WSU Spokane campus with flowering trees

Strategic Plan Alignment

A unified and integrated approach to planning will help us achieve success.

Creating alignment in WSU system planning brings focus and clarity to our work.

Planning alignment ensures that all members of a team or organization are working towards the same goals and objectives. Without alignment, plans can become disjointed and confusing.

The WSU System Strategic Plan Coordinating Council is focused on formalizing what alignment should look like at WSU and how it should be implemented. Aligned and integrated planning is vital in helping WSU move forward and achieve success.

What is alignment?

The coordination of actions so they effectively work together toward the same institutional goals.​

Society for College and University Planning

Alignment holds an important place at WSU. It means that we have a system strategic plan which guides the entire university; individual colleges, campuses, and units support that work while focusing on their individual strengths and opportunities for growth. This means individual campus, college, and unit plans should work in harmony with the WSU system plan.

WSU flag against the sky

Types of Alignment

There are two types of alignment: vertical and horizontal.

Vertical alignment: The direct connection of desired outcomes from mission to on-the-ground operations. Unit plans document how their work will contribute to strategic and institutional goals while also determining the long-term direction of the unit itself.​

Horizontal alignment: The coordination of groups across boundaries so they effectively work together toward the same goals.​ Institutional plans pull together the efforts of disconnected units so they are working together toward institutional goals.

A model of horizontal and vertical alignment
Model courtesy of SCUP.

Why is planning alignment important?

Brings focus and clarity to the university’s mission, vision, and goals

Consistency in decision making

Strengthens communication

Emphasizes the strategic direction of the university

Promotes accountability

Breaks down siloes so the university functions more efficiently

More efficient use of resources

Looking for more information? Send us an email.