This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
The following section presents the context of the Strategic Choices Initiative its profile, logic model and also provides a background description of the development process.
The Strategic Choices Initiative was launched in the summer of 2006 by LAC to enable the institution to strategically focus and prioritize the delivery of its mandate. It was envisioned as a follow up on LAC's earlier strategic initiative "Directions for Change" and as part of the overall transformation process of the former predecessor institutions. The Strategic Choices Initiative was developed in response to changes in the socio-political and policy context of LAC as well as to new technological and industry developments (LAC, Nov. 2006).
This section of the report provides a context for the initiative and explains the initiative's goals, design, and expected results.
The Strategic Choices initiative had the following objectives:
The initiative had two main components: 1) Strategic Framework consisting of 5 strategic priorities specifying how the stated objectives will be realized and 2) Business model guiding the realignment of LAC management, operational and business practices as well as the re-allocation of resources.
The framework consists of two components presented below.
For each strategic choice short term (1-2 years), medium term (2-4 years) and high-level results (5 years) were identified as well as the rebalancing of business processes needed to realize those results.
The Business Model had the following characteristics:
A logic model was not developed for the Strategic Choices Initiative. One was created based on interviews with key informants and documentation review, in an attempt to illustrate the inner workings of the initiative.
The logic model is based on the following program theory:
The program theory presents the causal model that establishes the linkages of the Strategic Choices Initiative to its expected results. The ultimate goal that had to be addressed was how to position LAC in order to improve the delivery on the institution's mandate. The approach that was chosen was based on the following causal chain: by narrowing down LAC's priorities the institution will be able to improve focus on the mandate which would translate into improvement of LAC management practices and use of resources thereby improving LAC's delivery on its mandate. In order to be able to achieve that the institution had to change its management and operational processes as well as its resource reallocation practices.
Activities and outputs:
The key activities are focused on the development of strategies, setting of organizational priorities and analysis of LAC internal and external environment in order to inform the institution's operations and work processes. Outputs include a range of frameworks, plans, strategy and priority setting processes and costing/resource distribution options/propositions.
The immediate outcomes include integrated priority setting across LAC, adoption of more horizontal management approach to operations and alignment of LAC work processes and resource allocation practices with the strategic priorities set for the institution.
The intermediate outcomes are centered on improving the effectiveness of LAC operations, resource allocation and decision-making which should be priority focused.
The ultimate result of the Strategic choices Initiative is the improved performance of LAC in terms of its delivery on its mandate.
The relationship between the activities, outputs and outcomes is presented in the graphic below.
Logic Model of the Strategic Choices Initiative
LAC's Strategic Office (SO) was responsible for the initiation and the design of the Strategic choices initiative. In the summer of 2006 SO proposed the development of a Business Model for LAC in order to facilitate the implementation of "Directions for Change." The model was deemed necessary in order to ensure: 1) LAC's ability to deliver effectively on its mandate; 2) the sustainability of the institution; and 3) the alignment of LAC business activities with evolving government approaches (SO, June 21 2006).
The proposed approach had the following key elements:
The development process entailed 2 components: a Strategic Framework- setting the high-level choices to shape LAC mandate delivery and a Resource Review- involving the examination of the scope and costing of current and proposed LAC business activities (SO June 2006). The Strategic Framework was to be developed through facilitated discussion defining key strategic issues followed by impact analysis conducted via working groups and another set of facilitated discussions with DG's and key staff to develop business line delivery options. LAC branches and sectors were to test the proposed options against the criteria for resource review as a part of institution wide costing exercise of existing and proposed activities. The Planning Network was responsible for the horizontal analysis and review of sector activities and business cases. Strategic Office and Corporate Services branch were responsible for final analysis of options before presenting them to the DG working groups for review in a second set of facilitated discussions. The DG working groups were supposed to identify changes to LAC's business lines based on the strategic options and propose an integrated Business Model to MB for approval. Management Board was responsible for final approval of the Business Model and options for its implementation during a two-day management retreat session in the Oct. 2006 (SO, June 21 2006).
A brainstorming session/consultative meeting was held on July 04 by Strategic office with a representative group of key organizational experts/ employees which identified 5 strategic issues:
Following the meeting 3 working groups were formed to analyse the potential impact of these issues on LAC business lines. The three working groups were as follows:
Each group was presided by two co-chairs- one from Strategic Office and one from the business areas. The co-chairs held regular meetings to discuss progress made. Each group had to produce an interim and a final report. Strategic Office was tasked with integrating the reports. Each group had cross-sectional representation of LAC managers and experts.
The analysis conducted by the groups was focused on the impact of each of the strategic issues identified on the function/area for which they were responsible with a particular emphasis on identifying needed shifts in LAC operations. The groups were encouraged to propose options and to take note of areas of change where they could not reach a consensus on the direction or a degree of change needed.
SO analysed the results of the working groups and refined the strategic policy options for LAC and their implications. The analysis was discussed further at a number of Round Tables with LAC Directors General. The discussion was centered on validating the strategic policy options, identifying key areas of change to LAC business practices and developing implementation options (SO, Sept. 2006). Participants were asked to:
Following the discussion SO narrowed down the strategic policy options to 5. In a second round of discussions with the DG participants were asked to define short, medium and long-term results for each of the strategic choices, and assign roles/ responsibilities and rank their top 3 priorities for each. In addition participants were asked to identify what activities could be stopped in order to free funds for the new priorities. SO integrated the results of DG workgroups/roundtables into one document- Strategic Choices Framework, which was presented to Management Board on their retreat in October 2006.
The Strategic Choices Framework and Business Model were approved by Management Board on Oct. 31, 2006. A resource review exercise was planned in order to realign operations and resources with the priorities set for the institution in the Strategic Choices Framework. It was scheduled to take place in Nov.-Dec. 2006. Upon approval of the resource realignment by Management Board, the Strategic Choices Framework was to be incorporated in the Corporate Report on Plans and Priorities for 07-08 fiscal year.
Implementation of the Strategic Choices Framework was devolved to the sectors. Under each of the strategic choices a number of results to be achieved in FY 07-08 were specified and the responsibilities for each result were divided among LAC ADMs and DGs. Each Strategic Choice was under the responsibility of two or more members of Management Board. The management teams for each sector were asked to prepare plans and budgets outlining: costs of activities specified under the Strategic Choices Framework, work requirements for review of business processes and their alignment with the strategic priorities, and other operational activities. Strategic Office, Corporate Management Branch and the Directors General were responsible for reviewing and refining the plans while Management Board was responsible for final approval. Sector management teams were encouraged to: