The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) has published new outlines with best practice ideas for Federal agencies when they are developing and structuring IT planning documents across a range of priorities.

The report, “Outlines for Key IT Planning Documents,” builds on ACT-IAC’s fall 2022 report, which offered several recommendations on how the Federal government can evolve the FITARA Scorecard.

The fall 2002 report introduced four IT planning documents “deemed essential to evaluating the maturity of any IT organization,” ACT-IAC said.  They are:

  • IT Modernization Plan;
  • Cloud Computing Adoption Plan;
  • Zero-Trust Architecture Plan; and
  • IT Workforce Strategic Plan.

The group’s new best practices document delivers on a request from senior Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials for ACT-IAC to provide more detail on content that should be included in each of the four planning documents.

It offers individual outlines for each planning document, broken down into five to eight sections for agencies to organize their plans.

“In developing the outlines for these four IT planning documents, the ACT-IAC project team decided that it is essential that each of these plans be stand-alone. Doing so enables a reader to fully comprehend a plan without referring to other agency plans or documentation,” the report says. “Yet, it is also the case that an agency must integrate and harmonize these four plans.”

The report explains that there is some overlap among the plans. For example, the outlines for the IT Modernization, Cloud Computing Adoption, and ZeroTrust Architecture Plans all include an IT system and infrastructure inventory to establish a current IT baseline.

ACT-IAC explained that this is necessary for agencies to keep their IT inventory current, but each plan should include elements of the inventory relevant to that plan. For instance, the Cloud Adoption Plan should include the agency’s current cloud assets, and so on.

Each of the four planning documents also includes change leadership as an essential element to success.

“Developing robust modernization plans which can then be tracked and managed will provide an excellent opportunity to focus Congressional oversight on ensuring progress in modernization efforts,” Dave Wennergren, ACT-IAC CEO, said in a press release. “The guide will also help ensure agencies are focused on those improvements that will most help to enhance mission delivery.”

Check out the complete report with the in-depth outlines for each of the four planning documents here.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.