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the IT Portfolio Plan Cycle

To finalize this serie of articles I will give a short summary of the Planning and Control Cycle for IT. This cycle should be cirkled on a regular basis, but reality is a little different. The cycle has 4 steps.

Step 1:  Strategy re-design.
IT Planning and Control cycle 01
In reality this step is not always recognized. It is more an external trigger that forces the Strategy to be changed than a deliberate change.

The external trigger can originate from the Business as well as from IT. In the latter case I mean the recognition of new opportunities and challenges from technological developments.

We can only call this step 're-design' when the Organization makes a deliberate choice for a new path using Information Technology.

Step 2: Business and IT redesign.

IT Planning and Control cycle 02
In many cases Strategic changes leads to drastic changes in the Architecture of both Business and IT.

We will have to re-think our ways of adding value to our Customers.

Resulting in changes in the Value Chain and Business Processes.

Choices are being made in the configurations of Business and IT leading to new Architectures and new Decision making principles for both Business and IT.

One of the vital means for long term architectural stability is in the Information Ownership Matrix. This matrix is essential for creating flexibility in the IT Architecture.

3. Business and IT re-engineering.
IT Planning and Control cycle 03
This is where the big effort starts. This is where an extra heavy workload is put on the shoulders of a limited number of key individuals both in the Business as well as in IT.

After step 2 there is the need of a (IT) 'Masterplan' containing the identification and definition of 'improvement program's' Every program consisting of multiple projects to make the new design come true.

Usually these programs have to be executed while 'the shop keeps opened'.

The vital competencies in Business and IT that are being withdrawn from their day-to-day tasks. This can only be realized using a well thought thru HR planning.

4. Alignment and Control.
IT Planning and Control cycle 04
After the realization of the 'improvement program's' there needs to be a continuous alignment between Demand and Supply of  IT Services.

The review of the IT Services Portfolio on the value added to the Business is a continuous process.

This is not just the normal Purchasing of services but much more an alignment process focused on added value rather than cost to the Business. The Sourcing of IT Services plays a key strategic role here.

To make this happen, we can see the 'Information Management' function arise in the Business. This should be the smallest possible organization staffed with knowledeable persons on both Business and IT.

The 'Information Management' function should direct the complete 'IT Portfolio Plan Cycle'.