By: Bill Cason – CTO, Troux
As terminology for the practice of Enterprise Architecture has evolved from Enterprise Architecture to Enterprise Architecture Management or in our (Troux) case Enterprise Portfolio Management, I occasionally hear the term “IT Planning”. Although IT Planning per se is an important clog in the strategic IT management wheel, it alone is insufficient to a successful Enterprise Portfolio Management (aka EA) program.
Conventional theory defines management as a set of interconnected processes: Plan, Organize, Control, and Direct. Planning — here too —as you can see is necessary but not sufficient on its on own for successful strategic IT management
Likewise we can think of Enterprise Portfolio Management supporting a set of interconnected processes that include “planning” but extend well beyond to ensure strategic IT management decisions are made with a recognition of the other interconnected management processes.
The IT Management Processes
Enterprises have invested in their current IT management systems (e.g. ITSM, ALM, PPM et al) to support a wide variety of IT processes. Today most of these processes are siloed within a particular system, but in fact if we step back and take a “big picture” view of these processes it is possible to identify a set of interacting management value chains that span IT in its entirety. These value chains can be characterized into five fundamental management processes as shownin Figure 2.
- IT Change Management: The objective of change management is to
ensure processes are defined for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to IT infrastructure, in order to minimize the number and impact of any related incidents upon service (paraphrased from Wikipedia).
- IT Portfolio Governance: The processes of managing the risk, health, standards, and compliance of the IT assets such as technology, applications, and information.
- IT Demand to Delivery: The process of managing the investment portfolio including business demand, funding, solution architecture, governance, and delivery.
- IT Financial Management: The processes of IT financial budgeting, measurement, reporting, and forecasting.
- Business and IT Planning: The process of business and IT strategic planning and roadmapping.
These value chains do not exist independently, but instead create a value network through their interactions. Figure 3 depicts an example showing how they might interact. For example, in this case a new business need identified in the Business/IT Planning value chain drives budget needs in the IT Financial Management value chain resulting in a new program request in the Demand to Delivery value chain that needs to be coordinated with investment needs (for example an application modernization need) coming from the IT Portfolio Management value chain – hence Planning is not enough.
Enterprise Portfolio Management comprises of a broad set of rich information sources and a number of interacting value chains and processes that are each dependent on the other. It is clearly a complex system and due to that complexity it can be chaotic and subject to the “IT butterfly effect” where small changes in the environment can have unexpected and potentially disastrous results.
The purpose of Enterprise Portfolio Management is to give insight into the interconnected nature of these portfolios and value chains in order to manage the chaos. That certainly goes well beyond the requisite “IT Planning”. To quote an ancient saying: “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.” EPM delivers both planning and action.
For more information on EPMs role in the IT Management process click here http://www.troux.com/solutions/ .