Most effective CIO strategy for effective strategic IT planning
Title: Most effective CIO strategy for effective strategic IT planning
Assignment Overview: This module is about the problems of creating information technology plans that work within the scope of the organization’s strategic objectives. It is also about all the reasons why this is a very difficult thing to do, particularly when the process gets down to specifics. Like all organizational decision-making, information technology planning is often a complex muddle of conflicting goals, interests, unclear reasons and payoffs, and poor communication. This indictment is presented without apology, because it is in fact typical. This is not to say that there are not exceptions, and occasionally planning is actually done well. But almost everything in the organization mitigates against this, and we generally fight at best a rearguard action against all the forces that work routinely in favor of chaos.
By way of introduction to the process, consider Doug Frese’s discussion paper on IT Enterprise Architecture and Pat Barton’s on Enterprise Resource Planning: Factors Affecting Success and Failure. Both talk about the process of creating IT enterprise systems from a relatively positive and more or less rational perspective, and both make perfect sense. But Stephanie Gurlen’s discussion paper on http://www.umsl.edu/~sauter/analysis/6840_f03_papers/gurlen/ is perhaps more to the point; the phenomenon that she describes and categorizes with that memorable phrase is a more or less constant fact of organizational life.
Structural, professional, and personal forces all work in combination to make the IT service/planning interface problematical. Organizational politics alone would make the job difficult; add in communication difficulties, jargon and expression differences, differing frames of professional reference, and just plain personality conflicts and you have a recipe for a serious misalignment. The person at the center of all this swirling chaos tends to be the chief information officer (CIO) of the organization. There’s no doubt that superior management can make a big difference in achieving or not achieving planning alignment, or at least in making clear when and why alignment is less than perfect. Much of what the CIO does is to explain to both sides why the other is as it is. Here are two articles describing how CIOs play this key middle-ground role:
Paper Source Readings:
1) Lannon, R. (2014), 7 Steps to Kick-Start Your Strategic Planning Process, Retrieved from: http://www.batimes.com/articles/7-steps-to-kick-start-your-strategic-planning-process.html
2) Scott, J. (2011, April 21). How to craft actionable business strategy from the bottom up. CIO. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/680163/How_to_Craft_Actionable_Business_Strategy_from_the_Bottom_Up
3) Demand Media. (2011). Sources for business strategies. Business Strategy Examples. Retrieved from: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-strategy-examples/
4) Goulston, M. (2005). How to Avoid Bumping Heads. CIO Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.cio.com/article/13515/How_to_Avoid_Bumping_Heads_Between_IT_and_Business_Managers
5) Norman, D. A. (2009). THE WAY I SEE IT Designing the Infrastructure. Interactions, 16(4). 66-69.
6) Harris, R. (2011, July 7). A shift to CFOs in calling tech shots. CIO. Retrieved from: http://www.cio.com/article/685903/A_Shift_to_CFOs_in_Calling_Tech_Shots
7) Nash, K. (2011, January 1). 2011 State of the CIO: IT departments are fueling company growth through strategic technology investments. CIO. Retrieved from :http://www.cio.com/article/646750/2011_State_of_the_CIO_IT_Departments_Are_Fueling_Company_Growth_Through_Strategic_Technology_Investments