We are collaborating with Trebuchet Group to design our strategic planning process. This collaboration is exciting because it allows us to couple industry’s best practices for strategic planning with our knowledge and understanding of CSU culture. This partnership enables us to create a strategic planning process that is completely unique to CSU and specifically crafted to support our IT community in developing our strategic initiatives.

Our strategic planning process is intentionally designed to be iterative in nature. The diagram below demonstrates how the strategic planning process is designed to receive input and feedback from various levels of campus community groups. Components of our strategic plan may be originally brainstormed within the Core Planning Team but are added to and improved on when they circulate through the Advisory Committee and greater campus community. It is important to note that the Core Planning Team does have final decision power to determine which strategic components are added to the final strategic plan. However, they are tasked with considering all campus feedback before finalizing a component of the plan.

Process Diagram

CSU IT Strateic Plan Process Diagram

Process Framework

CSU’s IT strategic planning process is broken down into three sequential stages – WHY, WHAT, and HOW. In each stage, there is a brainstorming session, a prioritization exercise, and an opportunity for input. These exercises create the desired result of that stage. The result from each stage is then incorporated as an input into the next stage.

CSU IT Strategic Plan Process Diagram - Why, What, and How stages

The brainstorming-prioritization-input (open-narrow-close) model allows us to capture a wide perspective of ideas while also distilling down our strategic focus into the most important results. The truth is that we cannot achieve all desired outcomes for CSU IT in this one 3-year strategic plan. Using the open-narrow-close model, we can determine what strategic initiatives are most important to include in our inaugural campus-wide IT strategic plan.

Open Narrow Close Model Diagram


The focus of the WHY stage is to define IT’s purpose in supporting our university’s Courageous Strategic Transformation. The work we do in the WHY stage allows us to clarify our visions for CSU IT.

IT Strategic Plan Why Stage DiagramIT Strategic Plan Why Stage Definitions

Our Visions

  1. Preserve the talent and dedication of CSU’s IT professionals
  2. Achieve systems, information, and data that have a high degree of security
  3. Achieve exceptional end user experience through intentional IT design
  4. Achieve thoughtful, collective, and inclusive IT governance
  5. Achieve innovative, sustainable, and effective IT infrastructure systems
  6. Preserve the trust, cohesion, and ongoing development of CSU’s strong campus-IT relationships
  7. Achieve equitable access to and effectiveness of IT systems, data, tools, and electronic information for the CSU community regardless of social identity
  8. Achieve improved student success and access to high quality multi-modal learning by applying key principles (inclusive and universal design, technology-based approaches that promote learning, etc.)
  9. Achieve strong IT support to advance CSU’s research mission and impact
  10. Achieve a foundational level of IT competence for all campus stakeholders
  11. Achieve improved two-way communication (feedback and listening) for aligned action and an engaged user community
  12. Achieve an adaptable culture to be innovative, seize opportunity, and be prepared for the future
  13. Amplify community voices and institutional knowledge to inform best IT practices


We are finishing the WHAT stage of the process. The focus of the WHAT stage is to identify our main strategic goals. We do this by building on the visions that we created in the WHY stage. The work we do in the WHAT stage allows us to clarify our strategic focus and determine what initiatives are most important in progressing our current state towards supporting the Courageous Strategic Transformation.

IT Strategic Plan What Stage DiagramIT Strategic Plan What Stage Definitions

Our Proposed Strategic Areas

  1. Institutional IT Governance: Policy, prioritization, strategy alignment
  2. IT Workforce: Proactively retain, strategically attract, and continuously invest in a more diverse IT workforce
  3. Student Success: Achieve equitable access to high quality multi-modal learning through the lens of universal design resulting in academic success and equitable educational outcomes
  4. IT Security: Establish a strong security posture across CSU’s systems, data, and constituents by developing a coordinated and institutional approach to cybersecurity

Under review: IT Operational Excellence: Enhance the power of our institutional investments in technology, enhance collaboration and alignment throughout our IT community resources, and improve the overall user experience. 

Sample of the Brainstormed Goals from the Workshop 5

Note that the brainstormed goal areas listed below are just a sample of the larger set of goals that came from the 5th workshop with the Advisory Committee. We are sharing this information to give the campus community an understanding of the exercises that the planning teams are conducting to build our pool of strategic goals and goal areas. The Core Planning Team will use the brainstormed pool of goals, feedback from the community, input from the students, guidance from the subject matter experts and focus on the Courageous Strategic Transformation to finalize which initiatives and goals are most important for us to pursue over the next three years as a part of the IT strategic plan.

IT Strategic Plan Goal Area Mapping Exercise

Student Success

  • Student experience
  • IT planning and design
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice (DEIJ)

IT Workforce

  • Appropriate staffing
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice (DEIJ)
  • Equitable compensation

Institutional IT Governance

  • Procurement of and decision-making for our IT systems
  • Ensure stakeholder involvement
  • Clearly defined governance structure

IT Security

  • Technology, infrastructure, and process
  • Education and training
  • Policy and communication


The focus of the HOW stage is to define how IT resources will be managed to support the accomplishment of the desired strategic goals. The work we do in the HOW stage allows us to develop strategic approaches, build action plans, define success metrics, and identify resource roles.

IT Strategic Plan How Stage DiagramIT Strategic Plan How Stage Definitions

Creation of the Final IT Strategic Plan

The final components of the IT strategic plan will be determined by the Core Planning Team. This team will be responsible for assessing all of the input received from the community to develop final objectives that reflect the campus’ viewpoints. Note that not all input from the community can be included in our final version of the IT strategic plan. However, all community input will be reviewed, and the plan will reflect the most important initiatives to progress our community towards achieving the goals of our Courageous Strategic Transformation.

Project Timeline

November 2021

November 2021

December 1, 2021

Strategic Planning Kick-Off Meeting with Core Planning Team

  • Ensure alignment on purpose of the IT strategic planning process
  • Establish roles and responsibilities for Core Planning Team members
  • Review of the strategic planning process framework
  • Discuss strategies for campus engagement
  • Review strategic planning process timeline
  • Identify preparation work for next Core Planning Team meeting
December 1, 2021

January 7, 2022

Advisory committee invitations sent

January 7, 2022

January 21, 2022

Advisory committee members finalized

January 21, 2022

January 24, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 1st Workshop (Core Planning Team)

  • Overall Goal: Focus on the WHY stage of the process framework
  • Reconnect around our purpose
  • How does IT fit into the CST?
  • Dream exercise: What does CSU IT look like in the future?
  • Picturing the Future exercise: What do we want to achieve, preserve, and avoid as CSU IT?
  • Identify preparation work for the next workshop
January 24, 2022

January 31, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 2nd Workshop (Core Planning Team and Advisory Committee)

  • Overall Goal: Focus on the WHY stage of the process framework
  • How does IT fit into the Courageous Strategic Transformation?
  • Picturing the Future exercise: What do we want to achieve, preserve, and avoid as CSU IT?
  • Campus outreach
January 31, 2022

February 7, 2022

Clarifying our Vision

The ‘Clarifying our Vision’ survey opens for public response to CSU IT’s visions

February 7, 2022

February 15, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 3rd Workshop (Core Planning Team)

  • Overall Goal: Review the WHY stage of the process framework
  • Complete a SOAR analysis
  • Brainstorm strategic initiatives from SOAR exercises
February 15, 2022

March 3, 2022

The ‘Clarifying our Vision’ survey closes

The “Clarifying our Vision” survey closes. Results posted on the Surveys page

March 3, 2022

March 8, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 4th Workshop (Core Planning Team)

  • Overall Goal: Review the responses from the ‘Clarifying our Vision’ survey
  • Overall Goal: Determine the most important strategic areas. Focus on the WHAT stage of the process framework
  • Clarify strategic areas
  • Prioritize strategic areas
March 8, 2022

March 30, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 5th Workshop (Core Planning Team and Advisory Committee)

  • Overall Goal: Brainstorm our strategic goals
  • Brainstorm Goal and Goal Areas
  • Summarize and Prioritize Goal Areas
March 30, 2022

April 11, 2022

Student Input

  • The ‘Student Input’ survey opens for CSU student public response to CSU IT’s visions, strategic focus areas and brainstormed goals. Are you a student? Provide your feedback through our survey.


April 11, 2022

April 12, 2022

WHAT Stage Open Fora Series – Distributed IT

April 12, 2022

April 21, 2022

WHAT stage Open Fora Series – Division of IT

  • Townhall presentation to Division of IT (DoIT) staff on our strategic planning process and our proposed IT Strategic Areas. 
April 21, 2022

April 28, 2022

The ‘Student Input’ survey closes

April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

WHAT stage Open Fora Series – Campus Community

  • Virtual open forum to present our strategic planning process and proposed IT Strategic Areas to the CSU campus community. 

A panel of Core Planning Team members were present to answer questions:

Cheyenne Hall – Provost Business Manager (College and Administration Advisory Group [CAAG] Chair)

Melissa Reynolds – College of Natural Sciences, Research Associate Dean | Office of the Vice President for Research, Faculty Director – Campus Research Cores Facilities

Eric Tisdale – College of Health and Human Sciences, IT Director (College Information Technology Administrators Council [CITAC] Chair)

April 28, 2022

May 2, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 6th Workshop (Core Planning Team)

  • Overall Goal: Prioritize and select our strategic goals
May 2, 2022

May 9, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 7th Workshop (Core Planning Team)

  • Overall Goal: Define HOW deliverables
May 9, 2022

May 25, 2022

IT Strategic Planning – 8th Workshop (Core Planning Team and Advisory Committee)

  • Overall Goal: Review and refine CSU IT Strategic Plan components
May 25, 2022

June 2022

Completed Strategic Plan

June 2022

Summer 2022

Begin Plan Implementation

Summer 2022

Questions or Comments?

Contact Emma Eckley via email at emma.eckley@colostate.edu with any comments or questions regarding the IT Strategic Planning project.