Strategic Planning for Denver International Airport

The situation. Leadership of Denver International Airport (DIA) sought to increase performance and service by creating a vision statement for the organization and, subsequently, developing and implementing a Strategic Plan to guide its growth.  It was hoped that a new vision and well-crafted, compelling Strategic Plan would provide a catalyst for culture change that would, in turn, help to elevate the customer experience.

Jacobs Consultancy and The Schnur Consulting Group (SCG) were hired to assist in the development of the vision and first draft of the Strategic Plan.  Subsequently, SCG was engaged to develop and oversee an implementation plan to achieve the objectives defined in the Strategic Plan.

Key objectives. The goals of the project included:

  • Creating a compelling vision statement for the airport, one that would increase employee commitment and customer service
  • Developing a Strategic Plan for the organization, and
  • Designing an employee-lead, sustainable process to implement the Strategic Plan and, in the process, begin to create a culture of collaboration, open communication and teamwork.

Project scope. Activities included:

  • Conducting interviews and focus groups throughout the organization, in communities adjoining DIA, and with key constituencies
  • Creating and facilitating a “Vision Design Team”, comprised of employees, business partners and local constituents charged with generating possible vision statements for the airport
  • Designing and executing a highly-participative, visible process to develop a Strategic Plan for the airport
  • Developing and assisting in the execution of a comprehensive communication plan to roll-out the new vision statement and Strategic Plan
  • Executing a process driven by employees from throughout the airport to implement the Strategic Plan effectively, and
  • Creating a set of metrics to track progress of the Plan’s implementation.

Benefits achieved. To date, benefits have included:

  • Inclusion of over 200 internal and external individuals in the creation of the airport’s vision statement and Strategic Plan
  • Identification of opportunities for significant performance improvement, many involving culture change
  • A new annual budgeting process designed to support the Strategic Plan
  • An employee-lead implementation process for the Plan, and
  • A focus on metrics to track the achievement of the Plan’s strategic objectives.