alignment - IT, you figure it out

promoting strategy

After being layed out, a strategy must be promoted in the company. Per the ideas around the Balanced Score Card you:

  • measure the current -null- company state
  • propagate the strategy
  • measure the succes of the propagation, does everyone know and understand the strategy
  • measure the effectiveness of the strategy by comparing the new company state with the null state
It looks as if strategy is most practiced in the groups that perform the primary business functions. They would be the primary co-developpers and implementors of the strategy. Supporting staff or back-office departments are more likely to experience the effects of a new strategy by receiving changed working instructions. In that case it would be difficult for them to understand the idea for the change.

reverse engineering the strategy

You must have heared those rumours that IT is a commodity. It would thus be considered to be just an other support function. It would in such model be unlikely that IT would be targeted with -the development of- a strategy.

It can even get worse. Since you do not understand what those guys are doing anyway, the instruction to them may be like "We need changes to the system. Can you, IT, please identify them and implement them." Hence the situation is reversed. IT staff now goes out into the company. It has to try and grasp the general idea from looking at the way different departments implemented fragments of the strategy.

Theo van Eijndhoven, 2004