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A world-class university embraces robust strategic planning

McGill University / Montreal

The client

A top-10 internationally-ranked academic institution wanted to reposition itself as a more outward-looking, stakeholder-focused and market responsive teaching and learning organization.


  • Desire to have input from a diverse group (executive team, department teams, faculty, staff, professionals and management).

  • Varying degrees of familiarity, experience and expertise with strategic planning.

  • Some stakeholders expressed scepticism about the planning process and the depth of analysis.



  • Over the course of the 5-month mandate over 20 work sessions took place, including one-on-one sessions with the dean, sessions with the 14-member executive team and individual departments, and a staff feedback session of 55 participants.

  • A custom strategic plan template was designed, which included in-depth analyses and insight generation.



The plan was peer-reviewed by a team from world-class higher learning institutions in Canada, the USA and Australia.  The plan was applauded as a best practice, and is the first time in the near 200-year history of the institution that such a comprehensive roadmap had been developed.

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