Using the IA Reference Model

Using the IA Reference Model

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2527-3.ch013


In order to validate the information architecture reference model (IARM) it is used here to try and represent the same information as that was presented in a segment of a university published plan. There are problems of terminology, so there is first a comparison of terms to formulate a sort of equivalence. The segment of the plan is then remapped into the format suggested by the IARM, and a discussion draws on the significant information found to have been omitted. To strengthen the message of about the significance of what is omitted an example is drawn up of what that segment of the plan might have looked like.
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Using The Iarm For A Published Strategic Plan

The academic planning levels for the University organisation could be said to be the University Senate and University Executive meetings at the highest level, then the Faculty level and then the Schools that make up the Faculty. There is also a parallel planning structure with the various committees throughout the University that were identified in the University planning review process in the section on ‘Analysis of a Well Publicised Strategic Plan’. At the University level there are a number of major activity themes e.g. Administration, Research etc., however, for the purposes of this research, only the Teaching and Learning theme which was representative of the whole has been analysed in detail.

The University strategic plan contained the following documents related to the area for analysis:

  • L1. University Strategic Plan 2005-2007. The level one of the planning documentation

  • L2. The Learning & Teaching Strategic Plan 2005-2007. Level two of the documentation.

  • L3. Faculty Direction and Resource Plan for 2006. Level three of the documentation

The three plans examined will be known collectively in the succeeding discussion as the University strategic planning documentation (USPD).

There is insufficient information available in the published University strategic planning documentation (USPD) to be able to compare the planning process used against the process reference model. So comparison will be restricted to examining the information elements and structure detailed in the published strategic plan. To test the usefulness of the IARM for strategic information architecture, it is desired to transfer the information elements from the University strategic plans to create a University strategic planning model. This model will then be examined to test the claim that the IARM can increase the quality and usability of the strategic planning documentation.

As a reminder, a summary of the IEs listed in chapter 12 for each focus area are as follows:

  • The objectives and the target (goal).

  • For each objective determine the CSFs and the target values.

  • For each CSF determine the KPIs that will demonstrate progress.

  • For each information element - the rationale.

  • For more than one CSF, the degree of contribution of each CSF to the objective.

  • Action plans to achieve the CSF or the goal of the objective.

  • For each KPI the data sources should be nominated.

  • For more than one KPI associated with a CSF then show the degree of association.

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