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Business IT Alignment Interactive Survey

October 21, 2008

NEW Interactive Survey please complete:

Wondering where your IT organization is on this spectrum? Just click the link and start your assessment.

Business IT Alignment Interactive Survey

FYI below it what the assessment consist of:

Alignment goal rating sheet 1—Gain trust from the business

Aim to be seen as a trusted supplier of IT services that ‘just work’

Establish a clear two-way dialogue between IT and the business

How do businesspeople perceive the way in which the IT organization communicates with them?

Option

Score

Clearly and openly at all levels

5

Clearly and openly via management and its nominated ‘representatives’

4

Openly, but often struggles to understand clearly and/or be listened to

3

Clearly, but in a closed or defensive manner

2

Unclearly in a closed or defensive manner

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Align expectations of basic service delivery between IT and the business

How well our expectations on service and project delivery aligned with the business?

Option

Score

Expectations fully aligned, with mutually acceptable targets/SLAs where appropriate

5

Expectations aligned in most areas, moving towards alignment in others

4

Expectations aligned in most areas, but some significant sticking points remain

3

Significant misalignment, with many points of disagreement

2

No real attempt to align expectations as yet

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Achieve an acceptable level of availability and performance for all key services

How well are key services delivered and/or are improvement plans defined?

Option

Score

All key services are delivered to an acceptable level

5

Mostly acceptable with improvement plans in place to close the gap

4

Mostly acceptable with improvement plans yet to be formulated

3

Mostly unacceptable, but improvement plans in place

2

Mostly unacceptable, with improvement plans yet to be formulated

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Deliver new service capability in line with agreed commitments and expectations

How reliable is the IT organization in delivering projects on time and to budget?

Option

Score

The great majority (>80%) deliver on time and within budget

5

The great majority are delivered on time, but they are often over budget or incomplete

4

The great majority come in within budget, but delivery is often late

3

Most (>50%) are delivered late and over budget

2

The great majority (>80%) are delivered late and over budget

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Implement effective measurement and feedback mechanisms

To what degree is the performance of IT monitored and reviewed via business meaningful metrics?

Option

Score

Comprehensive business meaningful metrics defined and fully reviewed with the business

5

Comprehensive business meaningful metrics defined and selectively reviewed with the business

4

Selective business meaningful metrics are defined and reported to the business

3

Selective business meaningful metrics are defined but are used only within the IT organization

2

Business meaningful metrics are generally not used to track IT performance

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Alignment goal rating sheet 2—Understand and reflect the business

Deliver differentiated business support from IT

Establish mechanisms to coordinate goals and objectives

How does IT and the business make sure goals and objectives are coordinated?

Option

Score

Strategic executive level dialogue plus enterprise architecture practice (or equivalent)

5

Enterprise architecture practice (or equivalent) supported by senior IT management

4

More selective program management or steering groups for specific initiatives

3

Ad hoc coordination on an ‘as needed’ basis

2

Little coordination beyond responding to requests from the business on a case-by-case basis

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Provide clear business context for significant IT-related activity

To what degree is IT-related activity mapped onto documented business domains?

Option

Score

Complete mapping across the entire range of IT activities

5

Mapping for particularly important or critical services and initiatives only

4

Mapping only for significant new initiatives or projects requiring business buy-in

3

Loose mapping for new projects and initiatives, but not formally documented

2

No real mapping of IT activity onto business domains

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Map the dependencies between assets, services and business value

How complete is your business-driven IT investment portfolio?

Option

Score

Fully populated from high-level domains and services down to low-level assets

5

Complete at a high-level, with detail present for key services only

4

Complete at a high-level, but with little detail as yet below this

3

A significant amount of low-level detail but yet to be mapped onto the higher-level view

2

No real concept of a business-driven portfolio at this moment in time

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Balance assets and services to deliver overall business advantage

How well balanced and optimized is your business-driven IT investment portfolio?

Option

Score

In place and fully optimized, it just needs maintaining

5

Most/all services evaluated with gaps and adjustments identified and optimization in progress

4

Currently in the process of evaluating the portfolio in preparation for optimization

3

Still in the process of populating the portfolio, not in a position to evaluate yet

2

No real concept of a business-driven IT portfolio at this moment in time

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Identify key IT suppliers

Have key suppliers been identified according to an objective assessment of criticality and contribution?

Option

Score

All key suppliers identified based on their criticality and contribution

5

Strategic suppliers identified, but other key suppliers not yet tied down

4

Candidate key suppliers identified but not yet qualified according to objective criteria

3

Have a working list of important suppliers, but this is not based on any objective assessment

2

No real view of which suppliers are important to us

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Alignment goal rating sheet 3—Engage the business

Implement IT service management within the business

Make IT an integral part of the business management agenda

How well can business managers articulate IT-related plans or activities as they relate to their domain?

Option

Score

The great majority (80%) of business managers can articulate this confidently and precisely

5

Those impacted by IT change programs can articulate precisely, others in general terms

4

The great majority are IT aware but can only articulate relevant plans in general terms

3

Some managers are aware and can articulate plans in general terms, but many cannot

2

Business managers are generally not aware of IT plans in anything other than vague terms

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Integrate IT service management into the business itself

To what degree has service management been embedded into the business?

Option

Score

Dedicated service managers are in place for all key parts of the business

5

Service managers are there for some parts of the business, other mechanisms elsewhere

4

Other mechanisms such as liaison representatives and steering groups broadly used

3

Other formal mechanisms are used in some areas but not others

2

There is no formal mechanism for integrating service management into the business

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Implement a balanced business approach to demand management

How do you ensure that IT resources are applied in a balanced way across the business?

Option

Score

There is a formal IT governance board in place

5

Service managers are in place and coordinate with each other to ensure ongoing balance

4

IT management arbitrates to resolve potential imbalances using the portfolio as a reference

3

IT management arbitrates in line with other points of reference, for example, existing budgets and plans

2

There is no real mechanism for ensuring balance

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Embrace key IT suppliers strategically and operationally

To what degree are key suppliers involved in business-related discussions?

Option

Score

Strategically and operationally, so we can benefit fully from their industry/domain expertise

5

We take their advice on operational matters but rarely involve them in strategic discussions

4

Key suppliers are invited to discuss business issues on an exceptional basis only

3

There is no formal involvement of key suppliers, but they do participate informally

2

As a general rule, we do not discuss business issues at all with IT suppliers

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Institutionalize the process of sustaining alignment

How do you ensure IT activities remain in alignment with business priorities?

Option

Score

Our business-driven portfolio is reviewed on a continuous basis

5

Our business-driven portfolio is reviewed on a periodic basis, for example, quarterly

4

Activities are reviewed against priorities via management meetings, steering groups, and so on

3

Major projects and initiatives are tracked against plan, but little alignment activity beyond this

2

No real mechanism to sustain alignment on an ongoing basis

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Alignment goal rating sheet 4—Drive the business

Appropriate change and transformation

Embrace IT as a strategic business enabler

What part does the IT organization play in defining and driving business strategy?

Option

Score

Proactively involved in every aspect of strategic business planning

5

Proactively involved in strategic business planning in areas where IT dependency is high

4

Participates in strategic planning on a passive basis, mostly to ensure IT is kept in the loop

3

Not directly involved in strategic business planning, but has access to all of the output from it

2

Not involved in strategic planning, and simply receives instructions as a result of it

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Move responsibility for IT into the board room

Who is considered responsible for effective delivery of value from IT?

Option

Score

The main board collectively

5

The CIO sitting on the board

4

A board member to whom the CIO reports directly

3

A collective body or line of business manager to which the board has delegated responsibility

2

The IT organization itself as a service provider, that is the board assumes no responsibility

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Develop a coherent view of the organization that is jointly owned by the business

How comprehensive is your enterprise architecture practice?

Option

Score

Very comprehensive, both in terms of content and associated governance processes

5

Comprehensive for particularly dynamic areas of the business, but not for others

4

High-level definition only, but broadly across the business

3

High-level definition and only for selected parts of the business

2

No real definition of an enterprise architecture at this moment in time

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Develop genuine win-win partnerships with key suppliers

What is the nature of the relationship with your key suppliers?

Option

Score

Proactive win-win partnership style relationships with all of our key suppliers

5

Proactive win-win partnership style relationships with some key suppliers, but not all

4

Good working relationship with a key suppliers, but not really partnership in nature

3

Still in the process of building effective relationships with key suppliers

2

No clear definition of key suppliers at this point in time

1

Question not considered relevant

0

Institutionalize an agile alignment culture

How well are IT and business capable of remaining aligned as significant change occurs?

Option

Score

IT and business are fully aligned and both are prepared for continuous coordinated change

5

IT and business are fully aligned, and IT is prepared to follow the business swiftly as it moves

4

IT and business are mostly aligned but keeping up with business change is a challenge for IT

3

IT and business are not very well aligned, and the business is sometimes held back by IT

2

IT and business are largely misaligned, and IT is often a blocker to business change

1

Question not considered relevant

0

IT–Business alignment—Scorecard summary and planning sheet

Gain trust from the business

Current score

Target for next review

Establish a clear two-way dialogue between IT and the business

Align expectations on the basics between IT and the business

Achieve an acceptable level of availability and performance for all key services

Deliver new service capability in line with promises and expectations

Implement effective measurement and feedback mechanisms

TOTAL

IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES

Understand and reflect the business (i.e. ‘tune in’)

Current score

Target for next review

Establish mechanisms to coordinate goals and objectives

Provide clear business context for significant IT-related activity

Map the dependencies between asset, services and business value

Balance asset and services to deliver overall business advantage

Identify key IT suppliers

TOTAL

IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES

Engage the business

Current score

Target for next review

Make IT an integral part of the business management agenda

Integrate IT service management into the business itself

Implement a balanced business approach to demand management

Embrace key IT suppliers strategically and operationally

Institutionalize the process of sustaining alignment

TOTAL

IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES

Drive the business

Current score

Target for next review

Embrace IT as a strategic business enabler

Move responsibility for IT into the board room

Develop a coherent view of the organization, jointly owned by the business

Develop genuine win-win partnerships with key suppliers

Institutionalize an agile alignment culture

TOTAL

IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES

OVERALL IT–BUSINESS ALIGNMENT SCORE

Overall alignment score

Qualitative interpretation

80–100

The level of alignment between IT and the business is excellent. While it may be appropriate to improve in the few areas of shortfall (as identified in the scorecard), this probably amounts to tuning activities. The overall priority must be to maintain the alignment that currently exists.

60–80

While the IT organization is doing a good job of supporting the business, significant areas of underperformance exist, and business management is therefore likely to have certain concerns with the operation and delivery of the IT organization. The priority is to address those areas in which scores are low, prioritizing activity in order of the goals, that is, ‘Gain trust from the business first’. For example, if there are some basic issues that need resolving to gain the trust of the business, then deal with those first.

40–60

The chances are that IT is perceived by the business as not performing particularly well. We would anticipate that the business lacks trust in the IT organization as a result of some major shortfalls in how IT services are delivered to the business. As above, the priority is to address those areas in which scores are low, prioritizing activity in goal order.

Less than 40

The IT organization is essentially dysfunctional. The recommendation is to put an improvement program in place as a priority, making sure key personnel acquaint themselves with the principles in this book as part of the scoping and preparation process.

So,

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