NASA's Strategic Management System


The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) passed by Congress and signed by the President in 1993 provides a new tool to improve the efficiency of all Federal agencies. The Act directs Executive Branch agencies to develop a customer-focused strategic plan, align agency activities with concrete missions and goals, manage and measure results to justify appropriations and authorizations, and design budgets that reflect strategic missions. The purposes of GPRA are to improve citizen confidence in Government performance, improve Federal program management, effectiveness, and public accountability, and improve congressional decision making on where to commit the Nation’s financial and human resources. The Act requires that, beginning with the fiscal year 1999 budget request, agencies submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to Congress a strategic plan for program activities and an annual performance plan covering those activities set forth in the budget. Six months after the completion of a fiscal year, agencies are further required to submit a report of program performance that reviews the success in achieving the goals and performance measures defined in the strategic and performance plans.

NASA established a Strategic Management System to provide the information and results to fulfill the planning and reporting requirements of the Act. The System is defined in the NASA Strategic Management Handbook (NASA Procedures and Guidelines 1000.2). This Strategic Plan, which will be submitted to OMB, leads a series of documents that defines why the Agency exists and what goals we propose to accomplish over the next 25 years. How we will implement activities to accomplish these goals is further defined in documents developed by Headquarters program offices, functional/staff offices, Centers, program and project managers, and individual employees. In addition to this Strategic Plan, we will submit our resource requirements to OMB in the annual budget request and a 5-year budget plan. We will also submit a Performance Plan that defines how we intend to measure the results and contributions of our programs to the Nation. The graphic on page 7 illustrates the documents that support the Strategic Management System.

NASA's Strategic Management System Documents

NASA's Strategic Management System Documents

The Strategic Plan defines the Agency’s vision, three-part mission, and fundamental questions of science and research that provide the reason for why we exist and the foundation for our goals. The Plan further describes four Strategic Enterprises to manage the programs and activities that will implement our mission, be responsible for answering specific fundamental questions, and satisfy the requirements of our customers. Goals are also described for four Crosscutting Processes that provide the support systems that enable each Strategic Enterprise to develop and deliver our products and services to internal and external customers.

The Agency’s goals have been grouped in three timeframes spanning a 25-year period and are displayed on the Roadmap on pages 8 and 9. Each timeframe is defined by a unifying theme that characterizes the primary focus of activity for that period. The initial timeframe for the Roadmap (1998–2002) presents the near-term goals that correlate to NASA’s fiscal year 1998 budget and the President’s 5-year budget plan. Mid- and long-term goals are presented in the 2003–2009 and 2010–2023 timeframes, respectively. These goals represent a balanced set of science, exploration, and technology development outcomes that we believe can be accomplished over the next 25 years. While the mid- and long-term goals will be executed in timeframes that exceed current budget authority, they represent a strategic direction that is consistent with our vision and mission. Specific resource requirements to achieve these goals will be requested in subsequent budget cycles.

The ultimate outcome of achieving our vision, implementing our legislated mission, answering fundamental questions, and accomplishing our goals is our contribution to national science and technology priorities. The investment in our programs contributes to increased understanding of science and technology, sustainable development of the environment, educational excellence, peaceful exploration and discovery, and economic growth and security.

Within this Plan, we also present Roadmaps for each of the four Strategic Enterprises, which define the objectives to meet the Agency’s goals. These Enterprise objectives and the objectives of our Crosscutting Processes form the basis for NASA’s Performance Plan and our performance evaluation process.


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