2. Strategic Management Process

2.1 Strategic Management Process
NASA's strategic management process is iterative and ongoing and includes four primary activities:

As depicted in Figures 2-1 and 2-2, these activities provide a continuous process for the Agency to make informed decisions about its long-term goals, near-term activities, and institutional capabilities that are in alignment with customer requirements. A fundamental goal of NASA's Strategic Management Process is to ensure that the Agency provides its customers with excellent products and services in the most cost-effective and timely manner. As part of this process, NASA uses continual improvement, reengineering, and other quality management (e.g., ISO 9000) tools and techniques in the way it plans and executes its programs, processes, and associated activities.

flowchart illustrating NASA's Top-Level Strategic Management Process

Figure 2-1. Top-Level Strategic Management Process

2.1.1 Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning establishes the long-term direction of the organization in the context of a vision of the future, organizationally unique mission, and a specific set of goals, objectives, and policies developed in response to customer requirements, external mandates, and the external and internal environments. The process of Strategic Planning enables alignment between the NASA Strategic Plan with the Enterprise Strategic Plans, the Agency's institutional capabilities, and its functional requirements and initiatives. This process provides the direction for all Agency efforts and forms the basis for strategic (5 to 25 years) and tactical (1 to 5 years) decision making, resource allocation, and capital investment.

flowchart illustrating the Top-Level Strategic Management Cycle

Figure 2-2. Top-Level Summary of the Interrationships of Strategic and Implementation Plans and Reports at the Agency, Enterprise, Center, and Program Levels

2.1.2 Implementation Planning
The Implementation Planning process provides detailed performance planning and proposed resource allocation to implement the goals, objectives, and other organizational initiatives identified during the Strategic Planning process. It ensures the alignment of all supporting organizations with the Agency's strategy and establishes the detailed requirements, schedules, and resources necessary for successful execution. Implementation Planning is an iterative process that begins with the completion of the NASA Strategic Plan and Enterprise Strategic Plans, capital investment planning, and the 5-year budget; it enables execution and forms the basis for performance evaluation.

2.1.3 Execution
NASA develops and delivers its products and services through Agency programs and projects, in accordance with NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 7120.4 and NASA Procedures and Guidelines (NPG) 7120.5. Underlying the activities of the programs are critical Crosscutting Processes and subprocesses that cut across the Strategic Enterprises, functions, Centers, and programs. These processes, which are a series of activities that take one or more types of inputs and create outputs, are the means (activities and decisions) by which NASA produces outputs and outcomes for its customers.

2.1.4 Performance Evaluation
While Implementation Planning provides a basis for the end-to-end evaluation of performance within the Agency at multiple levels, the evaluation of performance measures whether the Agency achieved intended results as stated in its Performance Plans and the levels of effectiveness and efficiency in executing Agency programs and processes. NASA has established performance planning across the Agency, with each level responsible for performing the necessary steps of measuring, evaluating, reporting, and implementing improvement initiatives.

The performance evaluation process provides NASA and its customers with important information to assess the Agency's performance at all levels. It also allows NASA to identify potential opportunities for improvement in such areas as product and service delivery, program implementation, and process management. The results of performance evaluation activities provide data and information that will be used by managers to make informed decisions regarding changes to the organization's long-term strategies or near-term deployment. The results of performance evaluation activities also allow the Agency to communicate results and accomplishments to its internal and external customers and stakeholders.

2.2 Strategic Management Schedule
NASA's annual strategic management schedule is illustrated in Figure 2-3. The development of this schedule was based on internal and external requirements.

2.3 Documentation Requirements
Figure 2-4 provides a top-level summary of the document requirements associated with the Strategic Management Process. The detailed requirements for these documents are defined in the following chapters.


Figure 2-3. Strategic Management Schedule


Figure 2-4. Strategic Management Documentation Requirements