Component 01

Strategic Direction


A Strategic Direction establishes an agency’s direction through well-defined goals and objectives and enables assessment of the agency’s progress towards meeting goals by defining a set of aligned performance measures. The Strategic Direction is the foundation upon which all performance management rests and should be included in an agency’s business plan. Read more…


Implementation Steps

The Strategic Direction is broken down into two complementary subcomponents, each with its own implementation steps:

  • Goals and Objectives: Goals are broad statements articulating a desired end state that provide strategic direction for an agency. Objectives are specific, measurable statements that support achievement of a goal.
  • Performance Measures: Measures are used to establish targets and assess progress toward achieving established targets. They are indicators that track progress towards goals and objectives. They are manageable and sustainable, and based on collaboration with partners. Measures provide an effective basis for evaluating strategies for performance improvement.

Making the Connection

The Strategic Direction (Component 01) establishes the strategic direction for an agency and lays the foundation for tracking progress towards goals by defining performance measures. Goals and objectives guide Planning (Component 03) and Programming (Component 04) while performance measures enable Monitoring & Adjustment (Component 05) of agency strategies. The Strategic Direction is the language used for Reporting & Communication (Component 06).

Learn More

The Strategic Direction chapter contains three sections:

Keep reading the complete Component 01: Strategic Direction…

What it Takes

For a strategic direction to become ingrained in the agency culture and embraced by external stakeholders, it should be grounded on four major building blocks:

  • Performance information,
  • Internal buy-in,
  • Externalbuy-in,and
  • Continuous messaging
    of goals.

Performance information ensures selected goals, objectives and measures focus an agency’s policy and investment decisions on the appropriate performance areas. In other words, what key area(s) does current performance data and future projections suggest an agency should focus on?

Internal buy-in ensures individual staff can see the connection between their daily activities and progress towards agency goals.

External buy-in ensures agency goals align with regional priorities and are relatable to the public.

Continuous messaging of goals in internal and external communications and in regular business activities cements the strategic direction at an agency.