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Strategic architecture is the way that a business comes together from the ground up. This includes such pieces of information as the stakeholders, the mission and the vision of the company. Other important aspects include the plans for operation, the core strategies and the actions needed to accomplish them. Without a strategic architecture, a business is likely to falter because there are only so many resources available to meet goals at any given time. The strategic architecture, created by business experts, provides a long-term view of how the organization will grow, develop and succeed, and it often includes the technology that will support the company throughout the process.
The stakeholders are the people and entities that will profit if the business succeeds or lose money if it fails. This includes the stockholders, executives, business partners and any other group affected by the business. Recognizing the stakeholders ensures that the strategic architecture is focusing on the right people and places when it is being created.
A mission statement should accurately reflect the goals of the company and the stakeholders with whom the company is dealing. The company vision helps align the views of the people who are creating the organization. This helps set up the strategic architecture because it is looking at long-term goals that the company want to achieve. Without a clear vision, there is not a good basis upon which to develop goals, and the vision should reflect the spirit that will help the company succeed.
Plans for operation are an important part of a strategic architecture, because without actual plans, visions and goals are not helpful. This is where the technological and logistical aspects come into the picture. Executives have to determine how best to meet the goals of the organization with the resources that are available. This includes such things as equipment, software and business models.
Determining the core strategies helps a company decide on the main components of the business. These are the places where the organization wishes to excel and beat the competition, and an organization generally has to choose the areas on which it will focus. Actions are needed at this point — meaning realistic and measurable steps that can be taken to meet these goals. This helps take the mission statement and vision and narrow it into a much smaller focus that is reachable. All of these components combine to create a strategic architecture that is clear and manageable.
A business plan is closely related to strategic architecture.
A business plan outlines the company's goals, potential sources of funding and plans for future growth and development.
Many lenders or investors require a business owner to create some type of business plan before they agree to provide financing to start a company or for a specific project.
There are myriad books, software programs and continuing education courses designed to help new business owners create a good plan.