The Plan is based around the following critical themes of organisational effectiveness: performance, efficiency and innovation, capability, strategic risk and leadership of change. This Plan sets out where the department is, where it needs to get to, and the improvements that the department needs to make to get there.
Departmental Improvement Plans replace Capability Reviews which were first developed in 2005 and refreshed in 2009. The Civil Service Reform Plan, which was published in 2012, stated that the new model would be developed and piloted in 2012-13 before being rolled out across Whitehall. The model is based on ensuring that Plans are: owned by departmental Boards; tailored to meet departmental needs but with core themes (this includes adapting the structure and titles to most useful to the department); linked to departmental operational / business plans; and annually assessed.
DFID participated in the pilot exercise and is therefore one of the first departments to produce a Plan. Once the pilot exercise is complete, the Departmental Improvement Plan model will be revised before it is rolled out across government. All departments are expected to have a published Plan by April 2014, and are available on the Cabinet Office site.