This standard formalizes practice that is commonly accepted but often implemented inconsistently. It will enable efficient discovery, sharing, and analysis of the information commonly contained in the performance plans and reports of organizations worldwide. While other initiatives have been mounted to compile abstract and theoretical models of the strategic planning process, this is the first to enable the concept of “strategic alignment” to be realized on the Web, through literal hypertext linkages to goal and objective statements.
This standard specifies an Extensible Markup Language (XML) vocabulary and schema (XSD) for the elements that are common and considered to be part of performance plans and reports. This is the second of a series of parts comprising the Strategy Markup Language (StratML) standard. Part 1 (ANSI/AIIM/ISO 17469-1) specifies the elements of strategic plans. Part 3 will specify extensions to the first two parts that may be useful but are not considered to be essential for the basic purposes of the standard.
The purposes of Part 2 include:
- 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).
The StratML standard will not address how the information contained in strategic and performance plans and reports should be presented. For example, it will not specify font sizes or colors, page margins or numbering, or how graphics should be displayed. Nor will it provide guidance on how to compile high-quality plans, beyond specifying the basic elements they should contain. Value-added intermediaries will be free to apply style sheets to display the information in any manner that may be desired by their stakeholders on computer screens and other devices as well as in print media. The primary way in which the standard will impact the quality of plans will be by facilitating feedback from stakeholders. However, by specifying kinds of information to include, the standard will enable planners and intermediary service providers to focus more directly and intensively on the quality of the information itself.