Rajesh Bhatia, CISA, CGEIT, PMP, MDP
Effective implementation of IT governance in the business units of an enterprise involves the process of institutionalization (e.g., changes in culture and behaviors of people), to use the processes, tools and metrics. Many times, IT governance implementation fails due to ineffective institutionalization. Quite often, the root cause can be traced to lack of business-unit executive buy-in. Therefore, a critical success factor is earning buy-in from business-unit executives. This article discusses the essential process of formulating and presenting practical business cases to executives to increase chances of earning buy-in from business-unit executives.
Implementation of IT governance in an enterprise’s business units is no easy task. There are many strategies and tactics necessary to change the culture and behaviors of people for the usage of processes, tools and metrics.
Most of the time, IT prepares business cases using a standard company template and converts them to slides for presentation. It is no wonder that the end result is a failure of the business-unit executives to understand the scope of the effort and a negative response.
Business case presentations need to clearly communicate the scope, be easily understood by business executives and be presented in an hour-long meeting. As such, the presentation needs to focus on the following points:1
The following steps outline a process to determine the strategies, tactics, benefits and metrics to formulate and present effective business cases:
IT governance implementation and institutionalization in enterprise business units is dependent on buy-in from the business-unit executives. Formulating strong and effective business cases is the most important factor in gaining buy-in. But it is not enough. Business case presentations should be done in a manner that clearly communicates the scope, is easily understood by business executives and can be presented in an hour-long meeting. Following the aforementioned steps ensures effective formulation and presentation of business cases, which, in turn, increases the chances of gaining buy-in for IT governance implementation.
1 This is based on the successful experience of the author in presenting business cases for IT governance.2 Burris, Rick; Robert Howard; “The Business Process Transformation Framework: A New Approach to Delivering Your ‘To Be’ Vision Completely, Accurately, and Efficiently,” BP Trends, June 2010, www.bptrends.com/publicationfiles/05-10-BusinessProccessFramework%2CPart111-Burris%20and%20Howard-final.pdf3 Jackson, Thomas L.; Hoshin Kanri for the Lean Enterprise: Developing Competitive Capabilities and Managing Profit, Productivity Press, 20064 Systems2win, Nashville, Tennessee, www.systems2win.com/solutions/policy_deployment.htm5 Thorp, John; DMR Center for Strategic Leadership; The Information Paradox: Realizing the Business Benefits of Information Technology, McGraw Hill, Canada, 19986 Ibid.7 Foundations of Success, Using Results Chains to Improve Strategy Effectiveness: An FOS How-to Guide, May 2007, www.fosonline.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/FOS_Results_Chain_Guide_2007-05.pdf8 Robbins, Anthony; Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement, Free Press, 1997
Rajesh Bhatia, CISA, CGEIT, PMP, MDP, is currently the supply chain business process owner at Safeway Inc. in Pleasanton, California, USA. Previously, Bhatia worked as senior manager of strategic demand management at CSC, where he was involved in institutionalizing demand management processes, tools and metrics in the health care accounts.
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