Published January 21, 2022 | Version v1
Technical note Open

Towards a National Best Practices Resource for Research Computing and Data Strategic Planning

  • 1. Semper Cogito
  • 2. Internet2
  • 3. University of California San Diego,
  • 4. Arizona State University
  • 5. University of Nevada


A PEARC21 workshop gathered Research Computing and Data (RCD) professionals to discuss leading practices
for developing effective strategic plans for their Research Computing and Data programs. Workshop participants
were familiar with issues around supporting Research Computing and Data, had experience contributing to
strategic planning, and had some exposure to the RCD Capabilities Model. Workshop participants learned about
common practices for strategic planning, heard from a panel of three RCD program leaders who described their
campus culture/climate around strategic planning and support for RCD, their group’s approach to RCD planning,
and the role of the RCD Capabilities Model in this context; and engaged in a discussion with the panelists on these
topics. Workshop participants then broke into groups to explore and compare current strategic planning practices at
their respective institutions, and additionally to identify requirements for a community resource to support strategic

This report documents the workshop activity and findings, including shared observations as well as
recommendations. In particular, we detail four themes that emerged as “Desired elements of a strategic planning

  • A repository of templates, examples, and models of strategic planning
  • A collection of narratives and use-cases that describe successful programs
  • Examples and practices for communication strategies related to strategic planning
  • A program of mentoring and identifying expertise related to strategic planning

We describe possible approaches to assembling these resource elements as part of the RCD Nexus Resource and
Career Center, noting that while there is a close alignment between the goals of a strategic planning resource as
envisioned by the workshop participants and the goals for the RCD Nexus program and associated CaRCC working
groups, the resources available during the Demo Pilot phase of the NSF supported RCD Nexus CoE program are
limited, and some of the recommendations may need to be incorporated into NSF proposals for a full CoE program.
Finally, we note some related efforts that are exploring similar issues.


Towards National Best Practices for RCD Strategic Planning.pdf

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