Bob Lewis on IT Projects, Part 6

In the book, There’s No Such Thing as an IT Project: A Handbook for Intentional Business Change, Bob Lewis and co-author Dave Kaiser analyzed and discussed the new ways of thinking about IT and business management.

These are some of my takeaways from reading the book.

In the “IT in the Lead” chapter, Bob and Dave discuss why it is important for IT to resume its leadership role and how it can contribute.

Before IT can play a strategic, leadership role in the enterprise, it must have earned the confidence from the business units. IT earns the confidence of its business unit partners by consistently delivering its promises.

The SWOT analysis—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—is a useful strategic planning framework, but we should be doing it backward. Until the organizational leaders recognize the external threats and opportunities facing the business, they have no context for evaluating the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

Most external threats and opportunities are the result of innovations in information technology. As a result, IT is the logical home for analyzing those SWOT issues and planning what to do about them.

By playing the customer-supplier relationship, it makes it difficult for IT to be a collaborator in designing and achieving business change. It is time for IT to drive business changes because information technology has become a mandatory element of many digitization and transformation strategies.

Strategic implementation projects should be incorporated into the project master schedule and managed through the business-change governance process. As the CIO, it is critically important to know how to answer the CEO’s questions regarding IT-driven business threats and opportunities.

So, what can be done to address “IT in the Lead” opportunities and challenges? Fortunately, Bob and Dave have some solid suggestions laid out at the end of Chapter Six. I highly recommend the book.