There is no one size fits all IT Governance framework and simply drafting on some pre-made model is never going to fully achieve the results you desire. As a function that is inherently tied to the greater organisation, its strategy and its practices, effective IT governance always adapts to the unique context of the organisation.
Instead of presenting you with a silver bullet framework, we prefer to let you know about some key factors you need to consider when crafting your own unique IT Governance structure.
What is IT Governance?
Before jumping into the bulk of the blog, let’s first start with definitions.
Stone and Ekinci define IT Governance as
“ the process and structure that ensure that organisations deploy their IT investments appropriately to ensure that the resulting activities – whether programmes, projects or operations that they fund –are carried out properly and achieve the desired results.”
Effective IT governance coveralls all assets that may be involved with the IT product or project itself – from human, financial, physical, or data and intellectual property and more. However, the critical focus of IT governance is to ensure that the organisation’s IT strategy is aligned with the organisation’s greater values and strategic objectives and that both aspects are ingrained into everyday practices, decisions and activities.
IT projects, in their typically open-ended and interactive nature, often require different governance processes and approaches that can accommodate their unique context and needs in comparison to typical projects.
However, while IT governance may look different to its traditional counterparts, it does not mean that IT governance should be created and implemented in isolation from the greater organisation and its governance practices. Effective IT governance and organisational governance is able to adapt, reimagine and implement governance processes that accommodate different needs and bring the most value to the organisation as a whole.
Read more: An Introduction to IT Governance
7 Key considerations in IT Governance
1. Shape and size of the organisation
Though not all IT projects are run on Agile methodologies, a majority of them are. While Agile methodologies are highly compatible with the flexible nature of IT projects, many organisations are not configured to fully accommodate Agile-based governance approaches across their entire organisation. Depending on the size of the organisation, the level of maturity and complexity in your It governance process may vary.
2. IT project structure and funding model
What type of IT projects is your organisation likely to create and how are they funded? Are they centralized, decentralized or lie somewhere in between? Different types of projects and funding models require varying degrees of collaboration, communication and compliance measures that must be carefully considered in the organisation’s IT governance processes.
3. Level of IT demand
Do IT projects make up a majority of your projects? How many resources can your organisation assign to IT projects and how competitive is the demand for resources within the organisation? For an organisation that is highly IT-focused or dependent, building mature, robust and comprehensive IT governance may be critical to achieving greater project success rates. Conversely, if IT projects are not a significant part of an organisations strategy, introducing more basic but informative governance structures may be more appropriate.
4. Scope of governance
What is the focus of your governance strategy and activities? Is it centred on a single IT team, an IT department or an integration of IT governance across an entire organisation? Depending on your focus, IT governance maturity and complexity can also vary. A smaller scale and scope implementation for a small business will not have the same complexity and broad overarching reach of a multinational corporation.
5. The present and desired governance maturity
Does your organisation have pre-existing governance practices in place? Are they conducive to your intended governance model or will they lead to potential resistance? Evaluating where your organisation’s current governance practices and maturity levels are critical to crafting an accurate and realistic plan for your IT governance implementation.
6. Value of IT for stakeholders
Are your stakeholders and shareholders interested or invested in IT projects and their growth? Are your IT projects more internally focused or externally? Depending on the value placed by stakeholders and shareholders for IT projects, your governance processes may have to consider greater levels of accountability, transparency, reporting, communication and collaboration with relevant parties.
7. Endorsement and empowerment by non-IT people
All too often IT projects and endeavours can become an ‘us vs. them’ situation. ‘That’s a problem for the IT team’, you will hear said a lot. However, successful governance, particularly IT governance, is often dependent on whether there is a collective buy-in for the IT departments activities and ensuing governance practices. If senior management does not place a high value on IT projects, they are less likely to demand highly complex and mature IT governance structures nor would they support such levels of complexity.
Get started on your IT Governance journey with pmo365
Implementing effective IT Governance frameworks in your organisation can take your project success rates and value generation to the next level. But as we mentioned, there are quite a few things you have to consider before getting started. If you want to see some amazing IT Governance tools in action, make sure to book a free trial with our PPM experts!