Key Takeaways from Chapter 4: Strategic Planning
Today’s management best practices require all levels of an enterprise to play an active role in ensuring that an organization effectively and efficiently uses its resources to yield actual business value.
Strategic planning should support and influence planning at all levels of the organization, making it one of the eight solution functions for a government agency.
Almost all strategic plans call for significant change in how an agency will operate over time. But in many instances, agency leadership significantly underestimates what that change entails and how difficult it can be to make such change happen.
All too often, government agencies will spend time and effort on planning, not informed by realistic assumptions regarding budget, schedule, and an agency’s ability to execute such a plan successfully.
Developing an achievable agency strategic plan is no guarantee of success. The goals and objectives must impact more detailed plans prepared at organizations throughout the agency or the sub-agencies in an agency with a federated model.
Having a comprehensive, usable enterprise architecture (EA) is critical to an agency’s efforts to plan well and drive successful transformation.
The attributes of good, usable strategic planning are the same across all organizations, including government agencies of all sizes. Below are the eight critical attributes required for establishing a strategic plan that drives positive change in an agency.
- The strategic plan has goals and quantifiable and measurable objectives
- Strategic plan objectives and success measures link to portfolios and programs
- Proper organizational engagement and accountability
- Portfolios allocate requirements to programs
- The EA supports agency planning
- The EA incorporates operational processes and systems
- Agency’s strategy and EA address resiliency and security
- Agency plans and EA are updated annually.
Good planning, in which an agency’s strategic plan is brought to life through alignment with plans at the portfolio and program levels, can, have a dramatic, positive impact on an agency’s performance within a few years.
Agency leaders should focus first on improving governance and strategic planning, as they are the tools leaders have to drive quick, positive change in an agency’s performance.