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Executing Your IT Strategy


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Executing Your IT Strategy

  1. 1. 27CIOINSIGHT GettinG it done jay bahel Don’t Blow It: Executing Your IT Strategy For IT to be a I very rarely see an strategic part of the business, it must exe- organization that isn’t cute nearly flawlessly. more relevant full of great systems Though every organization is different, ideas. In fact, I often see there are specific techniques that can and and strategic enterprises that have should encompass all organizations. Here’s a part of the great ideas and reason- basic view of what IT Strategy Execution is: able systems strategies • Strategic management tools and processes: business, it to support them. This is a simple dashboard approach of key must execute That said, what I initiatives and prioritization processes that also see are plenty of are centered on delivery of tasks/initiatives nearly organizations that have not been able to exe- on schedule, in budget and on quality. cute their IT strategy. And, more often than • Facilitation techniques: You have smart flawlessly. not, I see smart folks in IT and the businesses folks who are capable of doing your project that are capable of executing these plans. work. We are often asked to mentor IT and Under a new way of thinking that I dub “IT the business to deliver the projects with Strategy Execution,” I believe they can exe- their expected business benefits. cute for their organizations. • Decision making: This requires clear deci- Typical execution issues I see include: sions with priorities and clear IT resource “Our IT team has trouble executing our allocation based on priorities—adjusted to key business initiatives on time, in budget relevant changes as they arise. and on quality.” • Accountability for results: Bring account- “We had 14 IT projects scheduled to complete ability to both the IT team and the business last year, but we completed only six of them.” owners with whom IT is working. “Our IT projects continue to go beyond the When these tools and techniques are effec- forecasted completion dates. We are losing tively employed, the results are nothing short credibility with the business and with our CIO.” of spectacular. You will save money and make “My midlevel IT managers don’t have the money by maximizing return/impact on your right managerial skills to execute the plan my IT investment. Your projects will deliver their business is expecting. They are missing the expected business benefits. You’ll have faster, link between the plan and the execution of it.” more predictable project completion, helping “I have plenty of money in my IT budget, you gain more credibility for the IT organiza- but my problem is that my IT team isn’t exe- tion. And you’ll complete more projects with cuting all the work I’ve approved in the plan.” a more engaged, effective IT team. “We have more initiatives than we can I’ll be writing more in 2009 about execut- handle. Soon our business is going to do its ing IT strategy. As you read these stories, ask own thing.” yourself, “How can I use this to make a pos- “Most of our initiatives are never fully itive difference for my organization?” You’ll implemented. They get worked on but just get tools and techniques to address those stay in limbo until they become obsolete.” opportunities. Then it will be up to you to “At the end of the day, we reward make the difference in your enterprise. n firefighting.” IT must have a greater impact on the jay bahel is CIO Services Solution Group Leader for Project Leadership Associates in Chicago and a former IT executive. business. For IT to be a more relevant and Please send your comments to