Information Planning

Most people (and too many practitioners) fail to consider information systems as a component or variable in organization design. And, while any given system isn't that important, the overall information infrastructure is a critical design consideration. In fact, information is the coin of the realm in today's organizations. Advanced information environments, particularly their data capture and data availability features, allow for significant design flexibility. Not long ago, large organizations built their structures in part around informations flows (typically upward), contributing to the pervasiveness of hierarchies.

So, how does information availability free organization design? The most basic explanation is that information-consuming units don't require 'hard' connections to information-producing units. Such connections commonly are made through the inclusion of each unit in a common process and/or a structural integration (unit A reports to unit B). Instead, the various units that comprise an organization can be arranged in the most effective structure possible, while one or more information systems make the required data available separate from the source activities. Again, this is a simplistic overview, but modern structures, such as network models simply would not be possible without advanced information processing systems.