IT business planning is an increasing important topic in the world of today's IT professional. We continuously see problems arising from not including IT operations early enough in the planning process which leads to services being designed with little thought given to operational concerns and serviceability. At the extreme end of the spectrum, this can lead to entire ROI and business case plans being developed that look only at the upfront costs of the project without consideration for the longer-term operational and support costs. Having devoted a couple of posts discussing our thoughts around IT governance and another that started an excellent discussion around the audience, I thought today I would give everyone some insight into what we're thinking of as the first phase of the lifecycle and an early look into our high level thinking around the processes and functions that comprise it. So, much like with IT governance, I'd like to propose a definition for IT Business planning to you and request your feedback and input:
"Maximizing the value of IT by gathering clear requirements and delivering a service plan that aligns to organizational strategy."
With this definition in hand, once a customer comes to IT with a business need, we can then develop a workflow with four main process-focused stages:
- Gather Requirements
- Analyze Requirements
- Align Plan to Strategy
- Seek Authorization to Proceed
In each of these workflow stages, there will live several Service Management Functions. Some of these are new to MOF and some have been around for many years.
- Requirements Management
- Portfolio (or Demand) Management
- Availability Management
- Security Management
- Financial Management
- Service Level Management
- Capacity Management
- Continuity Management
- Service Mapping & Cataloging
I have attached a short PowerPoint presentation that goes into a little more detail about this while also presenting a graphical representation of the workflow with the SMFs integrated.
Yet, as always, I have a few questions I'd like to ask you to answer as you consider the above.
- Does the definition I've presented of IT Business Planning make sense? Does it either over simply or overcomplicate the concepts? Does it miss the point completely?
- In your experience, what are the activities that occur in the IT Business Planning phase?
- Who is, or should be, involved in the IT Business Planning phase?
- What tools, artifacts, examples, job aids, and guidance, would be most useful to you in successfully conducting IT Business Planning?
Thank you again for your continued participation and involvement. I assure you we are reading your comments and requirements and that they are directly impacting our planning. Please click on Comments below and continue to share your thoughts. And if there's anything I can do to make this process easier for you, please let me know.