Planning team is responsible for facilitating the strategic planning process and maintaining the strategic plan for the Society.  The objectives of this team are to ensure the strategic plan is moving the Society towards fulfilling its mission, to align programs and services to SWE’s goals, and to implement best practices within the Society strategic planning process.

The FY20 Strategic Planning team is comprised of the following members:

  • Hope Toole Schwalls – Deputy Speaker of the Senate & Strategic Planning Team Lead
  • Alison Bergmann – Senator
  • Stephanie Loete – Senator
  • Lisa Rimpf – Senator
  • Stephanie Yum – Senator
  • Heather Doty – President Elect
  • Kelsey Harper – Collegiate Director
  • Karen Horting – SWE CEO
  • Dayna Johnson – Director
  • Karen Roth – Treasurer

The Society strategic plan is reviewed each fiscal year for potential revisions or adjustments, and a new, refreshed plan is developed every 3-5 years.  FY20 is what is termed as a “monitoring year”, which means that the team is not yet in the process of developing the next strategic plan but is monitoring progress toward achieving the goals of the current plan, which continues through the end of fiscal year 2021.  During this “monitoring year”, this team is also looking at the roles and responsibilities within the Senate to ensure that they are in alignment with the goals of the Senate as the Society’s strategic body. Next fiscal year, FY21, will be a “development year” during which the next strategic plan will be generated. The new plan will officially start in FY22.  The current strategic plan is available here.  The Society’s operational plan is reviewed and updated yearly by the SWE Board of Directors and Headquarters staff to ensure that it’s in alignment with our strategic plan and goals.

A new tool for SWE that resulted from last year’s work under this team is the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Metrics Dashboard, which was adopted in fiscal year 2019 to monitor progress toward accomplishing the Society’s strategic goals and to assist in informing the vision for future strategic plans. This dashboard includes, but is not limited to, metrics on: the financial health of the organization, retention rate, member demographics, member perspectives, and diversity and inclusion. Member data is collected through Society surveys and data requested during membership renewal and conference registration. If you do not currently participate in Society surveys, please consider participating in the future as this data does inform action in the Society.  The KPI Metrics Dashboard content overall is considered SWE confidential information. One component of the team’s work this fiscal year is to determine the best method to disseminate metrics and data that are not confidential to the Society and its stakeholders.

In addition to the data compiled for the metrics dashboard, other information is considered for contributions to the strategic plan, including the research and results from the Strategic Initiatives sub-team(s) focus areas and the Environmental Scan, which is conducted by SWE Headquarters staff. The Environmental Scan report provides a summary of information on issues and trends that could affect SWE’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives.

Please stay tuned to future blog posts to learn about the work of the Strategic Initiatives teams as well as progress and recommendations resulting from our work.


About the Author:

Get To Know Swe Senate’s Strategic Planning TeamHope Toole Schwalls is the FY20 Deputy Speaker of the Senate and has previously served as a SWE Senator and on the Senate’s Strategic Planning team. She has been a volunteer leader in various levels of SWE governance for over 20 years, initially as a collegiate member and now as a professional member. Hope is a Life Member of the Society. Hope works for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX.

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