All committees working on Strategic Directions initiatives follow this project path:
- Define Success: Before the committee formulates any plans or requests any funds, members will spent sufficient time defining their "end product" – the characteristics it will have, and how it will fit into USD's organizational structure.
- Discovery: Committee members will evaluate and summarize USD's current status in the area, noting the strengths and weaknesses of current operations. The evaluation will include an understanding of how current activities are funded as well as an investigation of how other universities have developed and supported this function.
- Develop Plans: Based on their findings from the first two phases of the project cycle, the committee will formulate alternative plans for achieving success. Alternatives may vary in terms of speed, cost, complexity, and/or scope of implementation. Plans should be comprehensive, including an implementation timeline and a description of the financial, personnel, space, and technical resources required. Plans must include an explanation of how existing funds can be redistributed as well as requests for any additional funds. If the current organizational structure must be modified to implement the plan, describe the necessary modifications.
- Implement Plan: The committee phases out and is replaced by a permanent entity within USD's organizational structure. Committees may develop the implementation plans, but the actual implementation procedure must be led by a person or persons who can be held accountable for the results. The Executive Council will choose an alternative plan, decide how it can be funded over what period of time, and select the person or persons who will be responsible for implementation. In some cases, this means responsibilities will be assigned to existing units or programs, but in other cases a new structure may be needed. As the plan is implemented, it will be important to assess progress toward success by using a variety of quantitative and qualitative performance indicators. If progress does not occur as expected, or if institutional conditions change, the plan may need to be modified.
- Success: Success occurs when the initiative is functioning well and has been fully integrated into the organizational structure.