Four levels of planning at ACU

The new Strategic Plan seeks to simplify planning processes by introducing four planning levels.


The ACU Strategic Plan is the university’s highest-level plan and is approved by the ACU Senate.


The integrative level of planning cuts across the entire university and provides a platform for cross-portfolio engagement, innovation and integrative activities. The integrative layer contains enabling frameworks and aims to connect operational and strategic endeavours.


Plans which define the practical implementation of mission, vision, focus and strategic priorities are referred to as operational plans, as they put strategy into practice. There are several types of operational plans including portfolio, faculty, directorate, institute and campus plans.


The final level of planning is at the individual level. It is essential all ACU staff have clear expectations about how their actions support the university’s mission, vision, focus and priorities.

Key accountabilities

Accountabilities for executing the strategic priorities listed in the ACU Strategic Plan are listed in the Accountability Matrix. Many of these accountabilities are shared, with a lead portfolio for each accountability identified in the matrix.

Operational plans

Portfolio plans

Portfolio plans position and communicate the principal strategies and priorities that each portfolio area will undertake between 2020 and 2023. They respond to all elements of the Strategic Plan and provide an important link to the faculty, institute and directorate plans. Portfolio plans are reviewed annually to ensure currency and alignment with the strategic direction of the university.

Faculty, institute and directorate plans

Faculty, institute and directorate plans detail the projects and activities to be undertaken by each faculty, institute and directorate. These plans vary in content, with individual strategies and targets/milestones responding directly to the portfolio plans.

Individual plans

Individual plans are part of the university’s annual progress process for staff. Individual progress plans cascade objectives from the operational plan (eg portfolio, faculty, institute or directorate).

Measuring our progress

Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are specific statements about the level of performance or a milestone that is to be achieved. They are included within a supplementary document and are reviewed annually to reflect the changing internal and external environment. The high-level KPIs and targets do not measure all the university’s activities. Further breakdowns and/or additional measures are identified within the portfolio, faculty, institute and directorate plans.

To download a copy of the ACU Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023 KPIs click here.

Key results

Key results are progressive outcomes that are required or underpin the achievement of a strategic priority or KPI. For example, a specific program of work must be effectively implemented to achieve a strategic priority. Hence, a key result may be a demonstration of the success of the program, with a logical connection to the Strategic Plan.


Alignment with ACU risk management

  • Planning systems and templates align with ACU risk management policy and procedures to ensure enterprise-wide risk management is effectively supported.
  • Risks that threaten or provide opportunities relating to ACU’s strategic priorities are identified and managed with risk mitigation strategies listed in the CARM system and operational plans.

Alignment with ACU project management

Planning systems and templates align with the ACU Project Management Policy and Procedures to ensure that strategic projects and project prioritisation align with strategic priorities, operational plans and strategy execution.

Strategy execution resources

To access resources relating to the Strategy Execution Framework please visit the OPSM Sharepoint site.

Contact us

Get in touch with the Office of Planning and Strategic Management team if you have any questions.

Dr Omer Yezdani
Director, Planning and Strategic Management
Email Dr Omer Yezdani
+61 2 9739 2896

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