Executive Summary

IMRF Strategic Plan
Meeting room

IMRF implemented a formal strategic planning process and methodology in 2005 to ensure the IMRF Board of Trustees and staff had a mechanism to plan for the future needs of the Fund. This systematic process facilitates discussion and agreement between the Board of Trustees, staff, and key stakeholders on the appropriate direction for IMRF. Consistent with the spirit of our continuous process improvement program, the process was updated and improved in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and again in 2022.

IMRF has a long history of implementing operational improvements in response to the increasing needs and demands of our stakeholders. These changes allowed the Fund to effectively and efficiently respond to many challenges, including new benefit programs and ever-increasing workloads. Our success continues to be validated through the high marks received on customer satisfaction surveys and through outside benchmarking services.

We expanded our strategic planning process in 2010 to include elements of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to ensure we align our objectives, processes, and resources with our Vision. Our application for the 2009 Lincoln Award for Performance Excellence (renamed Illinois Performance Excellence {ILPEx} in 2011) was a logical extension of our continuous process improvement program and provided a new sense of direction for our planning process. The feedback from our additional applications was used to identify 35 key business approaches, which we evaluate and improve. Although we have received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award with our 2019 application, we will continue to reapply for the award, when eligible, to ensure we are continuously improving and remain aligned with the Baldrige Criteria.

While the measures of success that we use for our strategic objectives may change over time, we will strive to achieve top 10% performance for most Key Result Areas. Baldrige recipient organizations often set their overarching strategic objectives to achieve a top 10% ranking in each key area of importance to their stakeholders. We are following that same path. We believe this high level of performance is how we should benchmark ourselves. This is consistent with our Values and provides a means to assess progress toward realization of our Vision. Our Strategic Objectives force us to think strategically about how we can achieve and/or maintain excellence in each of our Key Result Areas. They provide a target we can aspire to over the three years of this Strategic Plan.

As a critical part of our formal 12-step planning process, the Board of Trustees and staff completed a re-examination and validation of our Mission, Vision, and Values in February 2022. We also completed a comprehensive overview of our external environment, as well as an analysis of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These analyses resulted in a list of strategic advantages, challenges, and opportunities that helped validate our four Key Result Areas of our Strategic Objectives.

Our four Strategic Objectives provide the basis for our 2023-2025 Strategic Plan. Staff developed action plans, including milestones and timelines, for the Key Strategies associated with each of these objectives.