For any enterprise to be successful, aligning business goals and IT spending is crucial. Tushar K. Hazra, a senior consultant at Cutter Consortium's Business and Architecture practice in Arlington, Mass., believes he has seven rules that can help with any organization's business-IT alignment efforts. From identifying the true cost benefits of IT projects to defining every employee's role, here are his ground rules:
- Recognize the expectations of business sponsors.
- Identify the true (not derived) cost benefits of IT projects.
- Review how business values will be measured. Without quantitative measures, there's no way to take corrective action.
- Define the roles and responsibilities of every employee, a prerequisite for accountability.
- Capture requirements for compliance with regulations, policies and procedures. "In terms of information architecture, compliance lets you do a better job," says Hazra.
- Agree on periodic milestone reviews, inspections and deliverables.
- Build and manage ground rules with incremental improvements from lessons learned. This offers a consistent way to manage relationships between business and IT groups.