Conclusions

Conclusions

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2527-3.ch014
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Abstract

This chapter summarises the fact that the four objectives of the research were accomplished, and how the normative model was followed and what results were achieved. The significance and the limitations of the research are reviewed, and future research directions are suggested. The concluding remarks affirm that many of the problems of effectively implementing strategic plans are still current, and that the proposed process reference model and the associated information architecture reference model would alleviate many of the issues. Particular attention is drawn to the use of architectural principles to formulate a solution framework for any problem.
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Introduction

The key proposal was that using architectural principles to develop a solution architecture to manage the investigation and solution of any large problem would be a significant advantage in the ability to deliver and implement an effective solution. The example problem area chosen to demonstrate the use of architectural principles to create a solution architecture was that of strategic planning. This chapter looks at a summary of the research and presenting the most relevant results with a discussion on the significance of those results. There is a quick review of the limitations of the research and then some suggestions as to possibilities for future investigations. Finally there are concluding remarks that sum up the intent and directions of the research and a short discussion on the principles of architecture as a basis for setting the framework of any complex investigation.

The aim of this piece of research was to examine the case for an improvement in the documentation of strategic planning, to develop an information architecture reference model and to determine whether information architecture was an appropriate mechanism to provide the improvement. The research had four objectives designed to complement and support each other in building a solution toward better usability of the documentation as the main research aim.

A reminder as to the four research objectives is as follows:

  • i.

    To get a more up-to-date view of the strategic planning process.

  • ii.

    To identify the Information Elements (IEs) and relations (i.e. the main strategic planning elements) that would be most useful in an organisational strategic plan (OSP).

  • iii.

    To develop a Strategic Planning Reference Model (SPRM) comprising a Process Reference Model (PRM) and using architectural principles develop an Information Architecture Reference Model (IARM) to show how information architecture would present the IEs in a clearer and more succinct way than narrative alone.

  • iv.

    Explain how the documentation resulting from objectives 1, 2 and 3 would support better communication of the OSP and better alignment of the OSP and the Strategic Information Systems Plan (SISP).

The research results from chapter 8 are reviewed and summarised and the conclusions checked against the above objectives to see how well the objectives were achieved. The research is evaluated to allow for a focus on significant highlights and where the potential is for future investigations that could follow on from key elements of the research. Finally there are some concluding remarks on the nature of the problems that were investigated and where the advantage lies in using architectural principles on a much broader basis for project and planning management, in developing a solution architecture to create a focused framework for the solution development and documentation..

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Summary Of Research

Objective four of the research for this thesis uses a normative research approach and is aligned to the suggested phases for normative analysis described by Routio (2004). And re-listed below. The four phases of the normative approach in this research also encompasses successful completion of the above four research objectives.

  • 1.

    Evaluative description of the initial state (defining the need for improvement)

  • 2.

    Analysis of relationships and possibilities to change things

  • 3.

    Synthesis: proposal for improvement

  • 4.

    Evaluation of the proposal.

The first phase of a normative analysis requires an evaluative description of the initial state which is provided in general by research objective one. The work of several authors writing about management and strategic planning were reviewed to get a feel for any consensus in their approach to strategic planning. There were issues derived from this review of the literature which needed clarification and these were dealt with by the surveys of organisations designed to establish what the current status is for strategic planning in organisations.

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