What IT really needs is more business direction

March 25, 2009
45 Views

We concur with the findings of the recent IT priorities poll conducted by InformationWeek Analytics and Intelligent Enterprise.com – it mirrors what’s true with our clients as well: 

305 business technology professionals ranked “better guidance from business leaders” as the number one thing that would improve their productivity.

(Here’s the article by Doug Henschen)

The article goes on to say that IT is asking business leaders inside their companies to do a better job of communicating mission, strategy, and direction to help IT deliver enabling solutions with more business impact.

If you don’t already have a fast, repeatable methodology for truly aligning business and IT, check out the Business Foundation method. We literally get each functional business leader on the same sheet of paper with IT on what are the most important things to measure, monitor, plan-for, and analyze. It shows senior management that IT “gets” what the business is up to and it helps IT prioritize the portfolio of initiatives to those that have the biggest impact on…

We concur with the findings of the recent IT priorities poll conducted by InformationWeek Analytics and Intelligent Enterprise.com – it mirrors what’s true with our clients as well: 

305 business technology professionals ranked “better guidance from business leaders” as the number one thing that would improve their productivity.

(Here’s the article by Doug Henschen)

The article goes on to say that IT is asking business leaders inside their companies to do a better job of communicating mission, strategy, and direction to help IT deliver enabling solutions with more business impact.

If you don’t already have a fast, repeatable methodology for truly aligning business and IT, check out the Business Foundation method. We literally get each functional business leader on the same sheet of paper with IT on what are the most important things to measure, monitor, plan-for, and analyze. It shows senior management that IT “gets” what the business is up to and it helps IT prioritize the portfolio of initiatives to those that have the biggest impact on:

  • Revenue Growth
  • Cost Reduction
  • Cash cycle velocity, and
  • Asset Utilization

Then we put it all together and show what the impact is on strategy execution.  IT is left with the design and plan for the top initiatives that will deliver on what the business really needs along with an audit trail of specific business guidance and an ROI approach that the business can get behind.

The business executives who go through our method (along with IT every step of the way) see it as a valuable use of their time. Comments have included:

  • “I’ve been waiting for this conversation for 2 years!” (CEO of $4B Chemical Manufacturer)
  • “We found 13 systems out there we had no idea about” (CIO of $6B Mining company)
  • “This is my accountability map!” (CEO of $3B Private Healthcare company)
  • “It was like being on the psychiatrists couch.” (CEO of $1B High Tech company)
  • “You’ve brought structure and insight to an unstructured and complex conversation.” (COO of private consulting company)
  • “This is our North Star for management system initiatives.” (VP of I.T, $6B Mining company)
  • “I really like your approach – we uncovered some new ways of looking at the business today.” (CEO of $2B Software company)

We even had one client who realized after the initial 2-hour discovery sessions that each executive on the leadership team had a different take on what the strategic objectives were and none of them were in synch. Right after our workshop, they convened an off-site C-level meeting and quickly aligned on what the business strategy actually was. So the CIO that brought us in got kudos for exposing that problem and having an impact on the business at the top level… without installing any new software!

The results included one CEO who said directly to the CIO at the conclusion of our read-back presentation: “That’s what I want!  I don’t care what it takes… $12M, $19M… we need THAT! Let me know what you need and if anyone in the organization resists, have them call me.”

The CIO was stunned! 

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