Building a Framework for the Future
With the new Strategic Framework, AAMVA is prepared to meet the needs of the entire AAMVA membership family.
With a new Strategic Framework guiding AAMVA’s activities for the next five years, AAMVA is positioned to tackle future challenges and build on current progress. Much has happened since AAMVA’s previous Strategic Framework took effect in 2019. Innovations like driverless automobiles and mobile driver’s licenses have evolved from concepts to practical deployments. New technologies have created both opportunities and threats to data security and technology systems. A global pandemic incubated innovation and expedited the deployment of virtual operations so DMVs could keep serving customers. With so many issues impacting AAMVA members, the updated Strategic Framework needed to tackle the issues members were facing today while remaining broad and flexible enough to address the challenges of tomorrow.
Assessing the existing framework
A group of board members worked with AAMVA staff to guide the revision process, which began in the fall of 2020. One of the early conclusions was the recognition that the usual three-year timeline didn’t allow enough time to see if certain strategies were working. “We felt that expanding the timeline to five years would allow AAMVA to be bolder with its long-term plans because there wouldn’t be a need to rush through projects,” says Kristina Boardman, administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles and chair of AAMVA’s International Board of Directors, who served as Chair of the Strategic Framework Committee.
They also discovered the opportunity to improve the language. Priorities and goals could be more clearly defined and better measurements could gauge whether target outcomes were achieved. “The existing framework, for instance, suggested a need for better member involvement, but there was no explanation of what was meant by that,” recalls Spencer Moore, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Driver Services and a member of the group.
The survey says…
As part of the update process, AAMVA conducted a membership assessment. Working with the same survey provider that conducted the last comprehensive membership survey 10 years ago enabled them to compare satisfaction levels. While feedback showed that member satisfaction remained high, there were still areas for improvement. For example, how AAMVA could be nimble to respond to industry developments, such as paperless transactions and automated vehicles.
Boardman says the survey also revealed members’ concerns about workplace issues within their organizations, such as employee engagement, recruitment, retention and communication. Technology management and data security were also key concerns, especially as they related to customers’ personal information.
With the survey and analysis complete, an updated framework was drafted and ultimately approved by the Board of Directors in August 2022.
The 2023-2027 Strategic Framework retains the existing four key priorities: member-driven solutions, culture of excellence, technology management and fiscal integrity. Each priority contains several goals and targeted outcomes, each with clearly defined measurements.
Member-driven solutions – Innovative, high value and timely solutions that support members’ evolving business needs
Culture of excellence – Boards, committees and staff who are diverse, engaged and motivated
Technology management – Secure, reliable and relevant systems
Fiscal integrity – Sustainable, transparent and compliant financial practices
What’s different about the new framework?
The biggest difference with the new framework is the expanded timeline from three years to five, and the expanded focus on technology. “Three years was a quick turnaround, and it didn’t give us time to measure results of some strategies, like the effectiveness of tech enhancements,” Moore says.
The updated framework expands the area of technology management in response to members’ interests in IT systems and data security. Moore says Georgia, like many jurisdictions, relies on AAMVA’s technology platform to perform many of its operations. “We expect reliable and compliant systems that help us provide services to our citizens. We need to keep those systems operating without interruption,” Moore says.
With so much focus on technology, it was important to prioritize increased engagement with the IT community, Boardman says.
“Engaging with the IT community helps us connect with IT leaders and facilitates the learning and sharing of new and emerging technologies,” Boardman says. “That will assist the Board as it explores solutions that best support the changing needs of jurisdictions’ operations.”
Another difference was the addition of an addendum report, which Boardman says contains ideas and suggestions that came out of the group’s numerous discussions but didn’t fit into the strategic framework. “We didn’t want to lose those ideas,” Boardman recalls. “We wanted to keep them for future reference, even if we decided in the end not to use them.”
How the framework will be used
The framework serves as an important reference tool for both staff and the Board. AAMVA will continue to review the goals and outcomes of the Strategic Framework and evaluate the organization’s performance through member assessment surveys. The findings will be reported to the Board at the end of every year.
“We’ll compare the framework with operational reports to make sure they are aligned,” Boardman says. “It will give us a blueprint for what we need to do next.”
Expect a few minor tweaks along the way as new innovations and technologies enter the industry. “Technology moves quickly, so we tried to keep the plan broad enough to allow for future developments,” Boardman says.
The Board believes that the updated framework is a strong, living document that will carry the organization forward. “The AAMVA community can look at this framework as a model of what organizations can accomplish to make themselves accountable to their members and customers,” says Moore.
To find out more about the Strategic Framework, visit AAMVA’s website at tinyurl.com/4bzuvw88.