StratML†Candidate†Elements,†January†18,†2006

Preferred Label Alternate Label Definition Source Comment
Strategic Plan A document containing all of the required elements of Strategy Markup Language (StratML). GPRA Some elements may be optional in strat plans but required in annual performance plans.
Strategic Plan Strategic Vision GPO As used by GPO, the term seems to be synonymous with Strategic Plan.The term "Vision" is a logically separable element.
Mission A brief description of the basic purpose of the organization as authorized by law. StratML Cop The concept of authority is implicit. Perhaps it should be made explicit.
Mission Mission Statement A mission statement is brief, defines the basic purpose of the agency, and corresponds directly with the agency's core programs and activities. An agency's program goals should flow from the mission statement. GPRA & A-11 (2005) 210.1 In the context of strategic plans, it is unnecessary and adds no value to append the term "statement" to the term "mission".
Authority A citation for the applicable provision of law under which the activities supporting the mission are to be conducted. StratML Cop While this information is implicit in GPRA, perhaps it should be made explicit, at least as an optional element in StratML.
Goal A statement of aim or purpose to be pursued over more than one budgetary execution cycle but within the reasonably foreseeable future. StratML Cop Although GPRA requires strat plans to cover at least 5 years and to be revised at least every 3 years, those periods may be too long in light of rapidly changing circumstances.Also, it should be possible to update individual goals without having to update the entire plan.
Goal Strategic Goal A statement of aim or purpose included in a strategic plan (required under GPRA). In a performance budget/performance plan, strategic goals should be used to group multiple program outcome goals. Each program outcome goal should relate to and in the aggregate be sufficient to influence the strategic goals or objectives and their performance measures. GPRA & A-11 (2005) 200.2 In the context of strategic plans appending the adjective "strategic" to the noun "goal" adds no value.
Goal Strategic Objective GPRA & A-11 (2005) 200.2 It is needlessly confusing to use the terms "goal" and "objective" synonymously.
Goal General Goal A-11 (2005) 200.2 Using the adjective "general" adds no value to the noun "goal" -- particularly if the term "objective" is used to designate more explicit purposes to be accomplished and measured within a single budgetary execution cycle.
Goal Performance Goal Goals that are objective, quantifiable, measurable, and defined at the level to be achieved by a program activity. GPRA To be addressed in annual performance plans rather than longer-term strategic plans.
Goal End Outcome Goal DOI Strat Plan It is unclear what value is added by appending the nouns "end" and "outcome" as adjectives modifying the noun "goal".
Objective A statement of an aim or purpose to be pursued and against which progress can be measured within a single budgetary execution cycle. StratML Cop
Objective Performance Goal Sets a target level of performance over time expressed as a tangible, measurable objective, against which actual achievement can be compared, including a goal expressed as a quantitative standard, value or rate. A performance goal is comprised of a performance measure with targets and timeframes. A-11 (2005) 200.2 It is needlessly confusing to reuse the noun "goal" to apply in both a strategic as well as a tactical context.The noun "objective" is commonly used to express this meaning.
Objective Target Quantifiable or otherwise measurable characteristic that tells how well a program must accomplish a performance measure. A-11 (2005) 200.2 Use of the noun "target" adds little or no value to the meaning of the noun "objective".
Metric A quantifiable indicator of progress against an objective. StratML Cop
Metric Performance Measures Indicators, statistics or metrics used to gauge program performance. A-11 In the context of strategic and annual performance plans, appending the adjective "performance" to the noun "metric" adds no value.
Metric Performance Metric DOI Strat Plan In the context of strategic and annual perfromance plans appending the adjective "performance" to the noun "metric" adds no value.
Metric Key Measure DOI Strat Plan It is unclear what value is added by appending the adjective "key" to the noun "metric" or "measure".
? Measurement Area The high-level organizing framework of capturing aspects of performance at the output levels. PRM The PRM (Consolidated Reference Model) includes six measurement areas: Mission and Business Results, Customer Results, Processes and Activities, Human Capital, Technology, and Other Fixed Assets.
? Measurement Category Collections within each measurement area describing the attribute or characteristic to be measured. PRM Examples cited in the Consolidated Reference Model correspond to the Lines of Business in the BRM.
? Measurement Grouping Further refinement of categories into specific types of measurement indicators. PRM May align to subfunctions in the BRM.
Metric Measurement Indicator The specific measurestailored for a specific BRM Line of Business or Sub-function, agency, program, or IT initiative. PRM
Outcome Outcome Measures Outcomes describe the intended result of carrying out a program or activity. They define an event or condition that is external to the program or activity and that is of direct importance to the intended beneficiaries and/or the public. For a tornado warning system, outcomes could be the number of lives saved and property damage averted. While performance measures must distinguish between outcomes and outputs, there must be a reasonable connection between them, with outputs supporting (i.e., leading to) outcomes in a logical fashion. A-11 (2005) 200.2 The StratML CoP should consider the relationship of this term to the meanings of the terms "goal," "objective" and "metric".The value added by use of this term is not readily apparent.In the FEA PRM, the adjectives "intermediate" and "end" are appended to the noun "outcomes", but it appears those meanings would be more accurately conveyed by associate dates (deadlines) with each objective.The definition should note that, unlike outputs, some of the critical success factors for achieving outcomes are out of the organization's span of control, and require action by partners and/or stakeholders.Lack of complete control is a distinguishing feature of outcomes that is commonly overlooked.
Output or Outcome (depending upon meaning) Results Results should be distinguished by whether they are produced by activities whose critical success factors are completely within the control of the organization or not.If so, they are outputs.If not, they are outcomes. StratML Cop While it may be appropriate to provide guidance indicating that goals and objectives should be expressed in terms of measurable outputs and outcomes, it is unclear whether a separate element is required for that purpose.
? Mission Results PRM Type of output or outcome?
? Business Results PRM Type of output or outcome?
? Customer Results PRM Type of output or outcome?
Output Output Measures Outputs describe the level of activity that will be provided over a period of time, including a description of the characteristics (e.g., timeliness) established as standards for the activity. Outputs refer to the internal activities of a program (i.e., the products and services delivered). For example, an output could be the percentage of warnings that occur more than 20 minutes before a tornado forms. A-11 (2005) 200.2 Appears to be out of scope of a strategic plan covering a number of budgetary execution cycles.May be appropriate for inclusion in schema for annual performance plans.The definition should note that, unlike outcomes, all of the critical success factors for outputs must be under the organization's control.The definition also seems to be poorly worded, confusing inputs (activities) with outputs.
Efficiency Measure While outcome measures provide valuable insight into program achievement, more of an outcome can be achieved with the same resources if an effective program increases its efficiency. The Presidentís Management Agenda (PMA) encourages agencies to develop efficiency measures. Sound efficiency measures capture skillfulness in executing programs, implementing activities, and achieving results, while avoiding wasted resources, effort, time, and/or money. Simply put, efficiency is the ratio of the outcome or output to the input of any program. A-11 (2005) 200.2 Since these values can and, indeed, must be computed based upon a time series of metrics associated with goals and objectives, including a separate element for that purpose may be unnecessary.
Program Assessment A determination, through objective measurement and systematic analysis, of the manner and extent to which Federal programs achieve intended objectives. A-11 (2005) 200.2 This is not a data element per se and is part of the assessment process rather than the planning process.
Performance Budget A budget presentation that clearly links performance goals with costs for achieving a target level of performance. In general, a performance budget links strategic goals with related long-term and annual performance goals (outcomes) with the costs of specific activities to influence these outcomes about which budget decisions are made. A-11 (2005) 200.2 This is not a data element per se and is part of the budget process rather than the planning process.
Mission Category Mission Area A named grouping of related goals as part of a taxonomy that is meaningful to an organization and/or its stakeholders. The term "mission area" is used in DOI's strat plan but it is unclear how its meaning relates to the base term "mission", which also implicitly encompasses a group of goals.
Vision A brief and preferably inspirational statement of how agency leaders would like the agency to be perceived by its primary stakeholders beyond the current budgetary cycle but within a multi-year strategic planning cycle. StratML Cop
Value A single word or short phrase identifying a key trait leaders and employees of an agency hold dear. StratML Cop
Value Key Business Principle Examples include: Value, Accountability, Modernization, and Integration DOI It is unclear how the meaning of the term "key business principle" differs from the term "value" in the context of strategic and performance plans.
Stakeholder An generically named intended beneficiary, directly or indirectly, of the activities of an agency. PRM
Globally Unique Identifier A globally unique identifier for each goal and objective statement by which it can be directly referenced, version controlled, and associated with the planning cycle to which it applies, as well as cross-referenced and linked with other related goals and objectives or stakeholder groups or inputs, outputs, or records thereof. StratML Cop It should be possible to update any goal or objective independent of any other while at the same time being able to associate related goals and objectives with each other, apart from the physical context in which each statement is expressed.
Strategy Strategies The agency strategic plan must describe the processes, skills, technologies, and various resources that will be used to achieve the strategic goals. GPRA & A-11 (2005) 210.1 The defintion is basically taken from GPRA, although the Act does not directly associate the term "strategy" with the definition.Also, although GPRA requires inclusion of this information in strategic plans covering no less than 5 years, it may be more appropriate to include this information in annual performance plans.
Strategy Means The agency strategic plan must describe the processes, skills, technologies, and various resources that will be used to achieve the strategic goals. A-11 (2005) 210.1 It is unclear how the term "means" differs from the term "strategy" in the context of strategic and performance plans.
Milestone An objective associated with a date, i.e., a projected accomplishment deadline. StratML Cop Should be included in annual performance plans rather than longer-term strategic plans.
Year StratML Cop The year in which a goal is projected to be substantially achieved should be specified in a strategic plan.
Month StratML Cop The month and day should be specified in annual performance plans.
Day StratML Cop The month and day should be specified in annual performance plans.
Critical Success Factors Success Factors Conditions which must be met in order for an organization to achieve its goals and objectives. GPO It may be more appropriate to address the means by which objectives are to be pursued in annual performance plans rather than multi-year strategic plans.The bar to entry should be kept as low as possible to encourage usage of StratML.
Critical Success Factors Key External Factors Factors beyond the control of the agency that could significantly affect achievement of goals and objectives. GPRA It may be more appropriate to address externality as an attribute of CSFs rather than as a separate element.
Critical Success Factors Critical Competencies Skills an organization must possess or acquire in order to accomplish its goals. DOI Strat Plan It may be more appropriate to address the type of factors as an attribute of CSFs rather than as a separate element.
Inputs Resources that must be made available in order for an organization to achieve its goals and objectives. StratML Cop It may be more appropriate to address the means by which objectives are to be pursued in annual performance plans rather than multi-year strategic plans.The bar to entry should be kept as low as possible to encourage usage of StratML.
Organization The legal or logical entity to which the Strategic Plan applies. StratML Cop
Organization Department A U.S. cabinet-level agency. A more generic term should be applied, recursively as necessary to reflect organizational hierarchies.
Organization Bureau A more generic term should be applied, recursively as necessary to reflect organizational hierarchies.
Organization Agency A more generic term should be applied, recursively as necessary to reflect organizational hierarchies.
Organization Office A more generic term should be applied, recursively as necessary to reflect organizational hierarchies.
Partner Organization Business Partner A legal or logical entity with which an organization shares common goals and objectives and chooses to engage in joint activities in pursuit of those goals and objectives. StratML Cop It may be more appropriate to address the means by which objectives are to be pursued in annual performance plans rather than multi-year strategic plans.The bar to entry should be kept as low as possible to encourage usage of StratML.