Strategic IT Planning: Your 3-Step Process

Strategic IT Planning: Your 3-Step Process

Introduction

What is a Strategic Plan?

It is a roadmap to achieving a goal. It may cover your entire department or responsibility or it may focus on a specific issue or element of your role. It can be long and involved or a simply one-page document that provides guidance and steps you need to implement to achieve a goal.

Making it Happen

There are a few things that are important to your success. While it may seem that developing the Strategic Plan is the hardest part, most plans fail because of the implementation. The key is to keep it small and be successful, then build on that success for the next initiative. Don’t bite off too much or try to be too ambitious.

• Take your time and keep it manageable

• Link your plan to your company’s strategy

• Justify your initiative and get buy-in and support

• Don’t re-invent, rebuild

• Go slow, manage change

• Set aside time from your operational responsibilities to make it happen

Without a Strategic Plan, you and your team won’t be effective and you won’t be able to get results, get attention and get ahead.

Why you need an IT Strategy:

Redirect from tasks to opportunities and result

• Switch from fighting fires to preventing fires

• Reduce risk with planning and a longer view

Most Strategic Plans never get written or they fail because they are too involved and complex. Keep them simple and use these three basic steps as your core approach. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why do you need to do it? What is your goal?
  2. What are the things you need to get done to achieve your goal?
  3. How can you make those things happen?

By following the 3 steps above and writing them down, you will have the outline of your Strategic IT Plan. Then, you establish the tactical things that will help you implement your plan.

Implementation Plan

Once you have established your strategic plan using the 3-step process, you need to develop your implementation plan. This includes getting approval and resources as well as the steps you need to take to achieve your strategic objective.

  1. Set the objective for each step
  2. Analyze internal/external factors
  3. Develop solutions
  4. Identify and eliminate barriers
  5. Allocate resources (people, time, money)
  6. Develop detailed tasks
  7. Implement your plan!

Step Implementation

What Are The Roadblocks?

How Can You Overcome The Roadblocks?

What Resources Do You Need?

What Are The Timelines?

What Are The Main Steps To Implement Your Plan?

References:

McKeen, J. D., & Smith, H. A. (2015). IT strategy: Issues and practices (3rd ed.). Pearson.

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