Many of us tend to think of “governance” as an opaque thing, too densely complicated to comprehend whether discussing IT or the government. But at least when it applies to IT, there a few central pieces of logic we can follow to unravel the mystery. In an article for ServiceManagers.org, Suresh GP breaks past five myths that muddle understanding of IT governance.
- Governance is just top leadership’s burden.
- Governance demands a formal framework for results.
- Leadership buy-in overrides company culture.
- The executive board just wants to see metrics and dashboards.
- Governance is too costly to establish in small/medium-sized businesses.
Good governance certainly starts at the top, but the obligation is on everyone at all layers of the organization to maintain it. After all, governance is about creating and monitoring processes that keep the business in strategic alignment. Executives and their bureaucracy will not create alignment by themselves.
It certainly helps when governance makes use of practical frameworks like ITIL and COBIT, but it is not required from the very outset. In the beginning, all that we need is four sound fundamentals: leadership, organizational structure, processes, and management of organizational change. Best practice frameworks can be gradually applied when these items are in place.
To give an example of how people might subscribe to the third myth, suppose a business’s leadership is really impressed with Coca-Cola’s governance and wants to replicate it. But the current business’s culture and setup may not support this new governance in any practical way, creating a disaster and proving leadership buy-in is not enough for great governance. And about the fourth myth regarding what executive boards want to see, Suresh GP says this:
Organizations are very good in meeting SLAs, Operational Metrics & great CSAT ratings. Gone are the days that meeting your agreed contractual obligations and prerogatives is sufficient to sustain momentum. Executive Board and Senior Management are interested on 5 major areas. 1. Strategic Alignment 2. Value Delivery 3. Risk Management 4. Resource Management 5. Performance Measurement. So beyond the traditional Metrics and dashboards there is a shift of focus to Balance Score Card (BSC) & Higher Internal Metrics for all governance areas to continually improve and deliver agreed business Outcomes. The Ultimatum is not the numbers but achievement of planned business objectives.
Lastly, governance is something that can be established in a business of any size. It just has to be thought of as a brick-laying exercise, rather than a wall-building exercise.
You can view the original article here: https://servicemanagers.org/it-governance-myths/