A Structure for Strategic Planning Information

A Structure for Strategic Planning Information

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2527-3.ch011


This chapter looks more closely at the key information thought necessary for strategic planning, to see how best to organise it for clarity and to convey essential information about the relationship between components. There is first an argument to support the development of a reference model to structure the essential information and then a reminder of the information components that have been selected to represent the strategic plan. There are finally some early models from the literature that have been used to convey pieces of the information.
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Need For An Information Architecture Reference Model (Iarm)

A number of the points identified in the list of problems with planning and many of the factors affecting the success of planning are to do with the format and content of the strategic plan. To address these issues, the major factors contributing to planning success and failure are brought together in a proposed reference model using an architectural format for the presentation of the strategic planning information elements.

A model can help to record information in a structured way and to communicate the information to other people: “A model is a representation of an important aspect of the real world. Sometimes the term abstraction is used because we abstract (separate out) an aspect of particular importance to us” (Satzinger et al., 2004, p. 45). This separating out of aspects of particular importance is the primary aim behind modeling the information architecture: to identify and highlight the key information elements of the business strategic direction.

The purpose behind modeling is to help in the design of something, in this case, the design of the strategic plan to achieve the required business objectives. The process of creating the model helps the planner clarify and refine the design by raising questions and having to answer them in order to finalise the model. Refining the model is usually done in conjunction with other members of the planning team; the model acting as a communication tool and assisting the dialogue (Satzinger et al., 2004). This would not be feasible if, instead of a model, there was a large volume of complex and detailed documentation acting as the communication tool that was being discussed and developed with frequent reviews and revisions. A model can reduce the complexity of what is being reviewed and serves “a critical role in supporting communication among project team members and with system users” (Satzinger et al., 2004, p. 155).

This author proposes that the information architecture (IA) be split clearly from the data architecture giving requisite importance and differentiation between information and data. There should also be separate focus issues for the IA depending on the needs of the specific situation that needs defining.

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