CPIC as Component of a Broader Management
The CPIC discipline must become integrated into
the broader framework that includes robust approaches to strategic
planning, Balanced Scorecards, and portfolio management.
Strategic Planning. At the highest level,
IT must be an integral part of an agency’s core strategic visioning and
planning process. An “IT Strategic Plan” must be spawned by the overall
strategic plan. It cannot be separated from mission, human resources,
financial, or other requirements. Gap analysis and
alternatives analysis should begin at the enterprise level, because
there are few “technology solutions” that are not intertwined with
overall business issues.
All too often, departmental strategic plans
relegate IT to a sub-goal or objective, such as business modernization,
when in fact technology should be an integral component of the mission,
the services, and delivery system. Can you imagine moving money at
Treasury without IT? Or protecting U.S. borders without technology? Or
evaluating climate or soil conditions for farmers without information
systems? IT is not an add-on; it’s like the air we
breathe … inherent, environmental, and integrated with the delivery of
government programmatic services and products.
Balanced Scorecards provide a powerful
means for harnessing information technology to broader enterprise
results. Harvard Business Review proclaimed Balanced Scorecards as one
of the most important business concepts to come out of the 1990s. They
help executives and senior managers translate strategy into
initiatives, align the organization with strategic goals, and manage
Projects and portfolios of projects should line
up with enterprise metrics for Balanced Scorecards. Linking projects and
programs to Balanced Scorecards and strategy mapping was the topic of a
recent webcast sponsored by the Financial Services Specific Interest Group
(SIG) of the Project Management Institute. The webcast is archived as Ensuring
Value, Creating Enduring Project Performance, and it
continues to be available to SIG members. The presenter is Ron Person,
a Certified Management Consultant and Project Management Professional.
An Enterprise Management Office (EMO) is a rapidly-emerging function
that translates strategy into action, implements enterprise-level
governance, and serves as an agent for change management. It typically
doesn’t get “down in the weeds” of project management, but it should
play a strong role in accountability, constructive guidance, and
silo-busting. It should provide IT project, programs, and Project
Management Offices (PMOs) with a road map of how to get to an
enterprise-friendly future from the status quo.
When well implemented, an EMO can offer a
positive value proposition to sub-agencies, PMOs, programs, and
projects. It can clarify priorities for projects, ensure that IT
budgets are justified by organizational strategy, and create a
community of IT professionals who work together to advance the core
programs and mission of the enterprise.
The EMO can also make strategic use of the
ongoing work to support CPIC: a library of Post-Implementation Reviews
(PIRS) can be highly valuable for future projects. Enterprise-wide EVMS
will give clues to how better policies and acquisition strategies can
resolve performance and cost bottlenecks. OMB 300 goals and metrics
that roll up to a Balanced Scorecard can demonstrate the value of
well-executed IT budgets.
Portfolio Management. Portfolio
is a structured process for overseeing a collection of
investments, and often it is accomplished within the aegis of a PMO—a
program management office or project management office. This may
include entire lifecycle IT assets (Operations & Maintenance as
well as development, modernization and enhancement initiatives). In the
Federal government it is often organized at the sub-agency level or
line-of-business level, such as health or financial PMO.
Other Issues. Like CPIC, the
discipline of Enterprise Architecture needs to become better
integrated into the strategic management process. Also like CPIC, it
currently tends to be like an island within enterprises. Some of our
thoughts are in a previous article, Putting
Federal in EA.
You will also find that there are many other
disciplines that should be integrated into enterprise-level technology
management. Examples are Business Analysis and Six Sigma.
Getting IT Right
In a worldwide survey of program and
project management maturity, PriceWaterhouseCoopers found:
related to institutionalization of change--integration with other
enterprise processes such as procurement, strategic planning, portfolio
management techniques, and a continuous improvement mentality
frequently blames project managers for poor results and bad management,
but the survey found that many of the reasons for failure are
organizationally related and outside the influence of project managers.
You might want to think of enterprise
technology management as a football team. You have a variety of
players: quarterbacks, running backs, linemen, etc. You don't win
unless you have an entire team of good performers who work together.
With occasional exceptions, CPIC and
other players are on separate ballfields, and that's no way to achieve
success for the enterprise team.
Back to the Future
The CPIC process must ultimately be a
component of a more comprehensive process. Many Federal Departments and
sub-agencies are already well on their way to an enterprise-wide
approach to technology management. In our opinion, this is a good thing.
CPIC methods should be--and indeed are
becoming--consolidated into the processes of PMOs and Enterprise
Management Offices. The processes will remain identifiable to ensure
compliance with legislation, but they will be leveraged through a
comprehensive approach to truly effective technology management.