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Home I.T. Consultancy Strategic Planning

Strategy Planning

IT Strategic Planning.

(Strategic Planning - Definition:  The process of determining a company's long-term goals and then identifying the best approach for achieving those goals)



The process involved in creating an effective IT Strategy can be lengthy and involved so it is important to get it right. Before you start out on this process it is important that you know where your business is going otherwise any plan you make will not have the correct fit for the business.


From the outset it is important to gain commitment to your plan, without this it will be increasingly difficult to implement the strategy smoothly and with the minimum of fuss. Like all projects it is essential to have clearly defined goals and objectives that are achievable and measurable. Failure to do this is likely to result in an extended project timeframe and increased costs. Involving the correct people at the right stages of the project is also a must. Not everyone will need to be involved throughout the duration of the project, although it is a good idea to have continuity with the project leader who should be responsible for ensuring timescales and budgets are adhered to and objectives fully met. The project leader should also be responsible for handling any changes to the project that are driven by the business. Because there will be continual changes within the business any strategic planning process is rarely a linear process, it should move forward towards a defined goal but will involve regular reviews and changes. It is the change element that needs to be closely managed so that the overall effectiveness of the project does not get lost along the way.


The IT Strategic Planning Process


Establishing the need

  • Mission Statement - high level view of where the business is heading
  • Detecting internal sources of information
  • Recognising external constraints and drivers
  • Establishing the business case

Process Structure

  • Engaging stakeholders in the decision-making process
  • Setting the scope of the project
  • Comparing current IT portfolios and governance against business objectives
  • Isolating misaligned projects and services

Defining objectives and goals

  • Who takes ownership of the goals
  • How the objectives are measured and what criteria is used to judge success
  • Establishing critical success factors
  • Identifying costs and risks
  • Defining guiding principles
  • Analysing technology opportunities

The decision making framework

  • Ranking objectives for maximum impact
  • Employing a structured governance model
  • Identifying skills, roles and responsibilities
  • Controlling regulatory elements
  • Conducting a SWOT analysis

Defining the plan

  • Establish the project team
  • Define the project schedule
  • Timelines


    Critical path

  • Resource allocation
  • Devise and agree the strategy
  • Project communication
  • communicate the plan

    evaluate progress

    inform others of results