Decisions That Matter

Effective governance and investment management does not simply happen?it comes about because of strategic intent, close collaboration between business and technology professionals, a deep appreciation of the need to invest optimally, and the creation and empowerment of decision-making and operational bodies that are focused on achieving excellence.

When faced with the issue of how to select among the many ?great technology ideas? available, management should ask two key questions: What is the optimal mix of investments for our organization?s future? Will that future be based on the strategy we set forth today?

To answer those questions effectively, management must incorporate a business-based governance and investment management framework. This will enable managers to:

Organize the enterprise?s strategies, goals and objectives:

  • Determine the real drivers behind the business strategy.
  • Align focus and support around the areas that matter most.
  • Concentrate on those items as the foundation for moving forward.

Determine the required business capabilities:

  • Demand clarity of vision from business and technology leadership.
  • Gain consensus on how to execute the strategy developed by upper management.
  • Engage in analysis and planning from the beginning.

Identify and prioritize the required capabilities:

  • Judge every proposed investment based on required business capabilities.
  • Target budget dollars to technology initiatives that support enterprise goals.
  • Use the budget to state strategic intention and as a tool for ensuring that strategies, goals and objectives are supported by cold, hard cash.

Define and select technology investments to support those capabilities:

  • Make sure that every potential investment maps to the enterprise?s business drivers and prioritized capabilities.
  • Approve and prioritize investment proposals using decision criteria, led by an enterprisewide business technology council (BTC).
  • Make sure that portfolios of existing and new investments reflect the enterprise?s stated budgetary intent.

Monitor and manage the investments in a disciplined fashion:

  • Establish and empower an enterprise program management office (EPMO) to monitor, measure and oversee program performance.
  • Have the EPMO advise the BTC on remedial actions needed to ensure optimal investment of the enterprise?s technology portfolio.
  • Take immediate action to correct a program before it runs off course.

Joseph Mimms is a vice president of solutions delivery at BTM Global 2000. BTM Corporation innovates new business models and enhances financial performance by converging business and technology with its products and intellectual property.? 2009 BTM Corporation | [email protected]