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Who is the most powerful person in a company? Often, it is the chief financial officer (who controls the money). Ironically, CFOs understand and even embrace IT portfolio management. It resonates with their philosophies around risk, return, and control. Often omitted, learning and communication styles are of critical importance. Highly analytical individuals (or groups) will require massive amounts of data to engage them and maintain their support and participation. Those who are behavioral in nature—concerned with the human aspects of IT portfolio management—must be made to understand that IT portfolio management enables more effective communication and minimizes conflict. Directives tend to be those
48 CHAPTER 2 PLANNING FOR IT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
EXHIBIT 2.4 STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS ATTRIBUTES
Who Level of IT Power Learning/ Perceived Risks Business
Portfolio Level Communication with IT PfM Issues/
Management Style Opportunities
• Senior Management • Supporter • High • Analytical • Loss of Power • Reduce Costs
• Line of Business • Fence Setter • Medium • Behavioral • Loss of Control • Increase
Management • Naysayer • Low • Directive Revenues
• IT Management • Conceptual • Improve
• Line of Business
• IT Staff
• Business Partners
who just want an answer to their problems to be acted upon with immediacy— details be damned! Directives will want the big picture and the bottom line. Give it to them.1 Conceptuals, however, just want the big picture—the bottom line is irrelevant as long as the big picture makes sense. The risks to the stakeholders of adopting an IT portfolio management approach must also be identified so that they can be mitigated. Most frequently, the risks are loss of power and loss of control. No longer will projects be approved based on who screams the loudest.
The business issues and opportunities to the key stakeholders must be identified and associated with the success of IT portfolio management. The issues and opportunities of key stakeholders are generally apparent based on their role in the organization. For CEOs, the most common issue is improving the stock price; however, compliance with legislation is also rapidly becoming a key issue. For CFOs, legislative compliance, control of expenditures, and return on capital are key issues. For CIOs, the issues include improving the IT landscape and avoiding a major system failure. These are further defined in Chapter 5. Often, stakeholders make their issues and opportunities known. These become the objectives of their subordinates and are included in internal communications. Stakeholder analysis will enable extremely effective communication and can make the difference between success and failure. Stakeholder analysis is generally considered to be a working paper or unpublished document. It almost never should be published or discussed outside the core IT portfolio management team.
REFINING IT PORTFOLIO OBJECTIVES 49
REFINING IT PORTFOLIO OBJECTIVES
With IT portfolio management capabilities known, scope and objectives must be documented for the current iteration of the IT portfolio management process. These objectives are generally developed with the IT portfolio manager and CIO. If business sponsors have been identified at this juncture, they most certainly should be included in these tasks. Refining IT portfolio objectives consists of two steps: identifying the scope and applying the scope, along with the capabilities, to the initial objectives.
When determining the scope, pain points within IT and the business, coupled with IT portfolio management capabilities, should suffice to provide appropriated bounding. In general, the scope of IT portfolio management covers the areas within IT listed in Exhibit 2.5.
Embarking on IT portfolio management is a journey. Those who successfully complete it do so by understanding the terrain. There are some dependencies between the subportfolios that become critical as the use of IT portfolio management within the organization matures. However, when an organization is early in its journey toward embracing IT portfolio management as a common governing discipline, it is advantageous to have early successes to build upon. In Exhibit 2.6, the most common subportfolios are listed, showing their relative degree of value and complexity. For this purpose, complexity includes not just the creation of the portfolio but also the ability to act upon it.