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Bresnahan et al. 400 Large U.S. firms, The effects of IT on labor demand are greater when IT is combined with
 1987-1994 particular organizational investments.
Brynjolfsson et al. Sample of U.S. firms, Decentralized organizational practices, in combination with IT investments, have
 1996 a disproportionate positive effect on firm market value.
Ramirez et al. 200+ U.S. firms, 1998 Firm use of employee involvement and total quality management enhances
 IT returns.
Francalanci and 52 U.S. life insurance Productivity gains result from worker composition (more information workers)
Galal  companies, 1986-1995 and IT investments.
Devaraj and 8 Hospitals, over 3 years IT investment combined with business process reengineering positively and
Kohli  significantly influences performance.
Tallon et al. 300+ U.S. firms, 1998 Perceived business value of IT is greater when IT is more highly aligned with
 business strategy.
Source: Jason Dedrick, Vijay Gurbaxani, and Kenneth J. Kraemer, “Information Technology and Economic Performance: A Critical Review of the Empirical Evidence,” Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations, University of California, Irvine, March 2003, www.crito.uci.edu; http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=641865.64866, p.24 for appendix.
Planning for IT Portfolio Management: Ready, Aim, THEN Fire____________
Unfortunately, it is all too common for organizations to latch on to a technology or technique, assuming it is the ever-elusive silver bullet, and dive into execution without being grounded in reality. The technique of IT portfolio management is no exception. Many IT portfolio management efforts have failed or been derailed because of improper planning prior to embarking on the journey. Recently, the focus of IT portfolio management has been on eliminating and consolidating IT assets (e.g., servers, applications). Given the volatility in the marketplace, this is a logical use of IT portfolio management. However, it is not leading practice—it is common practice. Best practice companies look at the big picture within the context of their objectives, risk tolerance, and the interrelationships between IT investments.
This chapter explains the importance of planning for IT portfolio management. Of key importance is aligning the IT portfolio management efforts with business objectives, the capabilities of the team responsible for the effort, the degree of engagement of key stakeholders, and the culture of the organization. Just as a pilot creates a flight plan before getting into the cockpit, the IT portfolio management effort must create an achievable game plan prior to execution.
This chapter also describes the steps needed to generate a plan for establishing and maintaining the IT portfolio. Careful attention is placed on establishing the
40 CHAPTER 2 PLANNING FOR IT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
value proposition and identifying the objectives, scope, and associated work effort of the next phase of the portfolio management process. The goal is to create an achievable game plan that positions IT portfolio management for success on the initial iteration and subsequent iterations. To achieve this goal, the processes that must occur include:
• Assessment of the readiness of the company for IT portfolio management
• Assessment of the maturity of the IT portfolio management process within the company
• Assessment of the capabilities of the team responsible for IT portfolio management
• Bounding of the scope of the IT portfolio management effort
• Establishment of reasonable, attainable, and measurable objectives
• Creation of a charter for the effort—a contract to establish what will be done by whom (and by when)
• Creation of an actual task plan replete with milestones and assignments of responsibilities
• Creation of a communication plan to set and manage expectations
• Selection of the tools to be used in the current iteration of the IT portfolio management process
• Validation of the game plan with appropriate stakeholders
It is assumed that initial objectives for IT portfolio management exist. As a rule of thumb, objectives of any initiative should drive the tasks performed and the appropriate deliverables created by said tasks. Using this rule of thumb will minimize time expended on tasks that provide little, if any, value to the organization. If initial objectives for IT portfolio management do not exist, the benefits that will help in their creation include: