All organizations need a good plan, and every three years in the SPE-GCS we develop a new Long Range Plan.  The SPE-GCS published its 2004-2007 Long Range Plan (LRP) in May of 2004, so by now our 13 study groups and 19 committees are six months into the implementation of this three-year strategic vision.  As an SPE member, it’s likely that you’re interested in how these plans are developed.  If you’re involved in strategic planning for your employer, you’ll find that the Gulf Coast Section has some world-class best practices in planning that you may want to incorporate into your own planning processes at work.

These members served on the Long Range Plan committee: James Pappas (LRP Chair), Bryant Mueller (LRP Vice Chair), Kim Dollens, Larry Foster, Tami Joslin, Kevin McMillin, and Art Schroeder. The committee met with key SPE volunteers and discussed all the various options.   Over 4 months time, this committee developed 20 plans that cover issues in these 15 areas:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Career Management
  • Communications
  • Continuing Education
  • External Relations
  • Finances & Treasury
  • Intersociety Relations
  • Intra-Societal Relations
  • Membership
  • Programming
  • Scholarships
  • Social Activities
  • Technology Transfer

Each area of the plan includes a goal, recommendation(s), estimated financial net cost, additional human resources requirements and conditions where the plan might fail. The anticipated net cost is approximately $50 K per year and 6000 man-hours of volunteer time.  Although our 2004-2007 LRP is 81 pages in length, it’s not designed to be all-encompassing.  The LPR identifies areas where additional work needs to be done by volunteers, and it recommends initiatives that require further study.  For example, in our previous 2001-2004 LRP, the concept for the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) was described briefly in 5 sentences within a 44 page document.  It took many additional hours of volunteer time by the Membership Committee to charter the ELP.

Progress on the LRP is already under way in many committees, some of which are listed here.  The Executive Committee is working on the Strategic Plan, focusing on finance, Board strategic direction and partnerships with other organizations.  The Technology Transfer Committee, under the leadership of Tami Joslin, is charting a course for SPE to better disseminate technology in the future.  Bill Jentsch, Program Chair, has formed the Program Guidance Council to better provide planning for programming.

If you’re looking for a way to contribute to the success of the SPE-GCS, take a few minutes to read through the LRP and contact a chair of a committee that interests you.  If you’re still not sure where to start, contact Membership Chair Randy Woods at to volunteer. 

To locate the Long Range Plan documentation in .pdf form on the SPE-GCS website, follow the links through Committees, Board of Directors, Documents to 2004-2007 Long Range Plan.

Please send me your ideas on planning for SPE at  Proceed with the plan!