IT and Business Goal Alignment

Someone presented a question to me today.  “How would you align the IT goals with the business goals and what process would you use?

There is common ground between IT and business goals, which needs to be articulated into the languages of business, “finance and value.”  An understanding of the business goals and the mindset of decisions is crucial; otherwise the chances of failure greatly increase. 

First getting a grasp of the IT’s capabilities and how credible they are through performance metrics is necessary.  The second step is gaining a solid understanding by assessing customer satisfaction and meeting with managers.  This gives clues to functionality of the current systems and processes in place. Finally, assessing and developing relationships throughout the organization is necessary for collaboration.  Politics is often used in a negative connotation, but politics get things done.

After the initial steps have been taken, I’m ready to begin the alignment process.  This is done through meetings, research, planning, negotiation, changes, implementation, and reassessment.  Reassessments and reflection on the current systems are always necessary.  After all, the only constant is change.

When doing alignment keep it simple otherwise keep a drawer full of aspirin.  The staff and systems should be lean, whereas I prefer the cross-training approach.  Emphasize accountability from start to finish, otherwise you’re asking for failure.  The two evils that will catch up to all of us are time and budget.

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