Back in 2004, I was the CIO of a 1B$ turnover steel transforming and distribution organization with quite a lean IT organization. This company was very concerned on process throughput, service levels, overall company performance and security within a market growing at high single digit.

Those were challenging and exciting times for the IT function… Even fun times, from today’s perspective.
In the continued quest to “do more with less”, my team was interested in understanding how “world class” organizations were establishing standards to which they held their IT organizations, aligned their IT strategy and organizations to their companies’ “master plans”. (if they ever found it…)
Key attributes to benchmark against, basically. At that time, buzz words like “Agile” and “Aligned” IT were important already. After a couple of months of direct research, consultancy, peer advice, etc. we acquainted very useful, easy – yet understandable & operational – scorecard.
It belongs to The CIO Executive Board – NASDAQ, EXBD and available only through membership. Quite sure of its usefulness, I would like to share my positive experience with you.
Based 180 degree alike survey, it embraces 8 areas of interest, somewhat ITIL V3 compatible, across 25 specific attributes/metrics, that still very current nowadays.
()# of metrics

  • IT Governance (4)
  • IT Performance Measurement and Value Demonstration (2)
  • Security and Business Continuity Planning (3)
  • Infrastructure Delivery and Economics Management (3)
  • Applications Delivery and Economics Management (4)
  • Vendor Management (2)
  • Talent Management (3)
  • Business Enablement & Management (4)

The power of this methodology comes to light when results are consolidated and displayed altogether, in a single page! In the form of IMPORTANCE vs. IT PERFORMANCE, it provides an excellent and straightforward Gap analysis for the 25 attributes.

On top, it provides an excellent framework for issue prioritization and consensus building among IT leadership teams, senior management and user teams.

gapanalysisNot to mention the enormous value of any further and detailed analysis across respondent areas, deviations, etc. leading to enhanced understanding of your customer base, communication strategies, etc. Additionally, the CIO Executive Board provides the name of the best-in-class for further peer review-networking.

After scoring your organization with data coming directly from your business partners/peers, prioritizing and aligning becomes a breeze, trust me. (unless respondents were smoking something…)

A fully completed exercise ends with this kind of look (see below), where all attributes are measured and the areas of improvement clearly displayed. This helps a lot when developing and communicating IT strategy, priorities and progess to your senior management, peers and end user communities.

Moreover, it ensures what you are doing is the result of your customers’ direct participation and led by their individual understanding of the company needs.

Basically, managing expectations…one of the sources of IT “miss”-alignment.

fullscorecard

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One Response to The endless pursuit of ALIGNING IT

  1. Great article! You should write an article about some (simple) techniques about how to put this in practice…