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Strategy and Performance

Goal: A responsive, accountable and high-performing Bureau delivering greater impact and value for Australia.

The Strategy and Performance Group is responsible for identifying growth opportunities, monitoring long-term trends and outlooks, gathering competitive intelligence and driving cross-program strategic initiatives. It is driving improvement in strategy, planning, change management, enduring project management capability, performance management, risk, resilience and business continuity in the Bureau.

The Group leads the organisation’s efforts in aligning strategy, structure, capability, culture and investment. It provides the frameworks and tools to ensure systematic management of performance across the Bureau, ensuring appropriate governance arrangements to help achieve the Bureau’s goals. The Enterprise Portfolio Management Office (EPMO) provides whole-of-enterprise coordination and guidance across project and program management and supports effective investment decision-making.

The Group supports more effective management of risk and security by strengthening risk assessment, business continuity, internal audit, and physical and protective security capabilities. The Group works in partnership across the Bureau to facilitate and support governance and security arrangements that are necessary to achieve the Bureau’s mission and comply with federal legislative requirements and best practice.

For 2019-20, the Group consisted of two Programs with the following responsibilities:

Strategy, Planning and Performance

Strategy and strategic foresight

Change management and business transformation

Planning and performance measurement

Program and project management

Risk and Resilience

Risk management

Organisational resilience

Physical and protective security

Quality assurance

Throughout 2019–20, the Strategy and Performance Group focused on the delivery of three outcomes that support the delivery of the Bureau’s Strategy and purpose. The Group’s achievement in delivering each of these outcomes is discussed below.

Outcome 1: Whole-of-enterprise navigation of global and national trends and shocks.

Achieving the outcome

Delivering the Bureau’s Strategy

Implementing the Bureau's Strategy 2017–2022 is the primary focus for the organisation. The Strategy is translated into action through an Annual Corporate Plan rolling four-year Group and Program plans, which explicitly align investment and transformation initiatives to the Strategy. To monitor strategy execution, half-yearly progress reports were provided to the Executive Team. Strategy-in-Action workshops for the Bureau's Leadership Team play an important role in building leadership capability and cohesion in delivery of the Strategy.

Monitoring developments in the Bureau's operating environment

The Bureau has embedded its strategic foresight or ‘futures strategy’ capability, to support the organisation in navigating changes in our operating environment. The capability includes regular environmental scanning and inquiries into matters of strategic importance to:

· identify trends, risks, and opportunities in the external operating environment;

· analyse what these changes mean for the Bureau; and

· explore how the Bureau can best respond to these changes.

Keeping abreast of business risks

Understanding the Bureau’s risks and their potential consequences is a critical component of strategic and operational decision-making, especially identifying new risks as they emerge. The Bureau’s business risks were documented in an enterprise-wide risk management system with risk reports provided to the Security, Risk and Business Continuity Committee monthly, and the Executive Team and Audit Committee on a quarterly basis.

Next steps

Key activities to be delivered in 2020–21 to help achieve Outcome 1 include:

  • identifying and analysing new and emerging business risks;
  • undertaking regular strategic foresight workshops with the Executive Team; and
  • monitoring progress in delivering the Bureau’s Strategy 2017–2022.

Outcome 2: A resilient Bureau well positioned for the future.

Achieving the outcome

Planning for success

Group plans and Program plans were updated in 2019–20, outlining the activities and initiatives the enterprise will deliver to achieve the Bureau’s Strategy 2017–2022. Increased focus was given to articulating the interlocks and dependencies across Groups, particularly given the significant transformation activities underway.

An independent view of Bureau performance

In November, an independent panel of four experts completed a review of the Business Solutions Group, providing the Bureau and its stakeholders with assurance that its activities are appropriate, effective, efficient and achieving progress towards agreed strategic outcomes. The Group accepted the review’s 12 recommendations and improved its opportunity assessment process, approach to strategic partnerships and workforce planning.

Improving performance reporting

The Bureau refined its suite of regular performance reports to the Executive Team, enhancing focus and visibility on technology, forecasts and warnings and customer services. The Bureau undertook biannual assessments of its delivery against the Strategy and its 19 Strategic Success Measures. The Annual Report 2018–19 met the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and received a gold award at the Australasian Reporting Awards.

Embedding a resilience framework

The Bureau has an enterprise approach to managing incidents and crises and is updating its approach to business continuity across all business areas. Over 130 employees have received initial training in the Bureau’s incident management process with scenario-based training delivered to State and Territory offices towards a national target level of competency.

Implementing the Bureau process model

The Bureau made significant progress in documenting 560 business processes and establishing a business process management competency to support ongoing management and improvement of processes. This work provided a structured foundation for collaboration and design to support enterprise transformation initiatives.

Over 73% of projects involved collaboration across Groups

Uplifting enterprise security

Protective security maturity improved with new procedures. The security culture was enhanced through awareness briefings, upgrades of observation infrastructure and office refurbishments and transition to the Government's new information classification system. An internal audit of the protective security function was undertaken with recommendations to be implemented in 2020–21.

Next steps

Key activities to be delivered in 2020–21 to help achieve Outcome 2 include:

  • implementing the Bureau's process model for effective project and program delivery; and
  • facilitating independent reviews of two Groups' activities to ensure they are appropriate, effective and efficient.

Outcome 3: Superior performance through excellence in program and project design, and execution.

Achieving the outcome

Maintaining and extending quality management

The Bureau's quality management systems were maintained and expanded, providing assurance for customers and stakeholders that the Bureau's accredited business processes continue to meet international standards under ISO 9001. Assurance has been determined via external certification audits for the five certified quality management systems, including the new certification of Defence Weather Services and the Tsunami Warning Service.

Implementing the Bureau delivery model

The Bureau integrated its technology delivery model with its project framework to create a single enterprise-wide delivery model for all initiatives. The model incorporates the Bureau's transformation framework and new benefits framework and helps to identify the activities, documentation and processes required to successfully deliver an initiative. All projects must now have defined benefits to inform investment decision-making and to measure success.

Providing insightful project reporting

Enterprise project reporting was augmented with dynamic dashboards and automated integration with financial data. All projects must report monthly progress to senior managers, with objective evidence to ensure projects and initiatives deliver outcomes within schedule. Quarterly portfolio-level reports provide the Executive Team with visibility of the overall portfolio health, trends, risks and issues requiring action.

Over 81%of project outcomes delivered on schedule

Uplifting change management capability

The Bureau approach to transformation continued to mature, with focus on:

  • governance using frameworks, tools and consistent approaches that are integrated into enterprise models and work programs;
  • capability development through training, coaching and sponsorship briefings, 360-degree leadership assessments and promoting an aligned culture;
  • monitoring and reporting through the quarterly Bureau integrated transformation schedule and change impact reporting; and
  • engagement through a community of practice, transformation leads network, communication and Strategy-in-Action workshops for Bureau leaders.

The Bureau relied upon its change and incident management capability throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support its people and equip its leaders to manage the changing workplace dynamic.

Next steps

Key activities to be delivered in 2020–21 to help achieve Outcome 3 include:

  • providing online change management training modules to all staff; and
  • developing quality management system certification for space weather services and automatic weather stations.