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The days of drafting voluminous 5 year strategic plans are dead. They are expensive to create, rarely, if ever referenced, and quickly become obsolete. Some suggest strategic planning is now all about flexibility and execution because technology is moving too fast; new, better information is constantly available; and making course corrections aren’t nearly as costly or time consuming as in times past.

So instead of asking “What are we going to do over the next five years?”, executives are increasingly asking “How can we show value THIS year?”

And instead of drafting a 5 year plan, every federal executive should have some idea of the handful of metrics that prove their value to the taxpayer for the current year. Every executive should be able to say that the successful completion of their current portfolio of projects will result in increased taxpayer interaction, decreased costs, reduced processing time, increased access, or something else of worth.

Simply every federal executive should be able to answer the question “So what?” or “Why should I care?” Too often we describe our activities instead of demonstrating the purpose or value of our activities. It’s time to show and prove.