A common challenge among Innotas customers can be summed up in a simple question: How do I manage the demand on my IT organization and ensure we are doing the right work (projects, enhancements) – the work that aligns with overall business objectives and delivers value for the entire organization?
A lot of the time, work is chosen for execution reactively with no push back (“let’s just get it done as soon as we can”), based on a single person’s decision (“Joe thought about it and thinks we should do this first”), or politically driven (“The CxO want this done now!”).
So, how do we avoid these pitfalls and ensure all the work we choose to do aligns with our company’s overall business objectives?
The answer is actually simpler than expected. Most IT departments already have a process in place through which they receive requests for work (projects, enhancements, etc). By simply adding one more step to this process in which incoming requests are scored based on a generally accepted scoring framework, the IT department can properly ensure that the highest scoring (best aligned) work is selected for execution. This framework will be different for every company (some common aspects are risk, value, and business alignment). So how do we go about developing a scoring framework?
Here’s a simple checklist:
- Setup a scoring framework(s)
- Develop the framework collaboratively (identify who makes decisions now and get them all in a room together). Be sure to explain the benefits of a scoring framework.
- Be sure to think about multiple frameworks. A project scoring framework may be significantly more in-depth than an enhancement request scoring framework.
- Apply the framework(s)
- Add a step to the work request and approval process and ensure all work goes through the scoring process.
- Revisit the framework(s)
- Do this annually. Things naturally change, and with that change, there may be tweaks required to your scoring process.
- Score and rescore inflight work
- Do this when you first implement your scoring framework. Kill projects that don’t make the cut, keep the ones that do, and use that freed up resource capacity to execute more relevant work.
- After making changes to your framework (if any), re-score your current in-flight work to ensure your work is still aligned to business objectives.
By implementing the outlined process, you can:
- Ensure the right work gets selected for execution based on how well it aligns with business objectives.
- Free resource capacity from irrelevant work, allowing for more strategic work to get done.
- Eliminate reactively acting to work requests, single points of failure, or politically driven decision making.
Have a good time setting this up and let us know if you’d like to talk about it.