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2014 CTSNet Strategic Plan
The following represents the work product of a two-day retreat conducted by the leadership of CTSNet and invited guests on August 10-11, 2013, at STS headquarters in Chicago. Recognizing that the financial position of the organization, while still tenuous, appears to be stabilizing under the current management structure, the leadership felt compelled to look forward to the necessary future regeneration and renewal of the organization. The purpose of the retreat was to set priorities for the organization over the next several years in order to facilitate near-term decisions with regard to growth of the organization, and the attendant necessary budgeting processes.
“To advance education and collaboration in the global cardiothoracic surgical community through Internet resources.”
“To be the primary Internet access point for the international cardiothoracic surgical community by facilitating community interaction and information transfer tailored to the needs and preferences of individuals involved in the specialty.”
Strategic Goals and Strategies
In this plan “Strategic Goals” are considered to be longer-term directions for the scope and activities of CTSNet, and outcomes that the organization is actively seeking to achieve, rather than merely worthy aspirations.
Strategic Goal #1: Enhance CTSNet’s unique brand as the primary Internet contact site for the CT surgery community, tailored to the needs of the cardiothoracic surgical community as a group and customized to the individual.
CTSNet will enhance its stature as the premier destination on the web for videos, technique pages, and other electronic media regarding cardiothoracic surgery, and will improve its position as the main gateway on the web to CT-surgery-related journal content and CT-surgery organization websites.
Strategy 1.1: CTSNet will strive to increase the volume of content that it hosts and creates as a critical method of enhancing its stature. (within one year)
Strategy 1.2: CTSNet will investigate hosting applications that will effectively aggregate web content related to the specialty. (within one year)
Strategy 1.3: CTSNet will complete the building out of the new CTSNet.org, including Profile Page enhancements that will allow users to indicate their subspecialty and sub-subspecialty focus(es) and add a greater degree of customized personal content. (within one year)
Strategy 1.4: CTSNet will develop functionality to customize content for particular users, based upon the subspecialty and sub-subspecialty information within their CTSNet Profile Pages. (within one year)
Strategy 1.5: CTSNet will become a conduit for content-specific advertising. (within three years)
Strategy 1.6: CTSNet will augment individual Profile Page formatting and functionality to help:
i. Encourage contacts to treat their CTSNet Profile Page as their primary personal web page.
ii. Ensure that Profile Pages remain up-to-date.
iii. Facilitate significantly more accurate demographics on CTSNet contacts. (within one year)
Strategic Goal #2: Enhance the CTSNet user experience through the flexibility and appeal of the CTSNet.org interface, including adapting CTSNet to new and emerging technologies.
CTSNet will enhance CTSNet.org’s presence and usability on the web and on mobile-devices by adapting to available and emerging technologies and fine-tune its website functionality to improve the user experience on CTSNet.org.
Strategy 2.1: CTSNet will hone the CTSNet.org homepage and other key pages on the site to make CTSNet.org an increasingly attractive and useful gateway to key resources on the site and to other CT-surgery resources available elsewhere on the web, including updating the content portals, adding interactivity, and installing links to content on YouTube, Vimeo, and other relevant media sites. (within one year)
Strategy 2.2: CTSNet will serve content for a wide variety of web browsers and web-enabled devices, prioritizing the availability of a mobile-web version of CTSNet.org. (within one year)
Strategy 2.3: CTSNet will develop mobile apps focused on particular content areas of the CTSNet.org such as CTSNet’s Profile Pages (directory search) and the CTSNet Wiki Notes. (within three years)
Strategy 2.4: CTSNet will improve the search functionality on CTSNet.org, enhancing searching by keyword. (within one year)
Strategy 2.5: CTSNet will expand participation in the CTSNet Career Center beyond the United States and commence career fairs at major specialty annual meetings. (within three years)
Strategy 2.6: CTSNet will investigate enabling CTSNet contacts to participate in interest/discussion groups. (within one year)
Strategic Goal #3: Foster the growth and health of the CT surgery Internet community.
Strategy 3.1: CTSNet will work with Member and Participating Organizations to ascertain whether they would be willing to have certain content from their educational meetings posted on CTSNet.org. (within three years)
Strategy 3.2: CTSNet will improve access to the large number of journals touching upon the specialty. (within one year)
Strategy 3.3: CTSNet will explore posting journal tables of contents or posting journal article feeds on CTSNet.org, and explore interest amongst specialty journals in CTSNet blast e-mail opportunities and journal-related homepage postings (all of which could be a potential source of revenue for the organization). (within three years)
Strategy 3.4: CTSNet will develop functionality to allow Participating Organizations to post organization news at will in a dedicated area of CTSNet.org, potentially without editorial oversight. (within one year)
Strategy 3.5: CTSNet will investigate adding content portals for vascular surgery, critical care, physician assistants, perfusionists, and possibly sub-subspecialty areas. (within three years)
Strategy 3.6: CTSNet will add training course information to CTSNet.org, especially regarding training courses hosted by industry groups. (within three years)
Strategic Goal #4: Enhance the International nature of CTSNet, including expansion to Asia, Latin America, and other parts of the world.
CTSNet will undertake initiatives to make CTSNet more visible and more useful to CT surgeons in Asia, Latin America, and other areas of the world outside Europe and the United States.
Strategy 4.1: CTSNet will establish a “Board of Delegates,” with representatives from CTSNet Participating Organizations based in various areas of the world, which will advise the CTSNet Board of Directors on how to expand the reach of the site beyond its current core areas of use (Europe and the United States). (within one year)
Strategy 4.2: CTSNet will develop a committee structure and Board meeting protocols to ensure that it has the communication channels in place to meet the needs of individual CTSNet contacts, Member Organizations, Participating Organizations, industry groups, the public, and other stakeholders. (within one year)
Strategy 4.3: CTSNet will expand the number of links to Sponsoring and Participating Organizations’ web content. (within one year)
Strategy 4.4: CTSNet will consider adding point-of-care versions of some content to the site. (within one year)
Strategy 4.5: CTSNet will identify existing barriers to CTSNet’s lack of visibility and utility in some areas of the world outside Europe and the United States. (within one year)
Strategy 4.6: CTSNet will explore ways of incentivizing the participation of more individuals in CTSNet from Asia and Latin America. (within one year)
Strategy 4.7: CTSNet will provide content that is uniquely relevant to CT surgeons practicing in particular developing countries. (within three years)
Strategy 4.8: CTSNet will publish more information about training opportunities and equipment acquisition, especially with respect to developing countries. (within one year)
Strategy 4.9: CTSNet will explore options for translating the CTSNet homepage into other languages (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish). (within one year)
Strategy 4.10: CTSNet will develop a comprehensive strategy to become significantly more visible in China and India. (within three years)
Strategy 4.11: CTSNet will explore developing a mobile app that would take advantage of Apple’s localization infrastructure; e.g., app content would appear in local languages and blogging in local languages could be facilitated. (within one year)
Strategy 4.12: CTSNet will collaborate with industry groups to ascertain how CTSNet can achieve a larger viewership in countries such as Brazil, China, and India (this could entail creating a CTSNet industry group to make recommendations about expanding into new markets). (within one year)
Strategic Goal # 5: Enhance interactivity.
CTSNet will make ongoing web infrastructure investments, create an appropriate committee structure, implement editorial processes, and establish staffing priorities, which will allow it to secure its niche as a high quality web destination that is flexible, current, and successful in meeting the needs of its various constituencies.
Strategy 5.1: CTSNet will develop website functionality and editorial processes that will facilitate the rapid posting of unique video and techniques content on CTSNet.org, as well as the immediate posting of content in an “Open Area” not subject to editorial oversight. (within one year)
Strategy 5.2: CTSNet will enhance its usage of social media, including its Facebook and Twitter presences, and will explore using other social media tools popular in particular countries. (within three years)
Strategy 5.3: CTSNet will examine options available within its new content management system (Drupal) that will assist in increasing community interaction on CTSNet.org. (within one year)
Strategy 5.4: CTSNet will post more videos, surgical techniques, and roundtable discussions to meet the documented demand for this material, and will explore aggregating CT-surgery videos posted independently of CTSNet on sites such as YouTube. (within one year)
Strategy 5.5: CTSNet will develop tactics to incentivize the submission of videos and techniques to include some or all of the following:
i. Provide awards/recognition for the most-viewed, highest quality, and/or most unique content.
ii. Provide official reporting of contribution metrics for academic/personal use.
iii. Explore options for making contributions to CTSNet citable, approaching MMCTS or ICVTS and, if they are not interested, approaching Annals CTS.
iv. Implement rapid editorial review and posting of content. v. Consider developing a CME credit system for certain content.
vi. Enhance the effectiveness of editorial boards (including the JANS Editorial Board).
vii. Ensure proper staffing of the content review/editing function for CTSNet.org.
viii. Launch the “Open Area” outlined in 5.1 above. (within one year)
Strategy 5.6: CTSNet will continue to invest in its web infrastructure to ensure the highest quality experience for users, and implement functionality to allow CTSNet.org users to easily identify the highest quality and most pertinent material on the site (e.g., by implementing a rating system for content on the site). (within one to three years)
Strategic Goal # 6: Maintain business discipline.
Strategy 6.1: CTSNet will facilitate revenue-generating protocols for specialty-related journals to be accessed/promoted on CTSNet.org’s Journal Section pages. (within one year)
Strategy 6.2: CTSNet will use Skype, Google Hangouts, and/or other video-conferencing software to create video roundtables for posting on CTSNet.org. (within one year)
Strategy 6.3: CTSNet will examine options for industry to sponsor the posting of videos regarding specific techniques. (within one year)
Strategy 6.4: CTSNet will be flexible in terms of accommodating new technologies and meeting the changing needs of its various constituencies, including CTSNet individual contacts, Member Organizations, Participating Organizations, industry groups, and the public. (within three years)
Strategy 6.5: CTSNet will implement editorial processes, committee structures, and staffing priorities to ensure that CTSNet.org remains dynamic and current. (within one year)
Strategy 6.6: As it expands its reach and develops sufficient reserves, CTSNet will investigate developing more of its own content, possibly by employing a staff writer. (within three years).
Strategy 6.7: CTSNet will investigate establishing a reserve funds account. (within one year)