Sticky Strategy is an interesting concept… I hear and see a great deal about strategies of all sorts in my consulting work both successful, ineffectual, innovative, obvious etc, but the number of true IT strategies that are operational i.e. have been implemented and are being managed and tracked are few and far between.
My definition of a sticky strategy is one that, once created (by the organisation or a partner like Trinity) actually gets implemented, no dust, no change of heart no ignorance, just strategy created + strategy followed = business and IT outcomes are being achieved.
There are a stack of challenges that prevent a strategy from sticking and deliver:
- Confusion over what IT Strategy means:
- Full IT estate
- Not taking sufficient heed over business strategy
- Focussing on strategy duration
- Why will a 5 year IT strategy keep you in a better position than a 1 1/2 year one that is regularly evolved with business changes?
- Evolving Service Models (see Stop Talking Fluffy Cloud Crap!)
- IT resources
- Business and economic influences
So back on track, how do you make an IT Strategy, whatever flavour it is, stick? I was going to way lyrical for a few “pages” about this, but the reality is that won’t add any value to you, and there are only, in my opinion, a small number of truths that together ensure the delivery of a “Sticky Strategy”..
- Business Vision and IT Strategy Alignment
- Business first
- IT Strategy has to deliver “services” that directly support the Business Strategy
- IT Strategy must be regularly evolved to keep in sync with business strategy changes, market influences and economic drivers
- Be Actionable
- Must be able to clearly articulate tangible IT projects from the strategy
- IT must be able to deliver with their IT eco-system (partners, contractors etc)
- Deliver Demonstrable Value
- Primarily to the Business (first bullet)
- Secondarily to the IT function
- Demonstrate Awesomeness
- Make the IT Director \ Senior IT Stakeholder look awesome in the eyes of the business and the Senior Executives.
Success starts at being able to clearly define what the strategy will do for the business and how. So every IT Strategy executive summary should start with something like the following, to ensure awesomeness for all involved:
“…This strategy will facilitate the delivery of business excellence and successful achievement of our key business objectives <list>; Delivering demonstrable value <list>; Through a programme of business-led IT projects <list>…”