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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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     Indian Health Manual

Part 8, Chapter 3:  Manual Exhibit 8-3-A

Information Resource Management Planning Process



  • Performance Planning
  • Budget Planning
  • Information Resources Management (IRM) Constraints
  • Strategic Business Planning

Results (products)

  • Vision, Mission
  • Goals, Objectives
  • Assumptions, Constraints
  • Programs, Projects



  • Performance Planning
  • Budget Planning
  • Strategic Business Planning
  • IRM Planning

Results (products)

  • List of Information Technology (IT) Projects
  • IRM Goals and Objectives



  • Select
  • Control
  • Evaluate

Results (products)

  • Prioritized IT Portfolio
  • Projected Costs/Return on Investment



  • Performance Planning
  • Budget Formulation
  • IRM Planning
  • Program/Project Planning

Results (products)

  • Approved Budget aligned with programs/projects
  • Refined Projections



  • Plan
  • Do
  • Check
  • Act

Results (products)

  • Actual Execution Data
  • Comparisons to Projections
  • Performance Reports


The Indian Health Service (IHS) Information Resources Management (IRM) planning process represented in the preceding two pages does not suggest a serial set of processes that must be completed prior to proceeding to the next step. Rather, activities may be initiated in any order and concurrently.  Iterative feedback should exist across many of the activities.  Each of the planning phases may exist according to differing life cycles.  For example, strategic planning may be done annually or biannually and may take a few weeks to several months to complete.  Portions of the capital planning process will be performed on a continuous basis.  Operational planning will normally be performed on an annual basis but may be conducted more frequently if conditions demand it.  Project and program execution activities may occur on weekly or monthly cycles.  This process incorporates guidance from the General Service Administration’s planning guide and recent legislative guidance.

During the strategic planning phase, IRM constraints precede strategic business planning because enabling information technology will often constrain the set of possible business strategies.  During the strategic IRM planning phase, strategic business planning precedes IRM planning because the business strategic plan should drive the IRM strategic plan.  The control function in the capital planning phase may include common activities with the Act portion of the project/program execution phase.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “Call for the Five Year Plan” contains specific guidance on the content and structure of IRM strategic plans.  The IRM strategic plan should include the following:

  1. A comprehensive mission statement covering major mission-oriented functions and operations; the IRM vision and goals; the mission-based, targeted IRM environment and information requirements; and the broad results the IHS intends to achieve.
  2. General goals and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives, for improving the contribution of information resources to program productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  3. A description of how the goals and objectives are to be achieved, including the operational processes, skills, and technology; and the human, capital, information, and other resources required to meet these goals and objectives.
  4. A description of how the IRM goals relate to the general performance goals included in the performance plan and mission objectives of the IHS strategic plan.
  5. An identification of key factors external to the IHS and beyond its control that could significantly affect the achievement of the general goals and objectives.  This also should include methods for measuring the progress toward achieving the goals, including a description of the program evaluations used in establishing or revising the general goals and objectives, and a schedule of future program evaluations.
  6. Assignment of clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability for achieving the goals.
  7. Identification of existing and planned IT components (such as information systems and telecommunications networks) and the relationship among the information technology components and the architecture.

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