About the digital and ICT strategic framework

The Digital and ICT strategic planning framework introduces tools, resources and planning concepts to help experienced strategic planners build on their existing knowledge.

Agencies are not mandated to use this framework. However, you are expected to have a structured process for conducting digital and ICT planning, and to apply it effectively across the agency.

Visit Use the digital and ICT strategic planning framework for how to implement and apply this framework.

Framework purpose

The framework has been developed to complement the ICT Resources strategic planning policy (IS2). Its purpose is to highlight the points of integration and provide a broad overview of the important activates that occur at these points of integration. It can be applied at whatever scale is required, from whole-of-agency, to a single business area or line of service delivery.

The Digital and ICT strategic planning framework:

  • addresses how services can be transformed to support future business needs and consumer expectations; and discovers likely benefits, costs and risks
  • creates visions, strategies, roadmaps and plans that link digital investments to business strategies
  • draws on knowledge acquired through enterprise architecture, innovation, digital disruption and co-design processes to find digital approaches to business opportunities and problems
  • includes information management and information sharing activities that support effective delivery of services, and the foundation for future service design activities provides plans that are critical input to the investment governance process. These investment plans provide decision makers with a forecast view of digital investment opportunities including benefits, cost, risks and the incremental transformation of services with sufficient detail to support strategic and tactical investment planning.

It also introduces new planning techniques to define future digital and ICT business opportunities and strengthen the development of digital and ICT strategic plans, investment proposals and associated governance practices.

Framework features

Digital and ICT strategic planning includes agency activities that aim to align strategic and tactical technology needs to business plans and strategic direction. The objective is to identify the digital or ICT direction and investment priorities as well as strengthen effective governance of digital or ICT investment across the agency.


The framework provides a structured approach including guidelines for conducting digital and ICT strategic planning engagements. It’s tool-agnostic and vendor-agnostic, which means it doesn’t force project managers to commit to any one tool. Your project and team needs are the most important priority. You can stop using a tool or vendor if it’s clear there is an opportunity to work with one that is more suitable to accomplish the required project objectives or tasks.


The process of digital and ICT strategic planning is one of capturing, mapping, and analysing a chain of relationships from the business strategy, services and processes down to specific digital or ICT initiatives. These relationships should be traceable in both directions and provides not only a justification for specific initiatives, but a confidence those initiatives being undertaken are of the most benefit to the agency.

Portfolio management and governance

Digital and ICT strategic planning provides inputs to portfolio management and investment governance processes. It includes the decisions about how and when to allocate resources to accomplish the digital transformation of services or the introduction of new technology, or to change existing technology capability. The planning processes take business strategies and consumer expectations as the starting point for defining new digital or ICT business opportunities.

Continuous improvement

Digital and ICT strategic planning is part of a continuous cycle of policy, planning, implementation, evaluation and improvement and is one of the enabling and supporting functions that drive agency performance and the transformation of services.

Although the digital and ICT strategic planning process is continual, a periodic formal pass through the process may be needed to refresh and synchronise the agency’s view of its digital and ICT strategic direction.

Framework benefits

If done well, the digital and ICT strategic planning processes and its outputs can help an agency:

  • improve its alignment of digital capability to business strategies and needs
  • optimise its digital resources and capability to achieve business goals
  • focus its work plan for digital service capability across the agency
  • achieve a common view of how agency and government resources can best be used to achieve business goals and agency outputs using digital capability
  • identify opportunities to promote collaboration on digital and ICT initiatives across the agency
  • measure the success of implementing business as well as digital and ICT strategies
  • improve understanding of how digital and ICT impact on the business of the agency
  • identify areas for cost reduction, risk reduction and leverage opportunities in an agency’s digital or ICT portfolio
  • increase visibility of digital investments and initiatives
  • expand strategic planning capability.

Framework principles

Digital and ICT strategic planning activities should be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined below.


Adopt a co-design approach by actively engaging consumers, customers, staff, service partners, executive decision makers and providers in planning activities.


Establish clear and measurable purpose regarding what the planning engagement should achieve.


Use creative and contemporary planning approaches suitable to the culture of the planning agency to encourage innovation and ensure elevated levels of participation.


Communicate the intent and approach of the planning engagement to stakeholders and provide transparency through co-design and consultation of planning outcomes.


Align the digital strategic direction to the customer’s business and/or organizational strategic service priorities. Be agile, flexible and adaptive when engaging with stakeholders.

Demonstrated integrity

Identify and manage risks that could impact on the achievement of strategic objectives as well as those that may impact the success of the planning engagement.


Operational processes and integrate digital strategic planning techniques into the agency’s strategic planning activities, operational planning activities and service specific planning activities.