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Bruce A. Buehler

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The SAR Strategic Planning Committee was formed through specifications within SAR Bylaw, No. 19, Section 1 (h) delineating the SAR’s standing committees, as found in the SAR Handbook, which can be found here. It states:

  • (h) Strategic Planning. The Strategic Planning Committee is responsible for reviewing programs, evaluating needs and making recommendations to the Executive Committee, Trustees, and Congress on its findings in the form of the NSSAR Strategic Plan, a multi-year road map of specific milestones and measurable goals.

The committee shall prepare a one-year, five-year and ten-year plan; submit the plan to the President General and Executive Committee for review and approval prior to submission of the strategic plan by the Secretary General to the Board of Trustees for its final approval; and review the strategic plan during each fiscal year and advise the President General, Executive Director, Executive Committee, and Board of Trustees of its comments.

Chronology of Strategic Planning

On August 1, 2013, the Strategic Planning Committee initiated a comprehensive strategic planning process designed to develop a strategic plan for the SAR that will provide direction and growth through 2025. It is important to review previous plans and projects, update these, and develop a cohesive SAR plan. This strategic plan should chart a direction, allow efforts to be aligned around common objectives, influence resource allocation decisions as appropriate, and allow a competitive advantage to be articulated clearly. Toward that end, the committee began a comprehensive strategic planning process consisting of developing the following strategic planning elements:

  • Mission (Purpose)
  • Vision (Desired end-state for various time intervals in the future) • Core Values (Guide behavior)
  • Distinctive Capabilities (Unique core competencies required to fulfill the SAR’s mission) • Goals (Accomplishments through each distinctive capability in order to reach the SAR’s vision)
  • Strategies (Define and direct goal accomplishments; critical factors that the SAR must do to achieve its distinctive capabilities; guide fulfillment of strategies with measurable results) • Tactics (Actions required to meet strategic objectives)
  • Include results, dates initiated and completed, responsibility, revenues, and costs

The planning process consists of the Strategic Planning Committee of approximately fifteen members to draft plan elements through strategies. At that point, a number of focused task forces, each consisting of approximately five members, will be established around each distinctive capability and its goal and strategies. The task forces will be charged with reviewing the draft work of the Strategic Planning Committee, drafting tactics including a financial responsibilities table, which when executed would result in strategic objectives being met, and making recommendations back to the Strategic Planning Committee. The financial responsibilities table will identify results, dates initiated and completed, responsibility, revenues, and costs. A number of iterations might occur between the Strategic Planning Committee and the task forces until sufficient consensus occurs to allow movement toward implementation to begin.

Progress in meetings, established targets of the strategic objectives, and the financial responsibilities table will be assessed periodically to determine the committee’s progress. This assessment could be integrated into a balanced score card approach that would allow an assessment of both goals and the effectiveness of the strategic priorities implemented thus far. This periodic review and adjustment process will inform the Strategic Planning Committee as it prepares the next one-year plan from the tactics and action items identified in the financial responsibilities table for the next year. Evolution of the strategic plan has been chronicled throughout this process and is updated as meetings of the Strategic Planning Committee continue to take place.