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Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making

Optimize governance to align with how your organization functions.

  • New agile operating models and work practices are changing how decisions are being made.
  • Customer expectations and demand for IT resources are increasing, but IT capacity is not.
  • Decision rights are not clearly defined, and accountability is not well understood.
  • It is difficult to allocate time and resources to build or execute governance effectively.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Transparency into who owns the decision and when it needs to be made and having the required information to support recommendations are essential to optimize governance and raise business performance.

Impact and Result

  • Use this blueprint to learn the essential elements of a strong governance structure and assess your current governance.
  • Learn how to transform your current governance to an optimal state by identifying your operating model, drafting your current decision hierarchy, and delving into additional factors that will impact governance scope.
  • Leverage our governance models and charter templates and design a governance framework that is suitable for your organization’s needs.
  • Discover how to support your governance framework through strong supporting processes and meeting execution.

Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making Research & Tools

1. Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making Deck– Support effective decision-making by designing an IT governance structure that is aligned with how your organization functions.

Learn how to avoid bottlenecks and disengagement and design a governance structure that fits your organization’s needs and supports transparent and effective decision-making.

3. Optimize IT Governance Implementation Tools – A set of tools to support the implementation and communication of your new governance framework.

Use these tools to support the implementation and communication of your new governance structure.

4. Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making Workbook – Document decisions and activities conducted as part of this blueprint.

Use this workbook to document outcomes of activities and brainstorming sessions.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.3/10


Overall Impact

$186,971


Average $ Saved

28


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Earlham College

Guided Implementation

8/10

$64,999

7

Expert guidance from an experienced analyst and usable templates/tools/deliverables.

City of Fairfax

Guided Implementation

10/10

$26,649

20

Oregon Parks And Recreation Department

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

20

Good sounding board. Good give and take of ideas and approaches. Good insights to my industry and flexibility to adapt to nuances of our particul... Read More

Nebraska Public Power District

Workshop

8/10

$12,999

20

Best - Use of some examples of "what right looks like", good facilitation, worst is the realization that it is going to be a long journey to implem... Read More

Department of State Development Infrastructure Local Government and Planning

Guided Implementation

10/10

$20,209

5

University of Northern British Columbia

Guided Implementation

10/10

$6,000

10

Sidney has a wealth of knowledge.

St Vrain Valley School District

Workshop

8/10

$9,099

18

Sumit was a great facilitator. He taught us a lot and brought levity to the conversation. It was a fun experience, and he kept the topic from being... Read More

The President and Fellows of Harvard College, a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation, acting by and through Harvard Business School

Guided Implementation

10/10

$32,499

20

The framework helped provide a solid foundation for us reviewing and reimagining our governance structures. We appreciate that it's easily customiz... Read More

City of Santa Fe

Workshop

10/10

$1.3M

120

Paul provided in-depth insight and made all the participants feel welcome. There wasn't a worst part. Participants shared how multimillion dollar p... Read More

City of Lakeland

Workshop

10/10

$64,999

50

Best experience was Valence's ability to articulate the details and hold strong on the governance processes, even when faced with Staff that tried ... Read More

Georgia Institute of Technology

Workshop

9/10

$1.3M

50

It was a great workshop.

Canada Border Services Agency

Workshop

9/10

$14,500

10

Great workshop delivered by Denis Goulet.

Avalon Health Care Management Inc.

Workshop

8/10

$12,999

5

Gaining a roadmap to move forward. Understand the common pitfalls. Working through scenarios to gain visibility on how best to address different ... Read More

The University of North Carolina System Office

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

20

Sid has been effective in sharing with us what will and will not work.

Richland School District 400

Guided Implementation

10/10

$2,599

5

Arkansas Department of Transportation

Workshop

10/10

$1.3M

120

Paul was advertised as amazing and he definitely lived up to his advanced billing. Paul walked us through the entire process in an elevated and pro... Read More

American Traffic Safety Services Association

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,599

10

Canada Border Services Agency

Guided Implementation

8/10

$1,000

1

Ampath

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Monroe #1 BOCES

Guided Implementation

10/10

$31,499

35

This experience was excellent from the start. Sid's ability to facilitate the conversation to develop a structure and implementation plan fit for ... Read More

Richard Bland College

Guided Implementation

10/10

$31,499

20

Best, the knowledge, experience, and input provided. There were no bad parts.

Canada Border Services Agency

Guided Implementation

9/10

$10,000

10

Our advisor was very knowledgeable and provided us with sound recommendations and tools to help us implement those recommendations. Worst part i... Read More

Inmarsat Solutions Canada

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

10

The governance workbook used to identify and expose gaps in our IT governance framework Brittany's ability to provide an independent and informed ... Read More

Belmond

Guided Implementation

9/10

$10,000

10

Working with Sid was a pleasure, and it was great to learn from his knowledge and experience

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Workshop

9/10

$62,999

5

I can't specifically provide actual data or experience as I was not in the off site but was given and good back brief.

Crawford & Company

Workshop

8/10

$12,599

20

Choice Properties Limited Partnership

Guided Implementation

10/10

$50,000

50

Best part: Having Sidney to guide me through the blueprint, focussing my attention on the areas that were most relevant to my situation and passin... Read More

Ora, Inc.

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

5

Central University of Technology

Guided Implementation

10/10

$2,479

110

State of Hawaii – ETS

Guided Implementation

10/10

$629K

60


IT Governance

Drive business value and enable effective decision making by optimizing IT governance structure and processes.
This course makes up part of the Strategy & Governance Certificate.

Now Playing:
Academy: IT Governance | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Valence Howden, Research Director and Executive Advisor, CIO Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP Research

Workshop: Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Current-State Assessment/Redesign

The Purpose

Understand business context and current challenges.

Key Benefits Achieved

A full understanding of your current governance maturity and areas that require greater focus.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Discuss what IT governance is and what effective governance outcomes are.

1.2

Understand business context and strategy.

  • Strategy and business context documented in Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making Workbook
1.3

Conduct SWOT analysis.

  • SWOT documented in the workbook
1.4

Assess attitudes, behavior, and culture.

  • Attitude, behavior, and culture impacts documented in the workbook
1.5

Identify your operating model and work practices.

  • Operating model selected and documented in the workbook

Module 2: Transition and Future-State Design 

The Purpose

Determine where decisions are being made in your current governance framework and the scope of your future governance model.

Key Benefits Achieved

A clear understanding of where decisions are being made in current governance framework and the scope and features of your redesign.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Build your decision hierarchy.

  • Decision hierarchy documented in the workbook
2.2

Define the scope of governance.

  • Scope considerations documented in the workbook
2.3

Design governance goals.

  • Goals of your future governance model documented in IT Steering Committee Charter
2.4

Design determining and specific principles (optional).

  • Determining and specific principles documented in the workbook
2.5

Select your baseline governance model and customize for your organization.

  • Future governance model drafted in the workbook

Module 3: Future-State Design/Implementation

The Purpose

Complete your future governance framework and define key processes to support governance objectives.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • IT Steering Committee Charter and supporting committee charts
  • Processes and business case intake form

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Define governance mandate and responsibilities.

  • Mandate and responsibilities documented in IT Steering Committee Charter.
3.2

Select membership.

  • Committee membership documented in charter
3.3

Define processes to support governance outcomes.

  • Supporting processes documented in charter
3.4

Design business case intake form.

  • Business case intake form

Module 4: Implementation of Governance Framework

The Purpose

Build a roadmap and draft executive communication.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Implementation plan
  • Executive presentation
  • All supporting committee charters

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Prioritize actions and update implementation plan.

  • Implementation plan
4.2

Define meeting procedures.

  • Committee procedures documented in IT Steering Committee Charter
4.3

Complete executive presentation.

  • Committee procedures documented

Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making

Optimize governance to align with how your organization functions.

Analyst Perspective

Today's senior business and IT leaders face a business environment that has gotten progressively more complex. Business and technology transformation has changed work practices, operations, organizational structure, and how we manage risk and regulatory change. These changes impact how organizations assess risk vs. reward as well as the frequency with which decisions need to be made.

This increased complexity and uncertainty will require organizations to take a more fluid approach to governance, leveraging different styles of governance as their needs change to ensure alignment with organizational purpose and broader assurance expectations.

Although many organizations have the best intentions, they fail in practice due to a limited understanding of governance's true purpose and insufficient emphasis on the processes needed to support effective decision-making.

Donna Bales, Principal Research Director

Donna Bales
Principal Research Director
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge Common Obstacles Info-Tech's Approach
  • New agile operating models and work practices are changing how decisions are being made.
  • Customer expectations and demand for IT resources are increasing, but IT capacity is not.
  • Decision rights are not clearly defined, and accountability is not well understood.
  • It is difficult to allocate time and resources to build or execute governance effectively.
  • The business landscape is evolving fast, introducing increased uncertainty and volatility.
  • The business value of governance is not well understood across the organization.
  • Risk appetite is not defined or in place, preventing risk-based decisions.
  • There is not a standard approach to project prioritization.
  • Governance activities are not transparent or measured.
  • Not enough time is spent preparing for and holding effective meetings, leading to disengagement.
Optimize your governance model to meet the changing needs of your organization.
  • Assess the current state to understand challenges and alignment with strategic direction.
  • Transition your governance to accommodate new work practices, operating models, or business scope.
  • Support your governance framework with strong processes to enable effective decision-making.

Info-Tech Insight
Governance often fails not because of lack of intention but because of poor execution.

What is governance?

IT governance is a critical and embedded practice that ensures that information and technology investments, risks, and resources are aligned with the best interests of the organization and produce business value.

Effective governance ensures that the right technology investments are made at the right time to support and enable your organization's mission, vision, and goals.

Five key outcomes of good governance
Strategic alignment Value delivery Resource optimization Performance measurement
Technology investments and portfolios are aligned with the organization's strategic objectives. Organizational risks are understood and addressed to minimize impact and optimize opportunities. IT investments and initiatives deliver their expected benefits. Resources (people, finances, time) are appropriately allocated across the organization for optimal organizational benefit. The performance of technology investments is monitored and used to determine future courses of action and to confirm achievement of success.
EVALUATE - DIRECT - MONITOR

Ineffective governance leads to poor business outcomes

Ineffective governance leads to poor business outcomes

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC)

67% of organizations that responded need more integrated processes and technologies to ensure GRC strategies perform well under stress.
OCEG, 2022

GRC principles are important tools to support enterprise management.

Governance sets the guardrails to ensure that the enterprise is in alignment with standards, regulations, and board decisions. A governance framework will communicate rules and expectations throughout the organization and monitor adherence.

Risk management is how the organization protects and creates enterprise value. It is an integral part of an organization's processes and enables a structured decision-making approach.

Compliance is the process of adhering to a set of guidelines; these could be external regulations and guidelines or internal corporate policies.

GRC principles are tightly bound and continuous

Risk, regulation, and governance are linked

The impact of new regulation and the management of new and emerging risk need to be well understood as they play an intrinsic part in how IT governance is structured to meet business objectives and optimize opportunities

Legislation, laws, regulation, and guidance Regulation informs how governance is executed and risk is managed Board
  • Make decisions and set direction by considering strategic opportunity, risk appetite
  • Actively manage the organization's risk profile relative to its risk appetite
  • Oversee the systems and policies to identify and manage risk to the enterprise
  • Foster a culture of integrity and good governance
  • Supported by governance committees
Enterprise Risk Committee
  • Ensure organization structure, budget, and resources are in place to manage risks
  • Ensure policies and procedures are in place to manage risk
  • Review and recommend risk appetite framework
  • Assess effectiveness of risk function (e.g. review risk reporting)
Internal Control Functions
(Compliance, IT, Risk Committee, Internal Audit)
  • Identify, manage, and report on risks
  • Make recommendations on risk management, control mechanisms and investment mix, talent, and resource capacity
  • Responsible for meeting regulatory obligations

Understand governance versus management

Don't blur the lines between governance and management; each has a unique role to play. Confusing them results in wasted time and confusion around ownership.

Governance

I&T governance defines WHAT should be done and sets direction through prioritization and decision-making, monitoring overall IT performance.

Governance aligns with the mission and vision of the organization to guide IT.

Management

Management focuses on HOW to do things to achieve the WHAT. It is responsible for executing on, operating, and monitoring activities as determined by I&T governance.

Management makes decisions for implementation based on governance direction.

Image source: ISACA, 2012

Understand goverance versus management

Adapt your governance by leveraging styles to address your levels of complexity

As organizations mature and adapt to business needs and changing work practices, governance will also need to evolve to stay in alignment to corporate purpose.

Ad hoc and controlled governance practices tend to be more rigid, making these a poor fit for organizations requiring higher velocity delivery or using more agile and adaptive practices. However, these styles lend themselves well to smaller organizations with more hierarchical approaches to decision-making.

As complexity and uncertainty increases, organizations will evolve to more distributed operating models where teams are empowered to make optimal decisions in real time while ensuring that they are aligned with the best interests of the organization.

Greater complexity will require organizations to be more fluid in how they govern, adjusting the style of governance to suit organizational needs and uncertainty at a given time.

Chart of process integration vs trust & empowerment

Top-down vs. bottom-up approach

Although a bottom-up strategy can drive changes to internal culture and attitude toward risk and the value of enterprise decision-making , a top-down executive-driven strategy will ultimately lead to improved decision-making and more successful business outcomes.

Top-Down

An executive-driven strategy is the optimal route for governance and enterprise decision-making, enabling:

  • Strong strategic alignment and benefits realization.
  • Clear accountability and quicker responses to escalated issues.
  • More effective resource optimization.
  • Greater visibility of IT issues, risks, and decisions.

A bottom-up strategy may help to:

  • Drive changes in internal culture and attitude toward risk and decision-making.
  • Improve resource optimization and decision-making at the IT level.

A bottom-up strategy may help IT teams in certain areas where insight into the big picture is lacking, but it will ultimately fail over time to achieve optimal governance outcomes.

Bottom-Up

Download the Optimize Governance Primer

Optimize IT Governance for Dynamic Decision-Making preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

9.3/10
Overall Impact

$186,971
Average $ Saved

28
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 5-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Understand core aspects of good governance
  • Call 1: Discuss outcomes of effective IT governance.

Guided Implementation 2: Assess the current state
  • Call 1: Assess current maturity.

Guided Implementation 3: Transition governance via a redesign
  • Call 1: Discuss operating model and decision hierarchy within your organization.
  • Call 2: Discuss governance scope and goals.

Guided Implementation 4: Design future-state governance
  • Call 1: Select your base model and optimize it to meet your governance needs.
  • Call 2: Define mandate, responsibilities, and membership.

Guided Implementation 5: Implement the governance framework
  • Call 1: Map supporting processes.
  • Call 2: Prioritize steps and dependencies and update implementation plan.

Author

Donna Bales

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