Strategic Components Diagram
Framing a document in support of a strategic vision is daunting enough without getting caught up in terminology. Words like “strategy”, “framework, “road map”, “action plan” and “strategic framework” are frequently treated as synonyms or are used without clear distinction. Furthermore, a deliverable can in many cases be proposed as one sort of document or another before any consideration has been given to its exact scope, or to the desired outcome of the initiative as a whole.
Ensuring that there is consensus as to what type of document you are producing will not only significantly help frame the document at its inception, it can be the foundation on which the entire “value add” of your piece depends. Standard definitions that are accepted and understood by all stakeholders at the outset of a project will significantly reduce confusion later on when clarity on expected objectives and outcomes often become the key to success.
The following “Strategic Components” diagram might help delineate where and how you choose to frame the scope of your piece:
Be creative about your own terminology and customize it to the particular needs of the project. Ask the stakeholders where they expect to be at the end of the initiative – to be ready to start their planning or to have the planning already conducted? In any case, make sure that your standards are clear, consistent and logical. You will have a much stronger sense of direction if you nail down your terminology as early as possible.
Be your own authority in this regard. Remember: there is a distinction between overtly setting clear and consistent work standards and just “making stuff up” out of the blue or assuming everybody “gets it”. Experience, deep thinking and confidence in your own approach and clarity as to terminology is not only acceptable to your stakeholders and vital to the success of your project – it can be downright impressive!
Jason Abdelhadi is an information management professional who has had experience doing IM work for both the federal government and in charitable organizations. He has worked on a variety of IM initiatives including enterprise information architecture, GCDOCS and EDRMS implementations, IRBV identification as well as user experience design and testing. Jason has a multifaceted educational background that speaks to interests in information technology, library and information science and the humanities.