Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Director Robert Mueller published the FBI’s priorities, a list which clearly indicated the Bureau’s new focus on making counterterrorism its top priority. Recognizing that a list alone was not sufficient to drive long-term organizational change, Director Mueller led the implementation of the Strategy Management System (SMS) throughout the organization, providing us with a framework for achieving the FBI’s vision and mission.
SMS provides a formal method for defining, communicating, aligning, executing, and assessing strategy, and making strategy a part of daily activities and decision-making. SMS uses an adapted version of the Balanced Scorecard methodology as a tool to measure and track strategic performance. The SMS process ensures that entities throughout the Bureau align their activities to the FBI strategy and integrate strategy into program management.
The first step in establishing the SMS was the creation of the FBI’s “Strategic Shifts”—a description of where the FBI stood along areas of strategic emphasis, each with a corresponding vision of how the FBI should operate in the future. Next came the creation of a “Strategy Map,” a visual representation of the FBI’s strategic objectives that articulate what the Bureau must do well to accomplish those shifts.
The Bureau’s SMS is a strategy execution framework. Objective performance at the enterprise, branch, and division levels are measured, tracked, and reviewed on a quarterly basis.
The Bureau’s leadership team uses quarterly strategy review meetings on SMS objectives, measures, and initiatives. During these meetings, the leadership team discusses performance and makes decisions on how to allocate resources in order to improve organizational execution.
The four components of the FBI’s Strategy Management System are:
- Strategic shifts that describe the strategic changes the FBI needs to make in order to achieve its vision.
- Strategy map that shows the objectives and activities necessary to achieve the strategic shifts.
- A scorecard that measures progress and informs FBI leadership on efforts made towards meeting objectives.
- Initiatives, or projects, that are put into place to improve strategic performance and generate momentum for positive change.
Strategic Shifts and the objectives on the Strategy Map are revalidated annually to ensure that they align with the National Security Strategy, Department of Justice Strategic Plan, and the Director of National Intelligence’s National Intelligence Strategy. They are also revalidated to ensure they reflect the FBI Director’s strategic imperatives and initiatives.