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Charting Our Course – The 2022 Strategic Plan Update

2016 was only a handful of years ago, yet how the world has changed between then and now.

Barack Obama was President of the United States, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a blockbuster in theaters, and we were living in “the before times” of the COVID-19 pandemic – not yet knowing what “the before times” was.

It was also the year that Metro Water Recovery – then known as Metro Wastewater Reclamation District – adopted our current comprehensive Strategic Plan. Strategic planning is a way of thinking that guides an analysis of the present and plots a vision of the future.

Metro’s first Strategic Plan was in 1992 and then updated in 1998. Our current plan was born from a strategic planning process that started in August 2015. That process created an updated vision for the organization and a framework for guiding Metro toward the achievement of that vision.

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About the Plan

The direction our current Strategic Plan charted built on a half-century of strategies and approaches that worked well, such as process optimization, innovation, and environmental stewardship. It also envisioned adapting aspects of Metro’s culture to better meet current social, environmental, and economic trends. Another critical element was to keep clean water as the utility’s rudder, an important marker given the many initiatives Metro pursues as we work to protect the region’s health and the environment by cleaning water and recovering resources.

Metro’s current Strategic Plan gave all stakeholders a clear view of their role in working together to achieve our vision by consistently demonstrating core values to accomplish the mission. It identified seven goals, 22 objectives, and 31 strategies necessary for our continued success.

That may seem like a lot – and it was – but approaching the end of 2022, Metro has accomplished or made significant progress on  93% of these efforts.

About the Update

While it could be tempting to rest on our laurels, that’s not really our style, so today, we’re working on updating the Strategic Plan. The updated Strategic Plan – expected to earn Board approval the first quarter of 2023 and begin implementation in Q2 – will reevaluate trends inside and outside the organization. It will include a new situation analysis and environmental scan and consider whether adopting a new/updated set of goals, objectives, and strategies is necessary to address current trends, challenges, and opportunities.

Metro recognizes that our greatest strength is the employee experts and professionals who work daily to recover valuable resources and deliver clean water back into the environment. That’s why the update began with engagement strategies that consulted employees as individuals and in small focus groups.

Information and feedback gleaned from employees are being integrated with similar input from executive leadership and guided by a special strategic plan committee made up of seven of Metro’s Board of Directors. Raftelis, the consultant that aided Metro with developing our current Strategic Plan, has been tapped again to assist with the update process.

Click here to view Metro’s current Strategic Plan and watch this space in the coming months for more information about our updated Strategic Plan that will guide us for the next five years.  

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CTO Sherman Papke, Metro Project Manager Muzit Kiflai, Denver Director Jennifer Williams, Arvada Director Bill Ray, and COO Liam Cavanaugh at a Strategic Plan Update workshop in 2022 (left to right)

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