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The Role of Assessment in Strategic Thinking and Planning

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When Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) was created in 1997, Director Diana Gale initiated a strategic business planning process as an effort to clarify a common mission for the four utilities that had been brought together into one organization. A critical first step in designing a strong strategic plan is assessing and responding to forces pressing on the utility that will affect the strategic directions to be chosen. A robust assessment will consider internal and external strengths and weaknesses of the utility and will also look outward to potential changes in the future and customer needs and desires that could affect the desired mix of utility services and functions. This paper discusses how a utility can use several assessment processes, SWOT analysis, scenario analysis, a balanced scorecard, and benchmarking to strengthen the range of options to choose among when selecting a strategic future.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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