Why CIOs need a strategy for executing the IT Strategic Plan

You’ve worked hard to collaborate with the Business and develop an IT Strategy that is aligned with the business goals and will deliver innovation and growth. IT’s goals are aligned with Business goals. The “as-is” and “to-be” enterprise architectures are well defined. There are new technologies to be deployed, legacy systems being replaced, new agile, lean, ITIL aligned processes for IT.

Everyone’s looking to IT to execute the strategy, drive change throughout the organisation and deliver on the promised business value. Does your team have the capabilities required to succeed? Do you know what the critical non-technical capabilities are? And how to develop them?

Typical IT Strategic Plans address the technology changes required to meet the business objectives. Most will consider the technical capabilities IT needs to develop, and the organisation change management required to deploy the new technology to the business units. However, few IT Strategic Plans consider the ability of the IT Organisation to execute the IT Strategic Plan. But, if IT is to drive major change and deliver business value it needs both technical and non-technical capabilities.

To be successful CIOs need a strategic plan for IT that ensures IT develops the key capabilities required to drive significant change. In addition to the technical capabilities required by the IT Strategy and Architecture, the organisation needs five key organisational capabilities to succeed:

  1. Organisation Change Management capability: enables IT to be champions of change throughout the organisation, to integrate OCM best practices with IT projects and to promote the use of OCM best practices for all strategic change initiatives.
  2. Portfolio, Program and Project Management capability: ensures that the right programs, aligned with the business strategy, are initiated and successful planned, managed and delivered.
  3. Value Management capability: ensures the business value of the IT Strategy is agreed by all stakeholders, measured, tracked and managed until the full benefit is realised.
  4. Collaboration & Knowledge Management capability: provides the skills, process and tools to work collaboratively across the organisation, allowing everyone to find the information they need, when they need it.
  5. A Learning and Development program that is aligned to the strategic goals will ensure IT has the right people, with the right skills, at the right cost, when they are required.

CIOs should assess their organisation’s capability in these five key areas and build a Strategic Business Plan for the IT Organisation that incorporates development of these key capabilities.

This article is part of a series exploring the essential capabilities all CIOs and IT Organisations need to drive transformation and deliver enduring business value.

Joan Dobbie is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Beyond Strategy Consulting. Her clients achieve significant improvements in business results by turning visions into actionable strategies, creating the capability to successfully execute and focusing execution on the delivery of sustainable business results.