Document hierarchy

The Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA) provides a consistent governing framework for issuing government ICT direction and supporting advice.

QGEA direction

The QGEA provides a framework for the Queensland Government to define ICT strategic direction, policy and other requirements. These mandatory documents provide direction for agencies to achieve the government’s priorities for Queenslanders.

The following table provides a definition of these mandatory document types:

Strategic direction

A document that defines a strategic direction being taken by the Queensland Government across a broad area (e.g. Digital). Endorsement of a Strategic Direction indicates an agreed move towards the stated direction. There should be only one overarching strategic direction in place at any time for the “broad area”.  However, there could be one or more supporting ‘strategy’ (see next) that will cover a specific or narrower subject area to provide further depth and clarification for aspects of the Strategic Direction. Click here to discover the current Queensland Government Strategic Direction/s.


These represent the core beliefs and values of the Queensland Government in relation to the application and management of information and underpinning technologies. They influence decisions made about resource and initiative portfolios across the sector. They provide direction in the absence of specific policy.


Strategies are  succinct high-level documents intended to gain agreement from senior executives to a course of action. The course of action will seek to achieve an agreed desired future state. In many instances, they support or complement an overarching strategic direction. They differ from broad strategic direction in that they will cover a specific or narrower subject area.  E.g. Cyber Security Strategy.

Action plan

An action plan or implementation plan tactically complements a strategy and details how a strategy will be achieved. Action plans focus on implementation and set out information about objectives, initiatives, and responsibilities.


These documents are clear and specific statements of direction which support achievement of long term strategies or provide a response to issues. QGEA policies set out a government plan or course of action intended to influence decisions, actions, and other matters relating to a particular purpose. A QGEA policy contains a set of rules (requirements) expressed as either an obligation, authorisation, permission or prohibition.

QGEA policies and information standards are equivalent in their function. Information standards will be phased out over time and replaced, where applicable, with QGEA policies.

QGEA support

Generally, QGEA supporting documents are non-mandatory. These documents are designed to assist agencies and initiatives in the implementation of strategies and policies. Common support documents include frameworks, guidelines, templates, examples and methodologies.

Some QGEA supporting documents will be mandatory if they are specified in a QGEA policy as required to be followed. For example, the Client identity management policy mandates the use of the Client identity management standard when creating new services that require client registration and/or client identification. Frameworks, positions, methodologies and standards are the most common types of QGEA supporting documents that may be mandated through a QGEA policy.

The following table provides a definition of these document types:


A document that sets out a basic structure underlying a system or concept in a particular topic area. Generally, a QGEA framework provides the reader with detailed information, consistent approaches, defined best practice processes, and decision making guidance, e.g. ‘ICT program and project assurance framework’, ICT as-a-service decision framework, Network transmission security assurance framework (NTSAF).
This term can also be used when referring to the QGEA classification frameworks (also commonly known as reference models or taxonomies). These types of frameworks provide readers with a common view point of a particular topic area.


Usually consists of detailed processes, techniques, tools and guidance in a particular topic area.  A methodology does not provide solutions, but offers a range of best practice approaches that can be applied. For example the Queensland Government ICT planning methodology assists agencies in undertaking ICT resources (investment) strategic planning activities and has a range of techniques and tools to help agencies apply a systematic and consistent approach to collecting and analysing their information, application and technology assets.


Sets out detailed information in a particular area and tend to be technical in nature. Standards are generally mandated through a QGEA policy and set out a range of mandatory, recommended elements and guidelines in a particular area, e.g. ICT cabling infrastructure technical standard.


Translates business requirements into example architectures, patterns, plans, models and designs which are intended to provide reusable and value adding input to similar initiatives.   While it can include vision and principles to support the architecture, these should not be the main focus of the document, e.g. One William Street – State ICT Architecture Blueprint.


A roadmap is an abstract plan for business, information or technology change, operating across multiple disciplines over multiple years. It provides a graphic visualisation of the potential activities, capabilities and outcomes required to support the agency’s digital or ICT strategic direction and vision. See also Digital and ICT strategic planning framework


A guideline provides information on the recommended practices for a given topic area. Guidelines are for information only and government bodies are not required to comply. They are intended to help government bodies understand the appropriate approach to addressing a particular issue or doing a particular task.

Discussion paper

A discussion paper is not endorsed policy, it instead leverages research and current thinking to explore environmental impacts, new trends, new technologies and ideas to help generate discussion across the sector on how the government should respond to such changes.  Discussion papers may lead to the development of a policy or other QGEA document.

Fact sheet

Similar to a guideline, but usually shorter in terms on content and length.


Provides a standard structure for certain documents which allows agencies to adopt, use and adapt for their own purposes.

Keywords in the QGEA

Keywords play an important role in communicating and understanding your obligations, including what’s mandatory (and what isn’t) when interpreting documents in the QGEA.

Our Use of keywords page provides information on the correct use of keywords.

QGEA governance

QGEA governance provides a mechanism for developing, reviewing and consulting on the QGEA documents. It uses a defined consultation process (Queensland Government employees only) which includes significant collaboration across the sector, using our Discussion platform, to ensure that the true impact and risks of creating (or not creating) a mandate is considered. The process also defines the roles and responsibilities for approval of the various QGEA document types.

formalised exception process (Queensland Government employees only) also exists to accommodate the variations and demands of agency service delivery requirements to ensure flexibility of the process.

Knowledge base

The knowledge base (Queensland Government employees only) is also available to share agency specific examples to promote collaboration and reuse across the sector. Documents published in the knowledge base do not undergo the QGEA governance process.

Applicability of the QGEA

Click here for information on the applicability of the QGEA.

Last Reviewed: 11 December 2019