Tuesday, August 13, 2013

IT Governance Principles: Is Simplicity the Key?

Work to make complicated matters “less complicated," to enforce agility.

A simple definition of IT Governance is how to manage IT - "… the leadership and organizational structures and processes that ensure the organization’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategies and objectives." (Governance Institute). There is nothing simple about managing IT, you can wish the complexity away, but since the complexity is the result of human nature, wishing and achieving are two entirely different things. However, governing the delivery does not have to be too complex. So how to govern IT effectively, what are IT governance principles, is simplicity the key?

  1. "KISS" principle –“Keep it Simple” applies to IT Governance. Delivery of IT Services is complex and requires in-depth technical expertise. As the more complex you make a process, the more likely it will not be followed, and technical professionals will develop their own procedures that are simple but may not be consistent. However, if the process is straight forward and does not over burden the delivery with complex and convoluted process, technical people will "go along" and the whole delivery becomes more streamlined and reliable.
  1. CIO is the broker who needs to foster the partnership sentiment. If it is missing, then governance will be complex. However, IT organizations have established very complex processes without focusing on the partnership culture which is essential. Keeping it simple is in the eyes of the beholder. The healthy management refers to environments where the executive team feels that challenging proposals are their responsibility, not something only the brave can do. When the executives follow a disciplined methodology process for prioritizing IT investments, the actual management process can be quite simple.
  1. Work to make complicated matters “less complicated," to enforce agility. Do not follow IT service management framework blindly but adapt a process that is less cumbersome, allows nimble movement and integrates request, analysis, implementation using a prioritization and resource/budget triaging process that is transparent. There is agreement that the IT function of the modern organization contains many complexities. However, it is the role as IT leaders to communicate in a clarified way to translate this complexity into processes and directives that can be clearly understood and followed by all levels within the organization.
  1. Keep holistic IT governance solution: IT Governance should include not only IT solutions but also IT PMO, IT Policies, IT Processes, IT Change Management etc. It all depends upon the complexity, size, and maturity of business. Governance takes holistic approach, as you shouldn't police without laws (policies, standards, procedures), and you shouldn't have laws without someone having the final say on interpretation (guidelines, best practices, reusable assets, etc.) So governance is an organizational capability for risk mitigation - which is why it has usually been put into the overarching GRC (Governance, Risk, Compliance) umbrella.
  1. EA and IT Governance need to go hand-in-hand. EA roadmaps are one of many inputs into a mature IT portfolio management process which is part of IT Governance. Both are sub-optimized without the other. At a higher level of IT Governance, EA should also be best-placed to provide advice to the process owner and other stakeholders (internal or external to IT) on how to best fit into overall governance structures (alignment, compliance, privacy, etc.) - whether service, process, or project based. There are potentially seven joint business / IT processes that could define the scope of IT Governance and, therefore, EA involvement: Services, Process, Information, Technology, Service Providers, Corporate Controls, and, of course, how deeply do you operate.

  2. The scope and maturity of IT Governance need to be leveraged at both strategic and tactical level.. Examples include a). from a broader and more strategic business-driven perspective involving how decisions involving IT are made (budgeting, planning / aligning investments, implementing controls, scope and depth of decision oversight, etc.) will be made b). more tactically, it is helping to manage the IT function / decisions - more as a strategic business partner/or order taker / less strategic IT function, it directly affects IT maturity.

  3. IT governance specifies the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage
    desirable behavior in the use of IT
    , include:          a) IT Principles are high-level statements about how IT will be used to b) IT strategies describe the approach to building shared and standard IT services c) IT architecture is about the set of technical choices that guide the enterprise in satisfying business need d) Business Applications Needs refers to applications that need to be acquired or built. e) IT investment and prioritization cover the whole process of IT investment, including where they should be focused and the procedures for progressing initiatives, their justification, approval, and accountability. f) Governance principles need to be assessed, evaluated and modified to address the latest technology trend, such as leveraging mass collaboration technologies within organizations could be one of the agenda for many big organizations to collaborate their geographically dispersed structure and talents. g) Different aspects of governance: There’s no fundamental difference between the disciplines of financial control/planning/etc and architectural perspective. Both provide methods, views and rules, do address the different aspects of governance. One helps you to address the financial aspects of business, and other technological aspects.
IT governance, simplicity is the key, work to make complicated matters “less complicated,"  to enforce agility, but not stifle innovation.


Or what about agility. There are many organisations who have, successfully, taken the agile techniques & principles and applied them to business management and corporate governance.

Thanks for comment, excellent point, indeed, agility is critical, at #3: Work to make complicated matters “less complicated”, which indicate doing things better and faster to adapt to the changes, let's make it more explicit, put "agility" right over that bullet point there. thanks

Its really good to know about that some facts and other points given here are quite considerable and to the point as well, would be so far better idea to look for more of these kind for efficient results.

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