Showing posts with label American Management Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Management Association. Show all posts

October 4, 2007

Strategy and Enterprise Architecture

There are many schools of thought when it comes to strategic planning in which the organization develops its strategic plan through the following means:

  • Design – facilitating a fit between the internal capabilities and external possibilities; strategy is prescriptive.
  • Positioning – selecting the competitive positions in the marketplace they desire to occupy (examples include: low cost leader, high quality supplier, niche player, #1 service provider, and so on).
  • Entrepreneurial – grounding it on the leader, who is the visionary guiding the organization forward; there is no formal strategic plan.
  • Cognitive – understanding and responding to how customers and competitors perceive us.
  • Power – Negotiating, persuading, networking, developing alliances, and lobbying; all based on power and politics.
  • Cultural – Deriving organizational shared beliefs and social interactions.
  • Learning – trial and error based on results of strategy implementation.

(Adapted from American Management Association)

In User-centric EA, it is helpful to understand all these approaches to strategic planning. The schools of though are not mutually exclusive, but rather all affect—to a greater or lesser degree—how the EA target and transition plan is formed.

What I believe is fascinating is that planning is only partially about the plan itself (i.e. what the plan actually contains and prescribes), and that much of planning is about the process for developing it.

The process of planning benefits the organization almost as much as the end-product plan itself, since the process is a journey of self-discovery for the organization. In other words, if the plan was just dropped on the organization—without the process of having developed it—it would be of little to no value. The process of planning teaches the organization what it is currently, what challenges and opportunities it faces, and how to adapt, incrementally change, and occasionally transform itself. The planning process is quite involved and often includes aspects from all the schools of thought, including: designing a capabilities-possibilities fit for the organization, positioning it in the marketplace, incorporating the vision of the leader, identifying perceptions of customers and competitors, navigating through organizational politics, realizing a shared organizational culture, and continuous learning through it all.