Developing Power Forward 2030

WAPA recently completed formulating its Power Forward 2030 strategy and is preparing the final strategic plan for publication. Power Forward 2030 is the successor to Strategic Roadmap 2024 and is intended to guide WAPA’s direction through an evolving energy landscape for the next seven years.

The final strategy represents the culmination of months of leadership collaboration and employee, customer and stakeholder engagement.

“Done correctly, strategic planning is a collaborative process to confirm who we are, why we exist and why it matters,” said Chief Strategy Officer Kerry Whitford.

The strategic planning process helps set the course for WAPA’s future.

What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy or direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It helps the organization answer who we are, why we exist and why it matters.

“Through the creation of vision, mission and goals, strategic planning provides direction to our ultimate destination in 2030 and communicates how we’re going to get there, helping WAPA prepare and address issues with a more long-term view,” she said.

The strategic planning process is complex, far-reaching and challenging. Whitford worked with the senior leadership team to ensure alignment around strategies to meet the mission and to improve value-added benefits to WAPA customers, employees and key stakeholders.

“The strategic planning process requires considerable thought and planning on the part of the SLT,” Whitford said.

Ultimately, leadership sets the organizational vision and establishes the strategic goals and objectives.

“The seniors didn’t always agree but engaged in thoughtful conversation on WAPA’s purpose, role and value provided. These productive deliberations resulted in senior alignment around the strategy and a better plan,” Whitford said.

The SLT met Feb. 23-24 to begin working on WAPA’s strategy in earnest. Throughout March and April, they enlisted the help of councils and functional area representatives to provide feedback on early drafts and ensure that everyone’s voices and needs were heard.

They met again in April to address feedback they had received to make the plan more innovative, prioritize infrastructure reliability, better address external challenges such as drought and seize opportunities to maintain a strong and engaged workforce. The SLT, working with the Strategy Office, made many changes as a result.

“As the administrator stated at a previous all-employee meeting, senior leaders took the necessary time to do our due diligence to clarify where we want WAPA to be in 2030 and how to get there,” Whitford said.

The extended leadership team also played a significant role in strategy formulation. In September 2022, they met to review strategic objectives and recommend initiatives to put goals into action.

“We spent two full days with the XLT brainstorming strategic initiatives. This is a crucial part of strategy formulation as strategic initiatives are the actions, initiatives, projects and programs we implement to achieve the goals and objectives,” Whitford said. “It’s where the rubber meets the road. The importance of this step was palpable through the high energy in the room.”

Over the past two years, WAPA sought feedback from employees, customers and stakeholders at each major milestone of strategy formulation. This process injected industry and organizational knowledge, identified areas for collaboration, tested proposed goals and objectives and encouraged buy-in for successful execution.

WAPA 2023-2030 Strategic Plan
WAPA 2023-2030 Strategic Plan goals and objectives

Back in late 2020, Strategy staff worked with employees and stakeholders to clarify and refresh WAPA’s mission and vision statements through a series of focus groups. Participants confirmed the mission, but WAPA revised the vision to focus on “Empowering communities, securing a resilient energy future.”

In late 2021, Strategy further engaged employees, customers and stakeholders in a comprehensive and collaborative environmental scan through surveys and brainstorming sessions to conduct a SWOT analysis that identified internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.

This year, the organization also sought feedback on its role in the industry and met with stakeholders, including Department of Energy, Bureau of Reclamation, American Public Power Association, Colorado River Energy Distributors Association and Mid-West Electric Consumers Association, among others.

Most recently, WAPA’s “Let’s Talk Strategy” sessions and survey introduced and sought input on proposed strategic goals and objectives from employees, customers and stakeholders.

Overall, feedback trended positive with 70-80 percent of participants reporting a favorable first impression of the new strategic goals and objectives. Results of the sessions validated the direction and identified opportunities to clarify and streamline objectives.

Senior leaders carefully considered and integrated the feedback.

“The participation and input proved invaluable, resulting in a plan that we believe resonates with our internal and external stakeholders and increases energy and excitement around WAPA’s value-added services and role in the industry,” Whitford observed.

Power Forward 2030 is expected to be published in January 2023.

For a summary of the approved Power Forward 2030 strategic goals, objectives and initiatives, as well engagement results, please visit the Power Forward 2030 site on myWAPA.

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Last modified on March 12th, 2024