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Embracing the Association's Strategic Direction

Friday, January 15, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Deborah Lovell
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As we enter our second year of strategically aligning AITP with today's and the future IT profession, it is important that we ensure our members are well informed and fully understand the vision and direction of the Association.

Most importantly, having our members embrace the Association's direction is critical to achieving our goals and securing the future of our association.

Strategic Plan at the High Level

The overall goal of the 3-Year Strategic Plan is to deliver relative value to our members, protect the careers of IT professionals and champion the future of the IT business profession. By adding true value, we will increase membership, attract partners with financial support, improve our overall operations, and practice effective leadership. I know this may sound a bit "fluffy" but it is the "high level" vision of the Association.

To achieve this vision, the Association's Strategic Plan is segmented into 4 priority paths. Staying focused is critical to reaching our goals so independent task forces were established to lead these strategic path initiatives. The normal day to day, business as usual, activities of the Association remain with our Service Area leader volunteers and Association Management team.

By establishing separate task forces for each priority path, it has enabled us to build our roadmap and stay aligned with the Strategic Plan. The following is a brief synopsis of the integral elements in the Strategic Plan:

Strategic Path: Business Development

The Business Development task force is charged with finding the "right" programs that will deliver value to our members. Specifically the Programs Committee is charged with securing content providers for professional development programs, technical education, and other offerings that are aligned with our goals. The Partners and Affiliates Committee is responsible for securing financial partners that will enable us to deliver any programs the Products and Services task force develops or secures.

Strategic Path: Membership

The Membership task force has been charged with creating a membership category that will encourage corporate executives to support "enterprise-wide" membership in AITP. Most other associations or groups already offer this category. By offering this membership, we have to deliver more value (i.e. the "right" programs). In the research conducted over the past few years, corporate executives have said that "professional development" is a #1 need for their employees. Some said that if AITP could offer soft skills and leadership training, they would see value in having their employees become members of AITP.

Strategic Path: Operations

The Operations task force is charged with streamlining operational processes for better efficiency and providing better support not only to our chapters and regions but to our task force groups and committees. Implementing better tools and processes for chapter and region operations will allow these groups to focus on growing membership.

Specifically the Governance Committee is responsible for ensuring our organization is properly structured so we can deliver programs successfully. The Governance Committee understands that to deliver programs, our organizational structure must be able to support new Products and Services offerings. For example, to deliver professional development programs or training, delivery channels must be in place.

The Governance Committee is charged with researching how best we can be structured to reach our objectives. Their work includes reviewing the current roles and responsibilities of each leadership level to determine how to align our resources and practice effective leadership.

Strategic Path: Products and Services

The Products and Services task force has been charged with finding professional development programs that can be delivered effectively by AITP and differentiate us. The work of this area is to research and determine what programs are most valuable to the IT professional for advancing their careers, today and for the future. We need to prepare to offer and successfully deliver beneficial programs not only for our current IT professionals but for the next generation of professionals (including inspiring our K-12 digital natives).

While performing this research, it became apparent that we need to know what talent skills an employer needs and where the IT profession is headed to effectively deliver the right programs. Therefore, the AITP Profession Advisory Council (APAC) was established. The Council's sole purpose is to help us define the IT business profession and secure the right programs so we don't try to deliver products and services our members do not need or can easily get elsewhere for lesser cost or free.

Click here to learn more about APAC.

The Council is working with the Products and Services task force to help define the attributes of an IT-business centric professional so the task force can research and secure the "right" educational programs and certifications needed for our current and next generation professionals to advance (or start) their careers in the IT field. By securing advice from the APAC, the Products and Services task force will be able to achieve their objective, finding the "right" content provider with the "right" programs in a shared revenue model.

In fact, the AITP Profession Advisory Council (APAC) is most critical to the success of our journey as it is interrelated to most activities and deliverables of all Strategic Paths.

Continuing Our Journey: Strategically Thinking 2010 and Beyond

During this past year, we completed several of the Association goals defined in our 2009-2011 Strategic Plan and we have achieved positive change. Our Strategic Plan along with our quarterly performance reports is posted to www.aitp.org (login, hover over "Members Only" in the left rail", hover over "AITP Reports", and then select "ABOD Strategic Plan").  We encourage you to study these documents to better understand the direction of the Association. If you have any questions, please contact us at professionalism@aitp.org.

For 2010 and beyond, we held our strategic planning session on November 6, 2009 in Washington DC, and the Association Board reviewed the plan, made some adjustments and approved our 2010 priorities, resulting in the creation of our 2010-2012 Strategic Plan which will be presented at the upcoming 2010 Members Summit in Chicago. The updated plan will also be posted on the AITP website shortly after the Summit.

As we move forward, we ask each of you to please join us on our exciting journey of transformation and help us brand our Association as the voice of the IT profession.

We can do this. Together.

-deborah
2010 Association Immediate Past President

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