Establish your IT Principles

Most organizations have a governance process or project approval process, but do you have IT principles to guide the decision making process?  I am not referring to cost, dependencies, impacts or risk analysis criteria.  I am talking about "guiding principles” that dictate how how we want to operate as an IT organization.  Every project, process, or plan should contribute to the strategy but equally important adhere to the principles we use to guide our decision making process of whether it is the right thing to do, whether it contributes to the greater good and whether it will be successful in helping us achieve our goals.   

The principles you define, is a foundation of shared beliefs for guiding the use of IT in constructing, transforming and operating within the organization.  Without these principles, IT management, support and technology decisions are guided by employee’s personal preferences or assumptions on how these decisions should be made. Resulting in an increased governance effort, in order to control and correct them later on.  Failure to keep within the boundaries can increase cost, decrease user satisfaction and result in poor performance overall.  

At a minimum there is four areas where you need to define principles that will determine IT decisions: Business, Data, Application and Technology. Additionally, some organizations also define the culture they desire internally among employees, externally with partners and clients.   Often when I lead clients through this process they often wonder how they made decisions without formalizing this within the organization.  It simplifies the decision making process significantly.  The key is not to let the team dwell on absolutes. These are guiding principles and will have times when they will be agreed by the group that an exception is necessary to support business or regulatory demands.  

To help you understand how I have included some examples from other clients on their principles within IT.  If your interested in creating your own principles within IT to guide the decision making process and align strategy, give us a call, were happy to help.

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