A Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning

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Information Systems Steering Committee. Custom versus Packaged Business Applications. Information Systems and Business Goals. Vendor Review and Implementation Team. Conceptual Information Systems Plan and Vision. Detailed Information Systems Recommendation. Understanding the Business Direction. Document Highlevel Business Direction. Summarize and Present the Business Direction. Determining the High level Direction of Information Systems. The business applications simply could not keep pace with the changes in the business.

Management initiated the strategic planning process to determine the cause of the problems, to link IS closer to the business direction, and to determine the proper solution. The manufacturing division was not directly involved in the selection of the software and felt the package would probably not be the best fit for the unique business requirements of the division.

Divisional executive management initiated the IS strategic planning process to determine the best solution rather than simply following the desired corporate direction. This company began the IS strategic planning process to prioritize the projects and align the IS priorities with the business priorities. The IS department also wanted to determine if it should continue to build upon and invest in the current systems or start over with a new set of business applications. Executive management initiated the IS strategic planning process to determine ways to reduce costs and gain efficiencies.

Management wanted to evaluate the possibility of leveraging or consolidating multiple data centers and differing business applications to reduce costs while still meeting the business needs. Previously, the company functioned on a geographic basis from both a business accountability standpoint as well as having unique IS in each geographic area. Management began the IS planning process to determine how to bring the information together so that it could manage the new worldwide business. After many years, the firm had high IS costs, redundant systems, and systems that were very slow and costly to change.

A Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning, Second Edition - PDF Free Download

It initiated the strategic planning process to obtain a complete inventory and understand its current environment. The company used the planning process to identify redundant systems, identify opportunities to reduce its total cost of ownership, and identify opportunities to improve its ability to respond to business changes in a timely manner. There is more value and benefit in the strategic planning function than many other IS responsibilities, as shown in Figure 1. The benefits of IS strategic plans include: However, business management may view IS as a necessary evil rather than as a critical business function.

Many times this is because business management does not understand the function and there is a lack of communication. IS may be slow to change, hampering the business, or out of line with the business direction. If this is happening in an organization, it may even be difficult for the IS department to schedule time with executive management for a presentation.

Why should management take the time to understand IS if it is not in touch with the business? Management may not even realize the potential benefits and opportunities that IS can offer to help meet business objectives. For any company, IS are an expensive asset. If the company invested the same amount of money in a building, each member of management would know the location, age, and purpose of the building. Many companies spend more money on their IS, yet business management may not know as much about their systems as they do about their building!

Similarly, a manufacturing company always knows the unit cost of the products manufactured and the drivers of the costs, and understands how to manage the costs. Does management know how much money the company is spending on IS? IS alignment with the business is critical as it increases the value of IS. Technology is an increasingly important tool for a competitive advantage in the market Businesses must use and choose technology wisely. IS can impact the bottom line.

Increased IS demands increase the importance of aligned priorities. Do they know the cost per e-mail, the cost per help desk call, and the cost per server? Do managers know the level of service quality and responsiveness that IS delivers?


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Do they know how to manage IS costs through demand planning, capacity and resource planning, and monitoring as they would any other asset? Management must have a clear understanding of the IS environment to manage this asset as effectively as it would any other business asset. Budget pressures are common in many companies. Continually doing more with less money is a common challenge faced by IS management. However, as the IS budget is squeezed, the business appetite for new technology and improved business processes increases, as shown in Figure 1. The IS planning process is a tool to balance these conflicting forces.

Through the planning process, the organization can proactively balance conflicting forces and manage the direction of IS rather than continually building upon the current IS investment in a reactionary mode. As a result, IS will be in a position to support the growing requirements and strategic direction of the business in the most cost-effective manner. Improving Communication and the Relationship between the Business and IS Organization Following this IS planning process will significantly improve communication between business management and the IS department.

The mutual understanding that business management and IS will gain working through this process will help establish a solid direction for IS that is in alignment with the business goals, and it will assist in the approval process necessary to get the new direction sold throughout the organization. By improving communication and aligning IS, the environment can significantly improve so that the business perceives IS as a critical component to achieving company objectives. Aligning the IS Direction and Priorities to the Business Direction and Priorities Over the past few years, companies have felt increasing pressure to improve efficiency and effectiveness, decrease costs, and enhance competitive position.

Companies can attain these goals through aligning the IS direction with the business direction. Although much is written about aligning IS with the business, companies still struggle to achieve effective alignment. In fact, in many surveys, alignment is often cited as the top management concern. How do you achieve alignment? When all IS activities provide optimal support for the business goals, objectives, and strategies, then IS and the business are in alignment. True alignment implies that the IS strategy and the business strategy are developed concurrently rather than sequentially so that technology enables the business strategy.

It is important to embed the IS strategy within the business strategy, rather than developing it as an afterthought. As shown in Figure 1. All of the IS components should have the same objectives and direction as the business. It is easy to identify organizations that have not achieved alignment. Symptoms of poor alignment include: In organizations where IS align with the business, different business strategies result in unique IS strategies and priorities, as shown by the examples in Figure 1.

With alignment, IS can strengthen the business value proposition. Each of these value propositions results in very different IS focus and priorities, as outlined below. Companies with this strategy provide best price and overall value through standardized and automated processes. They focus on high quality, easy and quick customer service, quick delivery and purchasing, and products with limited choices.

IS projects that receive high priority in this environment include cost reductions, business process improvements, financial analysis and reporting systems, quality systems, supplier performance delivery systems, logistics systems, mobile technology, and automation of the supply chain. A strong enterprise requirements planning ERP system is important to facilitate operational efficiency, including a strong forecasting and production planning system, to ensure that manufacturing meets and does not exceed demands.

Customer service applications may also be important for efficiency. In these companies, IS organizations are often centralized to control costs and take advantage of specialized technical skills. IS processes need to be efficient, with focus on the operational processes such as problem management, change management, software distribution, performance, and availability management. IS metrics important in this environment are availability, reliability, and costs. An operationally excellent environment is depicted in Figure 1. Customer Intimacy A customer-intimate company supplies the best total solution for the customer, builds a strong relationship with the customer, and provides custom solutions at a reasonable cost.

The business strategy focuses on customer satisfaction and customer needs. Similarly, the IS strategy should focus on both customer and business satisfaction and provide technology to improve the customer relationship. Flexible business applications must accommodate individual customer needs. A strong Internet site, support for customer surveys, and obtaining and acting on customer input is important.

The business analyst role is a key IS role in this company. The IS organization in this type of company is typically more decentralized and organized by customer segment, in alignment with the organization. IS processes that are important include service-level management, external and internal customer satisfaction management, business analysis, and understanding requirements.

Product Leadership A product leader continually improves products and product offerings. Creativity, research and development, efficient engineering, and time to market are critical. The business strategy is future driven and focused on solving problems and anticipating customer needs. The culture is usually flexible, decisive, and used to taking risks. The IS strategy would include flexibility, providing technology that enables cooperation and creativity, and supporting product management.

Knowledge management, conferencing, and product life cycle management PLM would be useful. Important IS processes include the systems development process to be able to implement new products and projects quickly. Through the planning process, IS can be a part of the solution to business challenges and can significantly assist the business.

IS can work in partnership with the business, with the business actually having ownership in the direction of IS. With the proper infrastructure, tools, and technology in place, IS can be responsive and proactive to changing business requirements. Carr created quite a controversy in both IS and business circles. Carr compares corporate computing to electrical generation or the steam engine: Discussions and arguments continue to ensue as to whether IS can provide a company with a competitive advantage.

Although I agree with Carr that the technical infrastructure portion of IS may have become a commodity, technical infrastructure is not the critical point of the discussion. How a company uses technology i. To ensure IS provides a competitive advantage, a robust planning process is required in which the IS department is a true business partner and identifies business opportunities using technology. Today, technology is integrated into every aspect of a business, business processes, and business interfaces.

To obtain value and a competitive advantage, IS must partner with the business so they are one. Projects are not IS projects, but business projects. Technology by itself does not provide a competitive advantage, but redefining or aligning with the business strategy and optimizing business processes with the use of technology can provide a competitive advantage. As eloquently stated by Jim Collins in Good to Great, technology does not drive success, but it is an accelerator, or key enabler, of business success. To identify opportunities to utilize technology for a competitive advantage, it is important to understand the business strategy, because the technical opportunities are different depending on the business strategy.

For example, an operationally excellent company achieves a competitive advantage by using technology to cut costs from its processes, improving profit margins, and allowing the company to reduce prices. Product leadership companies could use technology that accelerates the development cycle for a competitive advantage.

IS are a very important lever that businesses can use to affect their profitability. IS can be used to improve business processes. Planning the Flow of Information and Processes Information is a valuable resource, and it is important to maximize its value for the corporation. When systems grow haphazardly over time, islands of information can develop, resulting in additional labor to maintain the disparate systems. To improve the process flow, it is important to expand the IS planning process to look externally at the customer and all stakeholders that use the technology.

The planning process will obtain input from all stakeholders, including customers, vendors, and partners. For each stakeholder, a company must identify and improve the process used to become aware of the business, engage in business, and complete business. Then, the company should review each step in its process to identify opportunities for technology to improve the process. Finally, a company should design systems and business processes so it is easy to do business with from the external customer perspective.

Efficiently and Effectively Allocating Information Systems Resources In many businesses, IS allocates resources based on how much political influence different requestors have in the company, or even which executives become most vocal or angry when disappointed. Instead, the focus must be to develop systems that provide the largest business benefit and provide a competitive advantage. Planning will direct the effective allocation of IS resources and minimize the costs of redesign, rework, or correction of errors.

The IS department must manage both tangible and intangible resources, design flexibility and sourcing skills into the plans, and become businessfocused consultants who help the company optimize all resources, not just computing resources. IS must utilize both computing and human resources to obtain the most value for the corporation. Typically, organizations will follow the steps outlined in Figure 1. Without proper planning, several steps of the traditional life cycle are inefficient and waste significant time and money.

The vendor review and selection process takes a long time because it may be unclear exactly what the company is looking for, what is important, or what problems the company is trying to solve. The company may utilize manual methods of developing requirements and reviewing vendor packages on the market. Trying to make an incorrectly chosen package fit the business results in more effort expended in the maintenance years.

Adding time to the beginning of the process for strategic planning will significantly reduce the amount of time spent in vendor review, selection, and project approval. An automated vendor review process, tool, or methodology to identify the business objectives and issues will save a considerable amount of time and effort.

The strategic planning step will also obtain management support throughout all levels of the organization, which significantly accelerates the approval process. Careful planning and prioritizing of the implementation can reduce the implementation time. Understanding and identifying the scope of business process reengineering can significantly improve the implementation time and success of the project.

A post implementation audit and check against the strategic plan will align priorities for critical enhancements. Overall time expended on the process is significantly less, as depicted by Figure 1.

The purpose of the planning process is to help the IS organization determine how to add optimum value to the company. How an IS organization adds value can be drastically different depending on the corporate or business unit strategies. A complex or large organization needs to consider the business direction and strategy of the corporation as well as the business unit strategy in its IS planning.

For example, the corporation may have a stated strategy of synergy or a strategy of portfolio management. In a corporate environment of synergy, an IS planning process may be more closely aligned and bring business units together. The business units may even choose to leverage common systems across business units, where possible.

A corporate environment of portfolio management would tend to drive the IS direction to be autonomous so that the business could be sold if necessary. Leveraging and sharing IS applications in a portfolio-managed company may not be easy or even encouraged. The business unit division, company strategy could be one of differentiation, focus, or overall cost leadership. Again, each of these business unit strategies would have very different IS approaches. If a business unit has a strategy of differentiation, it will be important to utilize IS to provide the company with a competitive advantage.

Utilizing new technologies to beat competitors to the market with added service or functionality is important. This approach would be drastically different from an environment of overall cost leadership, where cost containment is the number one goal. Developing an IS strategic plan in a large corporate environment with multiple divisions or business units adds a level of complexity to consider before developing the approach and schedule for the IS planning process.

Often, the planning effort may be constrained by politics, level of maturity, time, budget, or size of the various organizations involved. There are several different approaches to IS strategic planning in a large corporate environment with multiple divisions: This is where the corporate unit completes the initial plan, establishes the areas of leverage, and recommends standards across business units. This planning approach works best in a company with a strong corporate entity with more autocratic power over the operating units.

In this approach, the business units complete their strategic plans first. The corporate entity then completes its plan by identifying areas common across the business units. This planning approach works best in a company with autonomous divisions. This is where the business unit plan is done jointly with a corporate entity, or initial high-level guidelines are developed as the basis for the business unit plans. The IS planning approach should mirror the business planning approach.

If the business planning approach is more central, so should the IS planning approach be centralized. The remainder of this book assumes a business unit plan, but the same principles and philosophies would apply to a corporate plan. The plan can improve the management of the IS asset, improve communication between the business and IS department, align the IS direction with the business, provide business opportunities and increase the value to the business, and plan the flow of information and processes.

A plan can also result in the proper allocation of resources and reduce the cost of the life cycle of systems. A company should think through what it hopes to accomplish with its strategic planning project. Chapter 2 IS Governance God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Governance provides a decision-making and accountability framework for effective management of IS. There may be many components to IS governance, but the basic purpose of governance is to identify what decisions will be made, and by whom, and to define how activities will be monitored against the plan. The IS strategic plan is a very important component to effective governance.

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Conversely, a good IS strategic plan will include a clearly documented process for IS governance. Governance ensures that IS delivers value to the business and that risks are sufficiently managed. Decisions may include areas such as the overall budget and allocation of resources; infrastructure; business applications, standards, policies, and priorities, IS guiding principles, and the IS strategic plan.

Most often, the decisions are about time schedule , money budget , staffing levels, and allocations. However, other decisions also require governance, such as standards, policies, and desired behavior. The bottom line is that governance describes the process through which a company makes decisions. A variety of individuals or groups may be involved in these decisions and processes, such as an IS steering committee, executive management, board of directors, the CIO, IS management, business line management, or business liaisons.

A Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning

Although these groups or individuals may be slightly different from organization to organization, this chapter discusses the general roles and responsibilities of each relative to the IS planning process. Activities may be monitored through various established IS processes, such as the budgeting process, project request process, project prioritization process, change management process, systems development process, and service-level management process. It is through effective governance that strategic planning becomes a process rather than a singular event.

Governance ensures effective and efficient implementation of the strategic plan. IS management and processes deal with present issues of IS, and governance deals with future issues. Importance of Governance Governance is a common principle used to manage other company assets. For example, for human assets, or employees, governance may include Table 2. Similarly, IS is a critical asset for a company and requires a set of committees or individuals and processes to manage the various aspects.

If done properly, effective governance improves the efficiency of IS and simplifies life for the CIO as the function operates more smoothly on a day-to-day basis. If an organization is fighting about priorities, is slow in decision making, hears complaints about IS, feels that IS does not add value, or experiences disappointing returns on IS investments, there are probably opportunities to improve governance.

Without governance, decision making may be slow and inconsistent because no one is sure who is responsible for the decision. In fact, IS governance issues are at the core of many reasons companies experience frustrations with their IS function. Some companies choose to outsource the IS function to relieve the frustrations.

However, outsourcing requires even stronger governance and can actually make the problems more evident. Good, defined, and clear governance contributes to the success of the IS organization and the company as a whole. Ross , reviewed IT governance in over companies worldwide. Through effective governance, a company can orchestrate its resources to execute a plan. Without clear and effective governance, a company will squander its efforts on a random assortment of unfocused actions.

Individual strategies and projects may seem to make sense, but taken all together, they may not move the organization toward the overall strategic vision. Governance will manage the resources and initiatives at a crossfunctional level. Governance provides a systematic approach for reviewing, evaluating, prioritizing, sequencing, communicating, and managing initiatives so the entire organization stays focused. Clear IS governance is especially important because technology has become pervasive in companies.

It is easy for any employee to go to his or her local technology store and purchase software or hardware to install. Governance makes the standardization possible and encourages desired behaviors. Governance is also critical because IS are expensive and limited by budgets. Any company has a limited bandwidth of resources and must manage how those resources are spent.

More technologies and options are available today than ever in the past, and opportunities to utilize technology abound. Governance helps a company evaluate the opportunities and align projects with the business direction. Governance ensures that projects adding the most value to the business will be the projects initiated, therefore improving the ultimate value from IS. As business changes occur on a continuous basis, governance ensures that the IS plan and priorities change with the business. Clear, defined governance improves the relationship between the business and the IS organization, because there is structure and definition to the relationship.

Regular and consistent processes improve communication. Clear decision making and governance helps build trust; everyone understands how decisions are made. Governance provides opportunities for IS and the CIO to consistently build credibility and trust with business management. Through governance, the IS organization can continually communicate how it is contributing business value. With proper governance, companies can transform into true business partners enabling new business opportunities. Approaches to Governance The following are examples of governance approaches that often occur without an intentional design: In this autocratic environment, the IS department makes all the decisions and keeps tight control over IS tools and assets.

The business is often dissatisfied because it is not driving IS decisions. People have the power: This environment can be extremely wasteful and expensive, but the cost may not be visible — it may be hidden within individual department budgets. In this environment, everything is a vote. It can be a timeconsuming and frustrating process. Often, the popular decision overrides the best decision.

It can be political as opposing individuals vie for support. In this environment, senior business executives make all the IS decisions affecting the entire corporation. This could be good or bad depending on the skill and knowledge of management. It is common in a large company with unique divisions to have more power in the business units than centrally. Although this feudal method works well to achieve business unit objectives, it is difficult to leverage corporatewide strategic efforts across business units. This may also be more expensive because the business units may not use standards and common systems across business units.

In a highly centralized environment, a central corporate entity often makes the decisions. Although this may have some efficiencies because synergies can be leveraged, it often results in unsatisfied business units that do not feel in control of their destiny. In this environment, no one makes decisions.

There is a leadership void and unclear responsibilities on decision making. As shown in Figure 2. No single approach to governance design works for every company. The IS governance model must fit the company and management culture, the maturity and size of the organization, and the business strategy. A more structured, mature organization may have a strict governance process, many defined processes and metrics, and very formal IS steering committee meetings.

A large company with many divisions may have a much different governance structure and approach than a very centralized corporate environment. Often, IS governance mirrors the power and decision-making structure in the business. Rather than fighting the inherent power, it is important to recognize the business decision-making structure and work within it. No matter how immature, informal, or small, the IS function requires some form of governance and involvement of the organization to be successful. In any size company, governance can be designed to make decisions quickly and be responsive.

Some IS organizations are very efficient in developing a strategic plan by taking their top computer technicians and outlining the technical architecture of the future. When these technicians complete their planning, they end up with a terrific technical plan, but one that business management hardly understands, let alone approves. Where do these technical computing architecture plans go wrong? Their architects fail to involve the business and management throughout the process. It is through proper involvement of the business that a plan becomes executable and meaningful.

Governance will monitor and provide ongoing management to the strategic plan. It is critical to have business management participation and ownership of the plan to ensure alignment with the business. The plan must reflect management ideas, styles, and objectives.

To be successful, the entire organization must support the IS objectives. The single largest factor for a successful strategic plan that influences the organization is the involvement of the organization and ongoing governance. Communication and involvement are key aspects of the planning process.

A Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning, Second Edition

So, how can an organization start developing an IS strategic plan? An organization should start the strategic planning process by involving all levels of the business organization in the planning and governance process. There may be a need to form several planning groups to involve the various levels of the organization.

The involvement of several groups and individuals in the initial plan development and ongoing governance is common in a typical organization, as shown in Figure 2. Ultimately, executive management will approve or reject the expenditure of funds. It is important that executive management have direct input and understand the challenges and opportunities. The CIO, or top IS executive, typically reports to someone within the executive management level of the organization. Regardless of where the CIO reports, the CIO can be effective through leadership and by building strong relationships with the executive team.

Although it is ideal if the CIO participates on the executive team and is at the table for business planning, a good IS planning process is still possible through interviews and informal relationships. Credibility and trust build influence, not organizational position. The role of the executive committee in the planning and governance process is to provide the IS organization with the strategic business direction and priorities.

It is important to develop and maintain systems in accordance with the business objectives and direction. Typically, the executive committee addresses IS issues on an as-needed basis rather than having regularly scheduled meetings due to time constraints. It is extremely helpful to have a businessperson supporting large investments and projects make presentations to the executive committee. The business needs to sign up for and own the benefits that are anticipated from the investments. In summary, the responsibilities of executive management relative to the IS planning and governance process are: The group will ensure the IS plans are in agreement with the strategic business plans of the organization.

IS Steering Committee The IS steering committee is the most important group involved in the planning process and is instrumental in the success of the plan and ongoing governance. This group will formulate recommendations regarding project priorities and resources and provides input to the strategic direction of IS. The business must commit to delivering the business benefits of projects. The committee typically consists of Directors, or individuals one level below the executive management.

This level of the organization usually has a strong interest in IS and has a desire for changes because IS have an impact on their success as department leaders. Many companies have already formed IS steering committees. It is important to review the group to ensure it includes the correct composition of individuals to participate in the strategic planning process.

The executive management team should select its representatives on the committee. It is in the best interests of these managers to ensure that they have the best person representing their interests and concerns. If an IS steering committee has not been previously formed, a company should look at the organizational structure to see if there already is a business team functioning one level below executive management.

In the most effective organizations, steering IS is just one of the many responsibilities of the business management team, rather than a separate IS steering committee. To help integrate IS governance with the business, it would be best to have the IS executive become a part of this business committee and dedicate a portion of the meetings to IS activities and plans.

Another company referred to this group of management as the operating committee, while executive management was referred to as the policy committee. Whatever title this group of management has, IS should be an integral responsibility and focus of the group. Although this book refers to the group as the IS steering committee, it would be best to integrate with the business team and refer to the group however it has been previously defined.

The members must understand the strategic business direction as well as the business issues. Although it is critical to have the major business areas represented, it is difficult to manage a group larger than 12 individuals. Companies should keep the size of the group small enough to efficiently conduct meetings and make decisions, and should consider using video or teleconferencing for individuals physically located around the world.

At a minimum, a company should send out-of-town members material and notes from the meetings and have them attend critical meetings. Getting as much visibility to the information as possible is critical. A company should not formally include individuals from the IS organization as voting members of the group. Additional members from IS can attend meetings as required to provide information or give presentations.

The business representatives must see and feel they provide the direction to the committee, which is not the case if the committee includes many IS individuals. The responsibilities of the IS steering committee are: This group will be the vehicle for users to propose and recommend IS projects. The group will provide recommendations in the allocation of resources and monitor project progress against the approved plan. Projects are efforts that meet one or more of the following criteria: The group determines the hours and cost limit thresholds for its specific environment.

It establishes the approval level for projects so the committee is focused on major projects rather than work orders and small requests. The IS steering committee meets on a regular basis, typically monthly. Steering committee meetings should follow a formal agenda to guide the meeting. On an ongoing basis, a company should structure meetings to dedicate time to planning tasks as well as providing an update on projects.

The group should document meeting decisions, conversations, and topics with meeting minutes distributed to the IS steering committee members, executive management, and the IS organization. Meetings should move quickly, stay on the topic, and keep to strategic discussions rather than detailed tactical discussions.

Rather than just technical knowledge, it is critical that the CIO have an interest and understanding of the business, be familiar with business acumen, and have good business and financial judgment. Business understanding is critical in the strategic planning process. The CIO must have enough technical knowledge to understand the consequences and risks of his or her decisions, to plan and coordinate implementations, to ask appropriate questions and understand the answers, and to determine if what he or she is hearing is accurate.

The CIO must be a true leader, and not just a manager. The Toughest Job in the World, someone is not a leader if no one is following. A vision and a passion for the new direction is a requirement to inspire others to follow. It is difficult to go somewhere if you do not know where you are going. The vision and plan provides a path of how to get the organization to the next level. Through leadership, the CIO must often influence and persuade other individuals in the organization.

Strong executive relationships are critical to the success of a CIO. The CIO is a conduit for change, and the strategic plan can be an excellent vehicle to assist with change.

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The CIO is typically the individual who initiates and orchestrates the strategic planning process. The CIO coordinates and directs the involvement of the entire organization in the strategic planning process. The CIO must clearly communicate the plan so that the entire organization understands it. The CIO is responsible for establishing and adhering to the budget guidelines.

IS Organization Although the business must commit to changing business processes and delivering the business benefits of projects, the IS organization must commit to delivering projects within the costs and dates budgeted while meeting the functionality requirements. It is also important to involve the IS organization in the planning, because any changes in the direction will significantly affect that group. The IS organization is a technical reference and takes more of a secondary role in the process. The business units should lead the process.

The top IS individual in the organization leads the involvement from the IS organization. After obtaining a thorough understanding of the business direction in the planning process, a company must communicate the business direction to the entire IS organization. The IS organization can then be effective in brainstorming potential IS goals, objectives, and technology-enabled business opportunities. Implementation Team In the event the planning process leads to the conclusion that major changes are necessary e.

Often this is a time-consuming task, and the steering committee may not have the time or the detailed knowledge to work at this level. The implementation team must include representatives from areas of the business impacted by the change, as well as one or two individuals from IS. The IS steering committee should appoint or select the individuals, because this group will be providing recommendations to the IS steering committee.

The members of the IS steering committee need to feel that their area of the business is sufficiently represented. It is important to involve these individuals in preparing the detailed requirements, reviewing and implementing options, and determining and implementing business process improvements.

The implementation team is also typically the group of individuals a company would select to implement the new system or improved business processes. It is best to have the group that selects the new system also be the group implementing the system when possible. It is critical that these people have an excellent understanding of the business and the business processes, and are open to change. These individuals would be responsible for doing the business process reengineering, establishing the parameters and procedures on how the company will use the system, testing the system, and training the users.

So that I recommend it to anyone who wants to develop and strategic system's plan. Alex Cynertia Consuling [ One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. This is a fairly decent compendium and useful..

This is worth reading, and the practical approach drawing on experience has been useful to me in the past. However, having re-read my copy recently, what struck me most was how much it felt like a history lesson. This is very much what companies used to do and what many still do. I could think of many examples from my own experience that matched the descriptions in the book. What it is not is a blueprint of how to do things in the future or even a description of the best of today's practices.

Worth reading, but keep it as background and not as a guide for working today. Finding the style the book is written a bit hard to engage. The methodology is great, but it bogs down at times comapared to others. Some of my favourite titles of late have been from Harvard Business School and these seem easier to digest in quick spurts time to read is limited. Otherwise a very detailed process with sound princples.

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