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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Managing for Results: Our Approach to Performance Management

Bureau of Resource Management
January 15, 2009


State Department leadership, managers and staff use strategic planning standards and performance management to effectively focus and guide the organization’s efforts. A high level Strategic Plan and Strategic Goal Framework organized by strategic goals and strategic priorities, link people, programs, policies, processes, budget and performance information to optimize expected results. We have developed a disciplined performance structure and process centered on the results needed and the strategies and activities designed to deliver them. The Department’s robust Annual Planning Cycle engages diplomatic missions overseas and Washington-based bureaus in outcome-oriented, planning activities that articulate policy and establish programmatic direction by country, region and strategic goal.

Another tool that assists our strategic and performance planning is Executive Order 13450: Improving Government Program Performance, signed by the President in November 2007 that established a Performance Improvement Officer (PIO) at each agency and the interagency Performance Improvement Council. The Executive Order reinforces the performance improvement infrastructure at the Department and provides additional leverage to strengthen crosscutting performance management. At the Department of State, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic and Performance Planning has been designated as the PIO. A key responsibility of the PIO is to advise the agency head whether measurement of programs and progress is rigorous and accurate.

Strategic planning and performance management together add permanent quality control and demonstrate return on our investments. The Department uses performance management best practices to assess and mitigate management challenges, measure and evaluate impacts, devise solutions, strengthen and inform program, policy and resource allocation decision-making, and learn how strategies are progressing and where to adjust course. The Department serves the public by carrying out its mission to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.


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