Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, FBI Director Robert Mueller published the list of the FBI’s priorities, which clearly indicated the Bureau’s change to making counterterrorism its top priority. But recognizing this list was not sufficient to drive long-term organizational change—that a new organizational direction, guided by a clear strategy, was needed— in 2006 he led the implementation of the Strategy Management System (SMS) throughout the organization that provides us with a framework for achieving the FBI’s vision and mission.
SMS enables the Bureau to focus on both short and long-term goals, while balancing the need to address national security and criminal threats each day.
SMS provides a formal method for executing and reviewing strategy, and making strategy a part of daily activities and decision-making. SMS uses the Balanced Scorecard methodology as a tool to measure and track strategic performance. The SMS process ensures that entities throughout the Bureau establish objectives based on how they support the overall FBI strategy.
The first step in establishing the SMS was the creation of the FBI’s “Strategic Shifts”—a description of where the FBI stood along 14 strategic dimensions of change, each with a corresponding vision of how the FBI should look in the future. Next came the creation of a “Strategy Map,” a visual representation of the FBI’s strategic objectives that articulate how the Bureau will go about accomplishing those shifts.
The Bureau’s SMS is a strategy execution framework. Objectives at the enterprise, branch, and division levels are measured and tracked, and performance is reviewed against achieving those objectives on a quarterly basis.
The Bureau’s leadership team uses SMS to manage organizational performance by conducting 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 resolve critical performance issues.
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 necessary for the strategic shifts to be achieved.
- A scorecard that measures success and informs FBI leadership on the level and rate of progress being made towards meeting identified objectives.
- Initiatives, or special projects, that are put into place to improve strategic performance and generate positive momentum for change.
Strategic Shifts and the objectives on the Strategy Map are revalidated every year to ensure that they still accurately reflect the FBI’s strategic aims and efforts and that they align with any updates made to the Department of Justice and Office of the Director of National Intelligence strategies.