The Strategic Planning & Operations Department is the technical and strategic arm of DEC's Secretariat-General. With an eye to playing a leading part in the Council's success, the role of the office is to ensure that the DEC, its affiliated agencies, and support activities are best positioned to successfully achieve their goals and objectives. At the heart of the SP&O department's role lies the responsibility to be proactive in determining the Council's needs particularly in terms of establishing and pursuing the strategic and business initiatives that would not only fulfil medium-term needs but also maintain the Council's vision for its future.
In this effort, the SP&O will provide the Secretary General with all the support that is essential to the process of setting the organizations' future directions, through making the key decisions both at the organization and department levels in such areas as resource allocation, policy and procedure needs, as well as providing the guidance that would enable a partnership with each department in the area of successful project management processes.
The DEC annually reviews its strategic and operational plans at the organization level. This is then cascaded to the various departments, which in turn develop individual strategic plans that are aligned to those of the DEC's overall strategy. The SP&O department facilitates these processes through heavy involvement in the aforementioned processes of strategy review and alignments in a manner that enables the DEC to achieve the following:
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- Develop its strategic plan
- Communicate the strategic plan to its members
- Develop the strategic plans of its individual divisions and ensure their alignment with the DEC' overall plan
- Communicate the individual divisions' plans
- Identify and manage the changes needed to support the new strategic plan
The SP&O department ensures that it is engaging in a continuous process of reviewing and updating its knowledge of the latest tools, technologies, and best practice measures in the area of strategic corporate planning, and in turn sharing these with the Council's leadership.
It also maintains a process of constant review of the Council's various business plans with the aim of avoiding overlaps among the various departments and to ensure that all issues are resolved in a manner that ensures the progress of each department towards its individual objectives.
The SP&O department is often called upon to complete special, one-off projects in areas that fall outside the mandates of the department yet assist the Secretary General to make essential strategic decisions. The SP&O department in that case acts as a high-level personal assistant to the Secretary General and also often acts as an internal consultant to the leaders of the different divisions.