The Department is committed to and focused on how best to utilize the funds it receives from Congress - the tax dollars of American citizens - to produce successful results. To do so, the Department utilizes a five-tiered performance management methodology, as depicted in the pyramid at the bottom of the page. Each of the components of the pyramid are explained below:

Strategic Objectives
These typically represent an organizing layer between the mission statement and the strategic goals, with related strategic goals grouped under a specific strategic objective.

Strategic Goals
These describe the Department's long-term goals as detailed in its Strategic Plan.

Annual Performance Goals
These describe the desired outcomes the Department is planning to achieve during a given year. Achieving all of the annual performance goals would provide the outcomes necessary to reach the strategic goal. The Department has thirty-eight annual performance goals for FY 2004.

Performance Indicators
These are values or characteristics that the Department utilizes to measure progress achieved towards stated annual performance goals. The indicators are drawn from bureaus and mission performance plans.

Performance Targets
These are the expressions of desired performance levels or specific desired results targeted for a given fiscal year. Achievement of targets defines success. Where possible, targets are expressed in quantifiable terms.

Text version of pyramid --
Mission in box above pyramid.
Planning progresses down right side of pyramid from mission, with each of the tiers feeding into that below it: strategic objectives > strategic goals > performance goals > performance indicators > performance targets.
Execution progresses up left side of pyramid toward mission, with each of the tiers feeding into that above it: performance targets > performance indicators > performance goals > strategic goals > strategic objectives.