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Define the Business Context Needed to Complete Strategic IT Initiatives

Ensure your IT initiatives are based on an understanding of organizational objectives.

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Contributors

  • Aaron Gette, Chief Information Officer at The Bay Club Company
  • Chris Laping, Co-Founder & CEO of People Before Things LLC
  • Cory Crosland, CEO, Croscon
  • Kyle Saverance, Chief Information Officer, Coker College
  • Mark T. Edmead, IT Transformation Consultant and Trainer, MTE Advisors
  • Mike Palmer, Chief Information Officer, City of Victoria
  • Phil Weinzimer, President, Strategere Consulting
  • Joe Evers, Consulting Principal, JcEvers Consulting Corporation
  • Winston Sun, Senior Manager, Business Relationship Services, OPS
  • 1 anonymous contributor

Your Challenge

  • As a strategic driver, IT needs to work with the business. Yet, traditionally IT has not worked hand-in-hand with the business. IT does not know what information it needs from the business to execute on its initiatives.
  • A faster time to new investment decisions mean that IT needs a repeatable and efficient process to understand what the business needs.
  • CIOs must execute strategic initiatives to create an IT function that can support the business. Most CIOs fail because of low business support.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Understanding the business context is a must for all strategic IT initiatives. At its core, each strategic IT project requires answers to a specific set of questions regarding the business.
  • An effective CIO understands which part of the business context applies to which strategic IT project and, in turn, what questions to ask to uncover those insights.

Impact and Result

  • Uncover what IT knows and needs to know about the business context. This is a necessary first step to begin each of Info-Tech’s strategic IT initiatives, which any CIO should complete.
  • Conduct efficient and repeatable business context discovery activities to uncover business context gaps.
  • Document the business context you have uncovered and streamline the process for executing on Info-Tech’s strategic CIO blueprints.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should define the business context, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand how we can support you in completing key CIO strategic initiatives.

1. Identify and document the business needs of the organization

Define the business context needed to complete strategic IT initiatives.

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Module 1: Identify the Missing Business Context (pre-work)

The Purpose

  • Conduct analysis and facilitate discussions to uncover business needs for IT.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A baseline understanding of what business needs mean for IT

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Define the strategic CIO initiatives our organization will pursue.

  • Business context scope
1.2

Complete the Business Context Discovery Tool.

  • Completed Business Context Discovery Tool
1.3

Schedule relevant interviews.

1.4

Select relevant Info-Tech diagnostics to conduct.

  • Completed Info-Tech diagnostics

Module 2: Uncover and Document the Missing Context

The Purpose

  • Analyze the outputs from step 1 and uncover the business context gaps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A thorough understanding of business needs and why IT should pursue certain initiatives

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Conduct group or one-on-one interviews to identify the missing pieces of the business context.

  • Documentation of answers to business context gaps

Module 3: Uncover and Document the Missing Context

The Purpose

  • Analyze the outputs from step 1 and uncover the business context gaps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A thorough understanding of business needs and why IT should pursue certain initiatives

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Conduct group or one-on-one interviews to identify the missing pieces of the business context.

  • Documentation of answers to business context gaps

Module 4: Review Business Context and Next Steps

The Purpose

  • Review findings and implications for IT’s strategic initiative.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A thorough understanding of business needs and how IT’s strategic initiatives addresses those needs

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Review documented business context with IT team.

  • Finalized version of the business context
4.2

Discuss next steps for strategic CIO initiative execution.

Search Code: 84594
Published: September 25, 2017
Last Revised: January 5, 2018