I saw a recent post on our internal collaboration tool about doing an IT Strategy on a page and it got me thinking – as these things do..
Is it getting it on a single page that is considered good, or simply that there is an IT Strategy that can be written down?
The one page effectively means that the author has managed to summarise what otherwise is inferred to be a much larger piece of work
And this is where I think the premise is wrong and more critically the measure is wrong.
The “better” way to approach this in my opinion is by taking the words of Simon Wardley on the “Crossing the river by feeling the stones”…
This is published here: Crossing the river by feeling the stones – Simon Wardley (Leading Edge Forum (CSC))
Simon’s approach as always is very eloquent and thought provoking but if I was to summarise a huge amount of thinking and research, it is that an IT Strategy has 5 core elements; Purpose, Landscape – using a map, Climate, Doctrine and Leadership. Get these give correct and it will not only be an IT Strategy that can be written down but one that will actually work. The other key dimension, is that this is not a waterfall approach – it has to be iterative – with the best example of how to do this by using the OODA loop concept.
Why is this approach different to many others – the answer is in the title of Simon’s research – you need the best situational awareness possible – and this is why Armed forces can be very good at doing this sort of thing as its effectively in their nature and why Financial Institutions as a different example are typically very bad at it. No situational awareness means you can’t do any of the given points to any level of effectiveness and all you would end up with is a 60 page document that was paid to some very high cost consultants who then for an additional fee summarised into a single page… And that takes me back to the beginning again….