Strategy Markup Language (StratML)
A Worldwide Web of Intentions, Stakeholders, and Results
Strategy Markup Language (StratML) Part 1 is an XML
vocabulary and schema for strategic plans. Its purposes include:
- Facilitate the sharing, referencing, indexing, discovery, linking, reuse,
and analyses of the elements of strategic plans, including goal and
objective statements as well as the names and descriptions of
stakeholder groups and any other content commonly included in strategic
- Enable the concept of "strategic alignment" to be realized in
literal linkages among goal and objective statements and all other
records created by organizations in the routine course of their
- Facilitate the discovery of potential performance partners
who share common goals and objectives and/or either produce inputs
needed or require outputs produced by the organization compiling the
- Facilitate stakeholder feedback on strategic goals and objectives.
- Facilitate updating and maintenance of discrete elements of
strategic plans without requiring review and approval of the entire
plan through bureaucratic channels, thereby helping to make the
strategic planning process more agile and responsive to stakeholder
feedback and changing circumstances, thus helping to overcome the
tendency of strategic plans to become outdated "shelfware".
- Reduce the needless time, effort, inconsistencies, and delays
associated with maintaining data redundantly in myriad "stovepipe"
systems rather than referencing the authoritative sources.
- Enable agencies to comply with the provisions of subsections
202(b)(4) & (5)
of the eGov Act, which respectively require agencies to:
Note: On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed H.R. 2142, the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA), into law as P.L. 111-352. Section 2 requires agencies to publish their strategic plans on their websites and section 10 requires them to publish their strategic and performance plans and reports in searchable, machine-readable format. StratML is such a format.
- Work together to link their performance goals to key groups, including citizens,
businesses, and other governments, as well as internal Federal Government operations; and
- Adopt open standards (e.g., StratML) enabling the organization and categorization
of Government information in a way that is searchable electronically and interoperably
StratML Part 2 extends Part 1 to include the basic, minumum additional elements required for performance plans and reports, including stakeholder roles and performance indicators, in order to:
Build upon Part 1 to enable the documentation of value chains leading to the realization of strategic goals and objectives, including desired outcomes as well as the inputs, processes, and outputs required to achieve them.
Facilitate the identification of inputs and processes needed to produce planned outputs and desired outcomes.
Enable the documentation and reporting of metrics associated with target and actual levels of inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes.
Facilitate the sharing, referencing, indexing, discovery, linking, reuse, and analyses of the elements of performance plans and reports.
Facilitate the tracking of actual results as compared to planned, target results in terms of usage of inputs, performance of processes, production of outputs, and realization of outcomes.
Facilitate stakeholder feedback on the usages of inputs, production of outputs, and realization of outcomes affecting them.
Enable value-added intermediaries to provide tools, products, and services supporting each of these purposes for the benefit of myriad communities of interest (stakeholder groups).
StratML Part 3 specifies additional elements addressing the data requirements implicit in GPRAMA as well as additional purposes.
CURRENT WORK & RESULTS
On May 23 Owen Ambur published a two-page paper entitled "Cutting to the Chase: Skip the Nonsense and Proceed Directly to Doing Good Better."
On May 21 Owen Ambur registered the ConnectedCommunity.net domain for potential use for StratML-enabled services. Higher Logic, upon which AIIM's discussion forums are based, owns the ConnectedCommunity.org domain.
On May 23 Owen parked a shell home page inviting expressions of interest in crowdsourcing development of the ConnectedCommunity.net domain.
On May 20 Owen Ambur spoke with Mayor David Bennett and his wife Terri about the relevance of the StratML standard to the Town of Hilton Head's visioning project.
On May 10 Government Computer News (GCN) published Owen Ambur's op ed entitled "The open, efficient, machine-readable government".
On May 11 Chet Ensign of OASIS posted a link to GCN's op ed on LinkedIn.
On May 11 Kurt Cagle shared the article with his network on LinkedIn.
On May 11 Robert Blatt recommended the article to subscribers to AIIM's Open Forum.
On May 3 Owen Ambur spoke briefly at the Town of Hilton Head Visioning Project Management Team (VPMT) meeting and volunteered to render in StratML format the plan(s) emerging from the effort. Video of the meeting is available. Owen's remarks begin at minute 1:36.
Minutes of the May 3 meeting of the VPMT
StratML Committee Performance Report for 2016 (SMLC2016)
Draft listings of:
StratML Glossary compiled by Owen Ambur using this XSD and stylesheet - Note the glossary is for informative purposes only.
The authoritative names and defintions of the elements are contained in the schemas themselves and are available in the documentation for
Part 1, Part 2 &
StratML Part 1, Strategic Plans, was published as an international standard (ISO 17469-1) on February 11, 2015, and is available for purchase from ANSI.
It is available for download by AIIM members at http://www.aiim.org/Resources/Standards/AIIM_ISO_17469-1.
The schema itself is freely available for usage by anyone who cares to so so:
Pending recruitment of enough nations to work on international standardization of Part 2, Perfomance Plans and Reports in the ISO processes, revisions were moved through the ANSI process.
On January 19, 2017, ANSI approved revisions harmonizing Part 2 (ANSI/AIIM 22:2017) with the relatively minor changes made in Part 1 in the ISO process. In addition, the following enhancements were approved:
Create a new Descriptor element to more clearly accommodate the description of performance indicators of the qualitative type, which may be more appropriately characterized by adjectives, letter grades, or other types of ratings than by numbers
Create a new ReferentIdentifier element of the xsd:string type to enable multiple references to the GUIDs of the same referents in a plan/report and to distinguish such identifiers from the identifiers of other elements, which are of the xsd:ID type and must be unique
Change the NumberOfUnits element to a union with the empty string type to overcome the XSD rule requiring that elements of the xsd:decimal type must be populated even if their usage is optional and the numbers may not yet be known, e.g., for the ActualResult element or for TargetResults that have not yet been specified in draft plans
Here are some test/use cases for StratML Part 2:
StratML Commmittee (SMLC) Performance Plan/Report - 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2011 - Plain XML text & with Styling
Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2014-2020 Strategic Plan (VA2014) - Plain XML text & with Styling. Note: This file uses the stratml:Relationship element to link VA objectives to the strategic goals they support.
The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) FY 2009 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) in StratML Part 2 format - Plain XML text & with Styling
The U.S. Merit System Protection Board's (MSPB) FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) in StratML Part 2 format with Styling
The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) in StratML Part 2 format - Plain XML text (with InfoPath processing instruction) & with Styling
The CIOC/AIC's Emerging Technology Subcommittee's (ETS) charter in StratML Part 2 format - Plain XML text (with InfoPath processing instruction) & with Styling
Department of Labor (DOL) FY 2009 Performance Budget Overview in StratML Part 2 format - Plain XML text & with Styling
CIOC Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) Work Plan 2011-2012 - Plain XML text & with Styling
Executive Order - Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government (EOEEAG) - Plain XML text & with Styling
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) - Plain XML text & with Styling
AIIM Integrated System Development (ISD) Committee -
Network of European Stakeholders for Enhance User Centricity in eGovernance (NET-EUCEN), Network Policy White Paper - Plain XML text & with Styling
OPM's SES Performance Management System (SESPMS) - Plain XML text & with Styling
DRAFT Federal IT Shared Services Strategy (FITSSS) - Plain XML text & with Styling
City of Edmonton (CoE) - with Styling
Charity Navigator's Effectiveness & Results (CNER) Dashboard - with Styling
America's Failing Infrastructure: A Scary Picture (AFIASP), Kiplinger - with Styling
THE OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP: GOVERNMENT SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, March 29, 2013 (OGP-USNAP20130329) -
ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT ACT: Agencies Have Implemented Most Provisions, but Key Areas of Attention Remain, GAO-12-782 -- Report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, in StratML Part 2 format - with Styling
StratML Part 3, Additional Elements, was approved and published as an AIIM best practice (AIIM_BP_24-2014).
Schema for StratML Part 3, August 21, 2014
Screen shots showing how the Part 3 schema appears in an InfoPath form, November 23, 2012
Data dictionary for Part 3 compiled on November 4, 2012 - PDF | DOCX (Word)
The data requirements implicit in the GPRA Modernization Act (GPRAMA) are a central focus of Part 3.
Proposed mapping of OMB Circular A-11, Section 210, guidance to the elements of StratML Part 3
Proposed mapping of the elements of the Performance Data Standard (PDS) for the Performance.gov site to StratML Part 3.
This rendition of GPRAMA, dated February 7, 2012, contains selected screen shots from an InfoPath form showing how requirements of the Act might be met in the strawman draft schema for Part 3 - HTML | PDF
During the development, piloting, proof-of-concept phase, several thousand plans have been rendered in StratML format, using the following authoring/editing tools:
Joe Carmel's XForms Forms
Andre Cusson of 01 Communications developed an XForms form for StratML Part 2, Performance Plans & Reports.
Form for the ISO 17469-1 version of StratML Part 1, Strategic Plans.
See also Joe's About StratML XForms page.
Form for the ISO draft version of StratML
Part 2, Performance Plans & Reports, which is on track for publication as a minor revision to ANSI/AIIM 22:2011.
Alain Couthures, Gannon Dick & Andre Cusson provided assistance in developing Joe's StratML Part 2 form.
Joe documented his efforts in Hackpad.
oXygen XML Author supports StratML Parts 1 & 2 and provides templates.
Andre's form was derived from but extends Joe's original form. It was disabled by a Java security update.
Alejandro Revuelta and his colleagues on the Ximdex team have developed a forms-based interface enabling
users to author and edit StratML files in Ximdex-CMS.
Microsoft InfoPath forms for StratML Part 1, Strategic Plans & Part 2, Performance Plans and Reports
A form-based user interface for StratML Part 2 is available in oXygen.
ESRI's StratML catalog also includes a forms-based interface whereby registered users can draft and edit StratML files in Part 1 & 2 format.
Business Web Software (now Firmstep) AchieveForms
using the form on their demonstration
site (Seems to have been taken down.)
PDF Fillable form for Part 1 developed by Ed Chase
For those who do not have InfoPath, screen shots of those forms are available in PDF -
Part 1 & Part 2 & HTML.
Owen Ambur has created a prototypical InfoPath form for StratML Part 3, Additional Elements, that can be used as a reference implementation.
For those who do not have InfoPath, screen shots of the Part 3 form, as of November 16, 2012, are available in PDF.
Note: Although Microsoft has pledged to maintain support through 2023, further development of InfoPath has been terminated with the 2013 release. For further information, see this discussion thread on LinkedIn.
Xopus form for Part 1 (available in Spanish as well as English.)
Microsoft Word - See the StratML Quick Start Guide for MS Word Users compiled by Ictect
In August 2016, Virginia Gavin of Appligent expressed interest in updating Ed's form to conform to the ISO 17469-1 version of the schema.
When he was with Adobe, Duane Nickull expressed his intent to develop a PDF Fillable form for StratML Part 2.
The most current and complete listing of plans in the StratML collection is available at ../drybridge/index.htm.
SEARCH & OTHER PROTOTYPICAL SERVICES
John Barker of Metaformix Information Systems has demonstrated how StratML files can automatically be rendered in PDF and ePub format, using the Meridian International Center's who we are statement as an example - PDF | ePub
Unless a browser plug-in is installed, the ePub rendition must be downloaded and openned in an ePub reader. John recommends the following readers and says they all work with ePubs generated in TopLeaf:
Stratbase, a new startup company out of the Iowa Startup Accelerator, has developed an online strategic planning and implementation tool for teams. Dave Shafer advises that plans created using Stratbase are compatible with StratML Part 1 and soon it will support XML import/export, hosting public plans, cross-linking between plans, cascading goals, and many other features described in the StratML purposes, as well as support for StratML Parts 2 and 3.
Rob Green has worked to configure Drupal's "Export to XML" module to output valid StratML, in support of Cedar Falls, Iowa. His initial XML output is available at http://www.cfstrategicplan.org/stratml. The goals and objectives set forth in the plan are avaiable in HTML format at
http://www.cfstrategicplan.org/objectives and in StratML format here.
Michael Taylor of SchellingPoint is aiming to enable his Alignment Optimization software to output data in StratML format for editing in Microsoft Word. Here's his blog on the use of StratML for higher-quality strategies.
Ari Knausenberger of Strategi Consulting developed a StratML parsing demonstration, which was formerly hosted at http://stratml.strategi-consulting.com/ and produced a tag cloud for the top 50 most frequently used <Goal> <Names>. The strategic plans in which each of those goal names occur could be retrieved by clicking on the tag name and scrolling to the bottom of the page to see the results. The most frequently occurring goal name is Education and it was used in the default query. The second most frequently used goal name was Advocacy, followed by Leadership, Membership, Infrastructure, Collaboration, Partnerships, Representation, Communication, and Research, rounding out the top ten. See the screen shot of Ari's demo.
Felix Sasaki, coordinator of the FREME project, added StratML to the types of files that can be enriched with linked data tags at http://fsasaki.github.io/stuff/feisgiltt2016/ and demonstrated semantic enrichment of the content of the Description elements of the U.S. Open Data Action Plan (ODAP).
Matt MacKenzie and Duane Nickull of Uberity quickly developed and briefly hosted a JSON/MongoDB-based StratML indexing/browsing/query service at http://uberity.com/.
XML Simplicity's editorial portal enabled online editing of StratML documents using Authentic. Here is a brief description provided by Keith Matthew:
Unfortunately, the portal is no longer online but here is an example of a PDF rendition of this StratML file - Plain XML text | Styled.
XML Simplicity's (now Computer Composition of Canada, Inc.) StratML service provides powerful, yet easy-to-use, collection browsing and filtering of StratML documents. Users have complete control over collection display settings, such as sorting, grouping, highlighting, charting, downloading, column selection, etc. Documents are available for fast dynamic download in XML, PDF, RTF, and HTML formats. Editing of the StratML XML documents is available in either an offline or online word-processor like interface, that ensures consistent and correct XML source data.
MarkLogic's StratML search service prototype contained all of the plans in the collection as of February 8, 2010. It was developed by Shashi Mudunuri prior to finalization of Part 1 of the StratML standard. Shashi subsequently left MarkLogic and his prototype was not maintained. Jay Fohs and Sara Mazer of MarkLogic started to redevelop it with the latest versions of the files currently in the collection. The new prototype was to have been demonstrated by Jay and Andy Obermayer at the CIO Council's PlanningPlus seminar on November 15, 2012. However, the CIOC was reorganized and the PlanningPlus seminar series was discontinued. Images showing what the previous version of MarkLogic's application looked like are available on slides 40 & 41 of the presentation Owen prepared for the Strategic Planning Innovation Conference. Those screen shots are also available by themselves in HTML format.
Pooyan Zamanian's StratML authoring, editing, and transformation portal, which is available in Farsi and English, enables the creation of strategic plans and the conversion of the "raw" (plain text XML) StratML files to XHTML using XSL Transformation. After entering the portal with the "guest" username and password (54321), users who have Microsoft's InfoPath forms application can download the form from the Strategic Plans page, enter the data, and upload the plan. (Plans that have been previously uploaded will also be available for editing and re-uploading.) After uploading, the user is re-directed to result page to view the transformed plan as it appears in XHML format on the Web. Click here to see a screen shot of Pooyan's portal.
Pradeep Jain of Ictect is updating his StratML plug-in for MS Word to take into account upgrades to Word and revisions to the StratML schema.
StratML Tagging with Microsoft Word: Quick Start Guide, Pradeep Jain & Vivian Dey, September 25, 2009 - DOC | PDF
A Strategic Communications Plan converted to StratML format by Owen Ambur on December 22, 2009, using MS Word with the assistance of the Quick Start Guide. (Note: Since the purpose of this exercise was to test the Guide and not to produce a "pretty" document, it has not been edited for appearance, to include all of the elements of the StratML core, or to remove verbiage that does not fit neatly into the elements of a StratML document.)
Screen shot of ICTect's StratML plug-in for MS Word demonstrated by Pradeep Jain on the January 15, 2015, StratML Committee tele/video conference
Ken Holman of Crane Softwrights has compiled HTML and PDF stylesheets for StratML documents but
they are based upon a previous version of the schema that has been supplanted by ANSI/AIIM 21:2009
NIST's XML Instance Validation service can be used to remotely validate files against the StratML schema. For additional information, see KC Morris' announcement.
NIEM mapping spreadsheet compiled by Allyson Ugarte and Sylvia Webb
Liquid Technologies' Liquid XML Studio 2010 is an XML developers toolkit and IDE containing tools for designing and developing XML Schema and applications, with support for StratML and other public standards.
See especially their documentation
of the schema for StratML Part 1
The schema for StratML Part 1, Strategic Plans, has been included in Schema Central by Priscilla Walmsley of Datypic.com.
Owen Ambur is promoting the notion that political parties and candidates for elective office should be expected (by their constituencies) to post their platforms on the Web in StratML format. To prove the concept, he has begun posting the issue statements of candidates on his personal Web site. The 2012 GOP and Democrat platforms are available there in open, standard, machine-readable StratML format.
Alex Rollin's StratML for Production Groups description (formerly Community Intelligence with StratML project wiki).
Thomas von der Elbe's free-range voting demo using StratML to enable voting on the elements of a plan to form a non-profit organization.
Alex Glaros' Nationwide Citizen General Suggestion Management prototype application project. See also Alex's site for the Center for Government Interoperability (CGI).
Ivan Pedruzzi of Progress Software uploaded the StratML schema into the Stylus Studio online catalog for access in Stylus Studio via File -> Document Wizards.. -> XML editor -> User Defined Catalog. A tutorial is available showing how to create PDF forms from schemas using Stylus Studio.
William Charlton expressed interest in developing a "test bed for evaluating StratML as a mechanism for coordinating, recording and reporting relief operations"... to "pave the way for similar proofs in other arenas".
If you are aware of other services indexing or otherwise leveraging the emerging StratML standard and/or StratML documents, please contact Owen Ambur to have a link posted here. We are particularly interested in services addressing any of the prospective purposes of the standard but would be happy to be surprised by useful and creative services we have not yet anticipated.
See also sitemap listing the WebAddresses (URLs) of the StratML instance documents to facilitate reuse, including automated indexing by search services.
HISTORY of StratML
Since the history of the StratML standard is long, it has been moved to a separate page.
AIIM's StratML Standard Committee announcements listserv & technical discussion listserv
AIIM is transitioning its listservs to its new AIIM Community Portal -- StratML Tech Group | StratML Announcements Group | Query of AIIM's Community Groups on the term "StratML"
In June 2016 AIIM implemented a new website and broke the links to StratML information. Here are some of the new links:
ANSI/AIIM/ISO 17469-1, Strategy Markup Language (StratML) - Part 1: StratML Core Elements (Stratgic Plans)
ANSI/AIIM 22: 2011, Standard Recommended Practice - Strategy Markup Language - Part 2: Performance Plans and Reports
Now that AIIM is exiting the standards development business and phasing out its listservs, it may be appropriate to start using our StratML group on LinkedIn more actively. AIIM's new community groups, based upon the Higher Logic platform, will only be available for use by members of AIIM.
GAO's scorecard for evaluating strategic plans
News coverage of StratML: Government Computer News (GCN) |
Federal Computer Week (FCW) |
Washington Technology (WT)
Search engine queries: USA.gov | Google | Bing | Ask | Yahoo
Wikipedia articles on:
Machine-Readable Documents |
Strategic Planning |
Theory of Value |
Strategic Management |
Program Evaluation |
Performance Indicators |
PEST Analyses |
Critical Success Factor (CSF) |
Business Plan |
Integrated Business Planning |
Group Development |
Extensible Markup Language (XML) |
Markup Languages |
Artificial Language |
XML Schema | W3C XSD
Business Rules Group's Business Motivation Model, September 2007
A proposed high-level model for
strategic planning, June 2001
Perspectives on Strategic Planning in the Public Sector, a monograph by Richard D. Young recommending usage of John Bryson's 10-step model
Stakeholder analysis techniques, article
in Public Management Review, by John Bryson, 2004
When Did Strategy Become a Four Letter Word? Article by
Sandy Richardson, September 27, 2011
Preparing for Your Journey, Personal Goal Setting, Blog by Sherri MacKey of Luminosity Global, October 28, 2011