Alumnus Leads Release of New Industry Standard

Owen Ambur, who graduated from Augustana in 1972, was recently recognized for his efforts in the release of AIIM’s newest innovation StratML. Ambur (shown right) served as chair of the committee responsible for the new standard.

AIIM ( is the community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize their information. The AIIM community has grown to over 65,000 professionals from all industries and government, in over 150 unique countries, and within all levels of management including senior executives, line-of-business, and IT.

Below is a press release from AIIM describing StratML and Ambur’s involvement.






AIIM Releases New Industry Standard (StratML)

Supports President Obama's IT Initiative to Address Information Sharing and Strategic Planning

Silver Spring, MD – AIIM, the international authority on Enterprise Content Management announces the release of AIIM 21:2009, Standard Recommended Practice – Strategy Markup Language – Part 1: StratML Core. "Consistent with President Obama's directives on openness, transparency, collaboration, and participation, the StratML standard will enable agencies to use Web 2.0 social networking technologies in support of their missions to engage citizens more efficiently and effectively in pursuit of strategic goals and objectives," said Owen Ambur, AIIM StratML committee chair.

This standard specifies an Extensible Markup Language (XML) vocabulary and schema (XSD) for the elements that are common and considered to be part of the essential core of the strategic plans of all organizations worldwide. Included in the standard are two kinds of elements – the StratML core elements themselves and administrative metadata that provides useful context to the core elements and a sample schema.

StratML will formalize the strategic planning practice that all organizations go through but in an inconsistent manner. The use of this standard will enable information contained in strategic plans to be efficiently shared and analyzed. At the Federal level, StratML will enable citizens to provide feedback on agency strategic plans in a more efficient way than was previously possible.

"StratML will not only enable agencies to comply with the provisions of the eGov Act but also bring together a greater sense of reality to the concept of strategic alignment in organizations of all types, by enabling literal linkages among strategic objectives and the records created in the ongoing business process supporting the objectives" said John F. Mancini, AIIM President. "This standard directly supports the Obama Administration’s initiatives for transparency that is an important step toward more effective content management in the government that can also be implemented in the private sector."

“StratML supports GPO’s core mission of Keeping America Informed by providing a standardized framework in which Federal agencies can develop, plan, share, and report on strategic initiatives. It also supports the Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) and provides transparency to government information through websites like GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). GPO was pleased to work on StratML and serve the public’s needs by increasing the access to, and the usefulness of, Federal information,” states Adam Schwartz, GPO Program Planner.

“X12 is pleased to have collaborated with AIIM in the development of this important standard. Strategic Plans are a critical piece in the planning for B2B standards like those developed by the ASC X12 member community. With a strategic planning process standard in place at the enterprise level, incorporating plans for B2B EDI, XML and data model standards from ASC X12 becomes a natural next step,” said Cathy Sheppard, Chair, Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12.

Leading experts in strategic management participated on the committee representing U.S. Federal Government agencies as well as private sector organizations. Through the development of the standard, the committee with assistance from a number of organizations that provided tools and services to conduct proof-of-concept plans resulting in over 550 strategic plans being converted to StratML.

The AIIM StratML committee is currently working on Part 2 of this standard which deals with performance plans and reports. Anyone interested in participating in the development of Part 2, is encouraged to contact AIIM's Director of Standards, Betsy Fanning at For more information about StratML, please visit

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations and communications strategist.

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