Case Study: Montana State University Library Strategic Planning


The Montana State University (MSU) strategic plan is built around six core areas: learning, discovery, engagement, integration, access, and stewardship. Each strategic area has its own set of goals, followed by objectives and metrics. According to the plan each university unit, including the library, is “empowered to envision its future, develop its own paths to these goals, and contribute to the University’s success in diverse and creative ways.”

The MSU Library proactively aligned its SEO program with the goals and objectives of the university, and the effort raised awareness throughout the university of the strategic value of an open access institutional repository (IR). The example shown below focuses on the “discovery” area of the strategic plan and demonstrates how library staff mobilized to contribute to the university and prominently position the IR.

Since finalizing its strategic plan 18 months ago, the library:

  1. Has launched the ScholarWorks open access IR
  2. Has collected more than 8,500 scholarly papers authored by MSU faculty and students
  3. Currently generates over 4,500 full text PDF downloads of MSU scholarly research each week

Aligning with University Goals

A first step in aligning the library’s work with university goals is to locate and review the most recent strategic plan that has been published or is under development. After reviewing the university strategic plan the MSU library staff identified an objective related to discovery:

Montana State University Strategic Plan

  • Discovery Objective D.2: Enhance infrastructure in support of research, discovery and creative activities. (p.8)

Office of the Provost

The provost and her team of deans developed an academic strategic plan in alignment with the overall university plan. The library dean proposed to support the university’s discovery goal by developing and implementing a unit strategy that committed the library to “Develop an institutional repository of intellectual output of campus.”

MSU Provost Academic Strategic Plan

    • Discovery Goal: Raise the national and international prominence of MSU in research, creativity, innovation, and scholarly achievement; fortify the university’s standing as one of the nation’s leading public research universities
      • Metric D.2.2: By 2019, MSU will increase grant-sponsored investment in centers, core facilities and resources to expand state of the art tools, expertise, and opportunities for research and creative activities.
      • Unit StrategyDevelop an institutional repository of intellectual output of campus.
      • Person Responsible for Success = Library Dean


Based on the unit strategy in the academic strategic plan, the library administration and staff developed a set of objectives and metrics they would use internally to deliver on their commitment to the provost

Montana State University Library 2013 Strategic Plan (see page 3)

  • D.2: Enhance infrastructure in support of research, discovery and creative activities
    • Library Objective: Improve discovery layers and find-ability of library content. (p.4)
    • Library Objective: Lead open access research and publishing efforts. (p.5)

Recommended References

Object Management Group Business Motivation Model Sections

  • 7.1 Overview (p.9)
  • 7.2 Key Ideas in the Business Motivation Model (p.10)
  • 7.3.1 End (p.12)
  • 7.3.2 Means (p.13)
  • 7.3.3 Course of Action (p.13)
  • 8.2 The End Concepts (p.21)
  • Annex B: Metrics for the BMM (p.79)

Birol Berkem (2008). “From The Business Motivation Model (BMM) To Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)Journal of Object Technology, vol. 7, no. 8, November-December, pp. 57-70