Project Portfolio Management

The Mythology of “IT-Business Alignment”

IT Wants Alignment

IT strives to be aligned with the business—but how can it do so when both technology and commercial needs are always changing (and often in opposite directions of each other)? Developing a resilient, adaptable IT capability is the subject of this post found on Rob Livingstone Advisory, and it begins with the wise point that “it takes two to tango”:

Change is inevitable – and that will arise on both sides of the business / IT fence.  If information technologies are critical to the viability of your organisation, any assumptions that your enterprise IT has a clear visibility over the forces acting on your business strategies needs to be tested. Similarly, the IT leadership cadre should not assume that the organisation’s executives have an interest or awareness of the IT strategy (which, in reality should be a business strategy with a technology dependency).

Alignment isn’t the Goal. Success is.

Another piece of advice is to realize that alignment is not the end goal. Oftentimes organizations forget that the process isn’t the goal: the outcome of the process is. Alignment is simply a way of describing the process to reach the outcome of projects and efforts which support the organization. Furthermore, you should recognize when the attempts at alignment aren’t working, and making sure that expectations are established on both sides.

Alignment isn’t just about making sure the projects that IT is working on match up with the needs or expectations of the business. It’s also just as much about understanding what both the business and IT need to function, and how the entire company must recognize those needs and support achieving them.

Read the full blog post here:

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