Agencies are finalizing strategic plans that will be submitted to the Governor by September 1. The annual planning process is always a vital exercise for determining agencies’ priority goals and objectives and setting course for what staff will work on in the months ahead.
With benefit of the Arizona Management System (AMS), this year’s planning cycle is informed by the Governor’s Fundamentals Map, which outlines for agencies what Governor Ducey sees as the state’s most pressing priorities and the mission outcomes he wants state government to achieve. These outcomes are the return on investment made by Arizona taxpayers. The way state employees can best deliver these outcomes is by continuously improving the processes they use to provide customers their products and services.
This year we also introduced standardized work for strategic planning that will yield a simplified, standard output for the Governor. Agencies had the opportunity to participate in work sessions that modeled a strategic planning process based on best practices.
The strategic planning process begins with a comprehensive look at an agency’s organizational ecosystem — an ecosystem that includes a variety of perspectives and demands that influence the agency’s vital mission. Next, they defined their “current state” by honestly assessing the recent past and current reality, including a brutally honest evaluation of the agency’s performance. A visioning exercise that considered both the Governor’s vision for Arizona and where the agency wants to be in the next five years helped define the desired “future state.”
By analyzing the gap between current state and future state, the agency can begin developing its strategic plan. Agency leadership determines its long-range (three to five years) goals, near-term (one year) objectives and measures to be used to gauge performance (is the agency winning the day, the week, the month and the year?)
The goals, as measured rigorously by the performance measures, are supported by strategies and executed through projects that agency staff work to complete throughout the year. This way, agency employees understand how their day-to-day work aligns with the agency’s strategic mission and goals, which in turn align with the Governor’s most important priorities for the state.
The performance measures each agency adopts track success through two primary lenses: customer value in the form of quality service, and the return on investment that taxpayers demand as an outcome of the agency fulfilling its vital mission for Arizona.