According to Gartner, the overall concept of “IT Governance” is defined as ”the processes that ensure the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.”
Governance covers the culture, organization, policies and practices that provide oversight and transparency of a major initiative.
At Ultra Consultants, it is our experience that practicing solid governance methods including good risk management, project oversight, along with clear and frequent communication not only increases the success factors of projects but also establishes greater trust, teamwork, and confidence in the project team. A robust governance approach leads to effective business process improvements with higher ROI and better business practices throughout the organization.
Business Case: Why IT Governance is Important
All too often companies embark on multi-million dollar initiatives without defined accountability, agreed upon ownership, and overall clarity of responsibilities. While change is expected, and often times dictated, the effective management of change is all too often a marginalized.
Take the case of an ERP software selection project. When an initiative receives approval for funding, Project Teams and Stakeholders are excited to get started so they create momentum with company-wide newsletters and other announcements related to the project. Unfortunately, this hype is often times short lived as the team gets so busy with the project details that they cannot sustain the communication momentum, which results in a diminished level of support and raises questions that affect the overall project success. Without a governance process, management also can get distracted with other priorities thinking that the team is “off and running” with lots of energy only to be disappointed later as they discover they are struggling.
What IT Governance Works?
Through many projects led by our team of independent ERP consultants, we’ve seen first-hand what works when it comes to IT governance.
Organizations need to gain understanding of what aspects of the project will have impact on them, both internally and external sources. Measures are also required to track progress, confidence, and ultimately realize the value add for such an investment.
Top management needs to understand the scope of deliverables and have assurances to the overall business impacts (both positive and negative). Management needs to prepare the organization for training and execution of the new operational processes and technology tools. A lack of clarity and transparency in the decisions surrounding a major corporate or organizational initiative can lead to reluctance for taking calculated risks and pursuing opportunities. Effective Governance practices are designed to mitigate these concerns and can maintain the disciplines necessary to successfully implement major change initiatives.
IT governance is a critical business issue, and one that deserves further examination. Additional insight will be coming in my next upcoming post that presents the scope of IT governance initiatives, and the key benefits that can be attained.