QGEA Document governance

The Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA) provides a framework and governance for the Queensland Government to define digital and ICT strategic direction, policy and principles, as well as helpful resources.

The QGEA’s governance mechanism helps define a document hierarchy of direction documents and supporting documents that can contain mandatory requirements that must be met by government bodies.

Use the table provided to understand the different document types and their mandatory requirements.

QGEA document typeMandatory or mandatory if specified in a policyNot mandatory
Direction documents
  • Principle
  • Policy
  • Strategic direction
  • Strategy
  • Action plan
Supporting documents
  • Framework
  • Methodology
  • Standard
  • Blueprint
  • Roadmap
  • Guideline
  • Discussion paper
  • Fact sheet
  • Template

Use the table provided to understand the different types of direction documents in detail.

Strategic direction

A document that defines a Strategic direction being taken by the Queensland Government across a broad area (e.g. digital). Endorsement of a Strategic direction indicates an agreed move towards the outcomes outlined in that direction.
There should be only one overarching strategic direction in place at any time for the “broad area”. However, there could be one or more supporting ‘strategies’ (see below) that covers a specific or narrower subject area to provide further depth and clarification for aspects of the strategic direction.


These represent the core beliefs and values of the Queensland Government in relation to the application and management of information and underpinning technologies. Principles influence decisions made about resource and initiative portfolios across the sector. They provide direction in the absence of specific policy.


Strategies are succinct high-level documents created to inform and gain agreement from senior executives on a course of action. This course of action will seek to achieve an agreed future state that represents the best possible outcomes. In many instances, they support or complement an overarching strategic direction.
Unlike broad strategic directions they cover a specific or narrower subject area, e.g. Cyber security strategy.

Action plan

An action plan or implementation plan tactically complements a strategy and details how a strategy will be achieved. Action plans focus on implementation and provide details on objectives, initiatives, and responsibilities.


These documents are clear and specific statements of direction to support achievement of long-term strategies or provide a response to issues. QGEA policies set out a government plan or course of action intended to influence decisions, actions, and other matters relating to a particular purpose.
A QGEA policy contains a set of rules, often called requirements, that are expressed as either an obligation, authorisation, permission or prohibition

Supporting documents are designed to help agencies and initiatives implement strategies and policies. Common supporting documents include frameworks, guidelines, standards, templates, examples and methodologies.

Supporting documents are generally not mandatory. However, some are mandatory if they’re specified in a QGEA policy as a mandated requirement to be met or followed. Use the table provided to understand the different types of supporting documents.


Frameworks set out a basic structure underlying a system or concept in a particular topic area. Generally, a QGEA framework provides the reader with detailed information, consistent approaches, defined best practice processes, and decision-making guidance, e.g. Program and project assurance framework.

This term also refers to the QGEA classification frameworks (also known as reference models or taxonomies, e.g., the Business services classification framework). These types of frameworks provide readers with a common viewpoint on a particular topic area.


A methodology consists of detailed processes, techniques, tools and guidance in a particular topic area. A methodology does not provide solutions but offers a range of best practice approaches that can be applied.

For example, the ICT planning methodology supports agencies with their ICT resource (investment) strategic planning activities and has a range of techniques and tools to help them apply a systematic and consistent approach to collecting and analysing their information, application and technology assets.


These documents set out detailed information in a particular area and tend to be technical in nature. A standard is generally mandated through a QGEA policy and sets out a range of mandatory, recommended elements and guidelines in a particular area, e.g., ICT cabling infrastructure technical standard.


A blueprint translates business requirements into example architectures, patterns, plans, models and designs that help provide reusable input and add value to similar initiatives. While it can include vision and principles to support the architecture, these should not be the main focus of the document, e.g. One William Street – State ICT Architecture Blueprint.


A roadmap is an abstract plan for business, information or technology change, operating across multiple disciplines over multiple years. It provides a graphic visualisation of the potential activities, capabilities and outcomes required to support the agency’s digital or ICT strategic direction and vision. See also Digital and ICT strategic planning framework


A guideline provides information on the recommended practices for a given topic area. Guidelines are for information only and government bodies are not required to comply. They are intended to help government bodies understand the appropriate approach to addressing a particular issue or doing a particular task.

Discussion paper

A discussion paper is not endorsed policy. Instead, it leverages research and current thinking to explore environmental impacts, new trends, new technologies and ideas to help generate discussion across the sector on how the government should respond to those changes. Discussion papers may lead to the development of a policy or other QGEA document.

Fact sheet

Fact sheets are similar to guidelines, but usually provide a much shorter, one-page overview of the key points related to a topic.


Provides a standard structure for certain documents which allows agencies to adopt, use and adapt for their own purposes.

Keywords play an important role in communicating and understanding your obligations, including what is and isn’t mandatory when interpreting QGEA documents.

Use the table provided to understand the keywords used and their meaning in the context of enterprise architecture document governance.

Must The statement is an absolute requirement.
Must not* The statement is an absolute prohibition.
Will The statement is a commitment to a future outcome.
Will not* The statement is a commitment to an absolute prohibition.
Should There may be valid reasons or circumstances to ignore a statement, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.
Should not* There may exist valid reasons or circumstances when a statement is not acceptable or useful, but the full implications should be understood and the case carefully weighed before choosing a difference course.
May This item is optional.

* The use of a prohibition like ‘must not’ is generally discouraged if an alternative is available. This helps us develop statements that demonstrate a positive outcome whenever possible.

Use of keywords across different QGEA documents

It’s important to consider which keyword is the most suitable for the type of document you’re creating. The following table provides a guide, and should be used in conjunction with the definitions listed above.

Must or must not?? ? x x
Will or will notxxx x x
Should or should notx x x

The use of ‘?’ means the use of mandatory terms within these documents will only apply as mandatory if the document in question has also been mandated through a policy, e.g. the ICT cabling policy mandates the use of the ICT cabling standard.

Use of mandatory terms (‘must’ and ‘will’)

The terms ‘Must’ and ‘must not’ are predominantly used in QGEA policy or a document mandated through policy. These keywords should not be used in QGEA guidelines and other non-mandatory QGEA tools.

‘Must’ and ‘must not’ should only be used within non-mandatory documents if these terms are functioning to explain, provide context or reference an existing mandate that must be met (i.e. legislation, regulation, or government policy). For clarity, if you use the word 'must', ensure you include an explicit reference to the required mandate and what document that mandate is found in.

The terms ‘Will’ and ‘will not’ are predominantly used in principle statements where a vision for a future state is being set.

Examples of keywords in QGEA documents

You will find standard statements at the beginning of some QGEA documents to help clarify whether the document is mandatory, not mandatory, or a mixture of both (e.g. a QGEA standard).

The following is an example statement for a non-mandatory QGEA guideline:

This guideline provides information and advice for Queensland Government departments to consider when implementing the policy requirements of the Use of ICT services, facilities and devices policy (IS38). This guideline does not form the mandatory component of IS38 and is for information only. While some information communicates other mandatory obligations which may be relevant in the context of IS38 (e.g. legislation), departments are strongly recommended to further investigate these obligations in light of their own business requirements, and seek legal/expert advice where necessary.

The following is an example statement for a QGEA standard that has both mandatory and non-mandatory elements. Please note that this example also shows where the author has adopted an alternative keyword convention:

A Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA) standard provides information for Queensland Government departments on the mandatory and recommended practices for a given topic area. They are intended to help departments understand the appropriate approach to address a particular issue or to do a particular task. Unlike a guideline, which is best practice advice, a QGEA standard is mandatory. For further information on QGEA document types, go to the QGCIO website. This standard [ICT cabling infrastructure technical standard] provides mandatory requirements, recommended best practice, background information and guidance.

This standard contains normative and informative elements. Normative elements (mandatory requirements) are indicated by the words “shall” or “shall not”. All other elements are informative.

Adopting a different keyword convention

Consistent use of keywords is the preferred approach in the context of the QGEA. However, if you choose to adopt a different keyword convention, for example to align to an internationally recognised standard, then you must provide a keyword mapping to help the reader interpret mandatory vs non-mandatory items.

QGEA consultation

QGEA Document governance provides a mechanism for development, review and consultation on QGEA documents. It uses a defined consultation process of significant collaboration across the public service, using our QGEA Yammer discussion platform to ensure the true impact and risk related to a proposed mandate is considered. The process also defines the roles and responsibilities for approval of various QGEA document types.

We also provide a formalised exception process (government log in required) to accommodate the variations and demands of agency service delivery requirements to ensure flexibility of the process.

Agency sharing

Use the QGEA Digital tools and resources (government log in required) section of the website to share agency specific examples to promote collaboration and reuse across the sector. Documents published in this section do not undergo the QGEA governance process.