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Scott Miller Appsguild - Software craftsmanship, project management, and the biz of software

I just got done reading Strategic IT Portfolio Management by Jeffrey Kaplan.

Governance is something that doesn't get talked about very much, and certainly not in a positive way. Many companies do governance during the project charter and approval process, to fiigure out what projects to approve, but do very little governance after go-live. Most project requests or project charters have exaggerated expected return on investment numbers, and how much savings or revenue the project implementation will bring. And, in my experience, many of these project requests are sales driven and are nothing more than fiction.

Who does governance after the project goes live? What metrics exist to see whether the project did realize these savings or increased revenue ROI numbers? This book focuses on asking these questions - to ask "are we allocating our IT resources adequately to get the most value for the business (internal) or customer (external)?" This is not for downsizing or outsourcing. Sometimes the on-going costs of support and licensing are not offset by a compensatory value in the business; maybe the project is not even paying for the upkeep costs after go-live. Perhaps the line of sales or market did not materialize. Often the process improvement and savings are not realized because the stakeholders' department didn't really embrace the process change or found a work-around to keep doing the same old bad practices. Or perhaps the scope of the project was cut because of deadlines or all of the project features were not implemented.

This book shows how to ask these questions in the organization, and propel the conversation in a positive direction, so that IT resources are spent on the best value for the business. I highlighted alot of the first two chapters, and I found the book to be very useful. It also shows how to structure the IT portfolio so that governance has real goals and expectations when projects deal with new markets and R&D so that those projects that will bring future value are not hit.

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 10:33 PM | Back to top

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