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Measuring Strategic Plan Success
Prior to beginning work on this discussion read Khaiata, & Zualkernan’s (2009), A simple instrument to measure IT-business alignment maturity article, and also review the relevant information from this week’s lecture.
There is an old saying: you cannot manage what you do not measure. You have put a lot of work into the IT Strategic Plan. You have developed relationships with the business and determined the key business initiatives, then aligned your IT Strategies to meet and support those initiatives. That is great planning! But with the plan in place and the work starting, the plan must be kept on track to allow it to continue to be successful. As the plan progresses there must be constant vigilance on the strategic planning elements and concepts so as to support a short-, medium-, and long-term set of goals for the organization. Constant evaluation and a review of key performance indicators (KPIs) will help to determine if the strategic concepts in the strategic IT plan identify, prioritize, and signify which business and technology projects are the right ones for the business. As you start to implement your plan, a review of these principles will tell you if the plan is working or it is not working and when and where you must take action.
It is important to select KPIs or other metrics that will tell you that your strategic plan is working.
In a minimum of 500 words, analyze the various instruments that Khaiata and Zualkernan indicate are measures of IT Strategy and business alignment. Compare and contrast their metrics with those that are referred to by Pearlson, et al. in Chapter 8 of the text. Specifically comment on why the ease of reading these metrics and their intuitiveness is so important. Suggest from your experience other possible measures and how they would increase communication and intuitive understanding of the alignment between IT and the Business.
For the final assignment in this course you will research, design, and deliver a Strategic Information Technology Plan. You will base your plan on the ISM645 Strategic IT Planning Case Study Company Profile. The final assignment will use concepts from the previous weeks in the course. You must support your statements throughout the plan with evidence from your sources. There are a minimum of 5 scholarly sources, including the text, required for this assignment. (The FindIt@AU, EBSCOhost, and ProQuest tools in Ashford Library are good starting points for your search. It is also highly recommended that you search through the specialized journals in information technology (e.g., Journal of Information Systems Management, Communications of the ACM, International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, and International Journal of Multidisciplinary Approaches and Studies. (Consult the MISM Credible Resource Guide (Links to an external site.) as well as the recommended resources within this course for search tips and ideas for your research.)
The Strategic IT Plan Outline
Read the ISM645 Strategic IT Planning Case Study Company Profile from the perspective of a Chief Information Officer with the firm and prepare a strategic IT plan to help grow the business over the next three years. Your strategic plan must be future-oriented and include the following headings and content. An IT Strategic Plan template is provided as a guideline to help you get started. However, do not attempt to ‘fill in the template’ as a way to complete this assignment. There are many elements in the case study that are not in the basic template, but will need to be added and addressed in your plan.
Executive Introduction (Summary) & Thesis Statement
Introduce the IT Strategic Plan. Summarize the contents of this document. The Executive Summary should be concise, to the point, and give a clear understanding of what is in the document. Be sure to include a general thesis statement in the last paragraph.
Strategic Mission, Vision, and Horizon Statement
Specify the period to which this plan pertains. Create a one-to-two sentence IT Mission and Vision Statement for MarkO Ltd. Assess the organization’s strategic vision with respect to technology and business goals. Consider the various business models that are relevant and review the concepts of a strategic paradox in order to determine where competitive advantage can be acquired. Explain what the company’s time horizon will be in the future. (This can be expressed in a series of general accomplishments desired over a period of time and what the company will look like when it gets to that time or horizon.)
Purpose of Plan: Indicate the reason for creating this IT strategic plan. Determine the basic premise for the plan and explain why this plan is being created and what the significance of this plan is for the company. Specify what the plan will accomplish.
Corporate Strategy: Describe the strategy of the enterprise. Obtain this information from the Company Profile and surmise what the overall company strategy will be in the next three years. This provides the superstructure of how IT will help the business meets its goals and help it realize its Strategic Vision. Evaluate the business environment and address the competitive advantage of the strategic implementation of technology, and the possible implementation of “S” Curve planning methods in your plan. Evaluate the needs of the company and determine the major strategic planning elements and concepts to support the short (1 year)-, medium (2 years)-, and long-term (3+ years) goals of your organization. This includes a general description of the organization and how the business scope and organization are aligned. Tools such as the 5 Force Model and SWOT Analysis found in the previous weeks of the course text readings will assist you in maturing your plan. Explain the strategic plan(s) from the Company Profile including MarkO’s corporate strategy, business strategy, information technology organization, business initiatives to support the corporate strategy, and IT initiative to support the business initiatives.
Business Initiatives to Support Corporate Strategy: Based on the Company Profile, create a minimum of three business initiatives that are planned for the next three years that will support the Corporate Strategy.
IT Strategy: Briefly describe your IT strategy. The IT strategy should have the business strategy as its basis. Spend at least a paragraph on each element below stating your IT Strategy. Among the many areas of IT, examine data warehousing, ecommerce, technology infrastructure, and technology products and/or services you want to include in your Strategic IT Plan. Your Strategy should address the following IT Categories.
Within each IT category above address the following elements.
IT Strategic Plan to Support Business Initiatives: Develop a list of the IT systems that are required to support the planned business initiatives. (There is a matrix within the provided template that may assist with this.)
IT Strategic Plan – Roadmap Chart: Graphically depict the future of MarkO Ltd.’s Strategic Plan and provide a simple but powerful view of the future through coordinated plans and steps. This is the essence of strategic planning. Using tools and concepts that were covered in Weeks 4 and 5, apply strategic concepts to create a Roadmap Flow Chart (or some other graphical representation of your plan) to depict the schedule for implementing the approved IT systems. Remember to address a 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year strategy in your plan. Be sure to provide a high-level description of the strategic plans ahead including the identification of future moves and prioritized goals and objectives.
Key Performance Indicators: Insert a series of metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), on how you will measure the success of your plan. A Key Performance Indicator is a recognizable value that represents a measure of progress, value, or status. This could be a percentage of completion or whether an action plan is on track or off track. It can also be a recognizable value of an amount compared to a total goal amount. The IT Strategic Plan Template has an example of a KPI Report for your reference
IT Strategic Execution Plan: Explain how you will execute, communicate, and monitor your plan as it moves forward, listing the actions you will take with a brief description of how you will implement the IT Strategy. Briefly describe how you would roll out the plan to senior management.
IT Strategic Plan Summary: In a one-to-three paragraph summary, describe what it took to develop and write the IT Strategic Plan. Explain the information in the Company Profile that was helpful as well as any information that was missing or would have been important to know.
Appendices as applicable: Appendices might include additional graphs, charts, or tables that further illustrate points within your strategic plan.
The Strategic IT Plan