SUMS offers a range of services in the strategy, planning and transformation portfolio space. We offer a holistic and grounded approach for universities to develop an ambitious strategy and turn it into reality through effective coordination of your ongoing “Business As Usual” and change initiatives.

Any module can be tailored to your specific needs and we also offer bespoke analysis or problem-solving around any strategic questions.

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Five step strategy development process

Cut through the complexity with our five-step process of developing a long-term strategy for your university. 

The process will be tailored appropriately to your bespoke context and needs and will allow you to:

  • Articulate what is most important for your institution
  • Understand your operating environment and option space
  • Leverage your distinctive strengths and respond to opportunities and threats
  • Develop realistic and evidence-based strategic objectives
  • Engage your community towards a shared purpose


External engagement and impact

Whilst the work of universities creates impact and value itself, it also aspires to make a difference for a wide range of stakeholders.

Adopting a clear strategic approach to civic engagement and stakeholder engagement will enable you to gain better clarity of vision and improved coordination around external activities. This strategy brings direct benefits for your university as well as augmenting your ability to create positive impact for other stakeholders and greater society.

Rapid Strategy Stocktake

Take stock of your strategy’s progress to date and future trajectory, and if need be adjust its course.

The Rapid Strategy Stocktake module is a shorter and lighter process than a full strategy development exercise. It will allow you to focus on the most important issues and engage with the right people for continuing or refreshing your strategy.

Strategy Delivery Model

Set your strategy up for success with our delivery module. Delivering your strategy calls for coordination of resources across your institution. This includes transformation initiatives and your “Business As Usual”, which comprises most of your core business in teaching and research, as well as the ongoing activities which support these models.

Develop a plan allowing you to clearly define, control and evaluate the delivery of your strategy, balancing the two crucial elements of ongoing business and change.

The elements of planning

Align your planning model to manage and evaluate progress towards your strategic goals.

SUMS will review your planning model, including the structures, processes and frameworks around planning at your institution, to ensure it is designed optimally to achieve your objectives.

The module will help you fine-tune your institution’s approach to planning, reflecting where you are and where you want to be, and enable the most effective progress towards your goals.

Establishing a portfolio

Make a step-change in the benefits your institution gets from change. Consolidating your major change initiatives into a portfolio could be transformative for your institution.

SUMS will work with you to establish a transformation portfolio appropriate to your conditions, ensuring you can achieve and use maximal benefits from your investment in capital projects and business change.

Rapid portfolio review

If you already have a transformation portfolio, this module will ensure it delivers maximal benefits for your institution.

We will use a rapid assessment exercise to ensure the maximal effectiveness of your portfolio. The assessment will cover themes such as: strategic alignment, benefits management, risk management and, governance and control structures.


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