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Briefing: From Good to Great

Jesse Sie | March 27, 2012
Business and IT alignment has always been the talk of the boardroom. Yet, aligning IT to business strategy remains one of the most important challenges for many organisations.

The first best practice is real-time planning. “This is a very important practice that all organisations should adopt,” said O’Rourke. “Often, executives lack the accurate and relevant data they need to make critical decisions. With real-time planning, they will be able to make decisions today based on that single source of truth. This means that they will have a plan that is constantly updated by what’s happening in real-time. And getting those updates in real time is critical, especially if I have a requirement and it changes.” 

Second best practice is lifecycle traceability. Lifecycle traceability improves quality by establishing relationships between software artifacts. It helps organisations identify and close artifact gaps, ensure coverage across disciplines, while providing visibility into the completeness of planned items by inspecting all related artifacts. In short, it provides easy access to related artifacts ensuring everyone shares the same view in a transparent manner, which enables everyone to make fully informed decisions based business priorities. 

“The third best practice is what we call In-Context Collaboration,” said O’Rourke. “With this, you can improve product value by making information immediately accessible to all team members in the context of their work, empower teams to collaborate on and review software development artifacts. This is so that they can incorporate feedback early and often, and provide a single source of truth hosted in a shared repository for team members to collaborate effectively.”

Fourth best practice is development intelligence, which can improve predictability by applying business intelligence techniques for development. This best practice enables fact-based decision making and helps steer projects and programmes to be delivered on schedule.  

“The fifth best practice is this notion of continuous improvement,” said O’Rourke. “With a base measurement system in place, I will be able to constantly assess where I am instead of waiting for data and trying to do things at the very end of the process when it will be too late.”

O’Rourke continued: “Organisations that implement these five best practices have seen improved productivity of four to six percent annually. And for a high cost country like the US, that translates to US$ 5,000 to 10,000 a year per employee in terms of productivity. Imagine what you can do with that money.”


In Closing

Following a speakers’ panel discussion, the briefing was closed with an advice to the delegates from O’Rourke. “Regardless of the vendor you choose to help you align your business and IT strategies, do make sure you have a value discussion. Most important of all, it must be win-win for both you and your vendor. Also your vendor must be able to provide you with a proven methodology and a business value assessment prior to project implementation,” said O’Rourke.



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