Mr. CIO: “Good morning Doc! Your office looks different!”
Dr.EA: “Yes! I am glad you noticed! Once a while, I move things around in my office! I get bored looking at the same thing the same way for a long time! Did you socialize our last week’s conversation with anyone?
Mr. CIO: “Sure! I did. I had a conversation with my boss and briefed her on our last week’s conversation. She was very supportive of us to continue this engagement. She likes to see what changes, we think, are needed to the way we operate, plan, organize, govern, and manage our projects. She is also interested in any suggestions that we might have on how to set goals, priorities and allocate resources. She asked me how the EA process would work. This is what I told her:
- First, we will discover and document the current environment. This will include strategy, goals, offerings, organization, processes, IT landscape, assets, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, customers, suppliers, partners, culture, …
- Second, we will identify the right things for our firm and then use them to define and document a target environment that will enable us to become the industry leader. I told her that the definition of the target environment would define "the to be" strategy, goals, organizational structure, culture, governance, management system, offerings, IT landscape, resources, clients, partners, suppliers,…
- Third, we will perform a gap analysis between the current and target environments.
- Fourth, we will prioritize gaps and develop a practical road map to bridge the gap with a focus on creating capabilities that deliver business values. The road map might include changes in governance, organization, culture, process, and technology.
- Fifth, we will put a management system in place to measure the progress and regularly check our target against world and business realities to make necessary adjustments as needed.
Dr.EA: “Yes, Indeed!”
Mr. CIO: “She volunteered to make herself available to help us to identify the right scope for the program and get the necessary support from other groups.”
Dr.EA: “That is great! Did she make any suggestions on how she would like the program to proceed?”
Mr. CIO: “Yes, She had a few suggestions too:
- First, plan for early and frequent value delivery to the business as part of the roadmap;
- Second, get early buy-in from business units by engaging them, early, in the process;
- Third, have the right scope for the program and avoid a bing-bang approach;
- Fourth, create a sense of urgency for the EA program;
- Fifth, be agile in every step of the process;
- Sixth, establish a pro-active communication plan."
Dr.EA: “Those are excellent points! You are lucky to have such a wise coach as your boss! Did she give you any cautionary advice?"
Mr. CIO: "Actually she did. Here are some of them:
- First, She really liked the step 5 of our process where we systematically check our target to make sure that targets defined in the past are still valid. She requested we ask independent groups to do that assessment. Her concern was that the same group who defined the target in the past might not be able to do an objective assessment of validity of that target in today's environment.
- Second she said we need to make sure the EA will not become a barrier for the innovation. Her concern was if we enforce EA as the way, then it would be difficult to have innovative ideas to emerge. She would like to see our proposal on how EA and innovation processes will co-exist and complement each other.
- Third,She wants us to leverage lessons-learned and best practices from others who have gone through the EA journey. She cautioned against a pure academic approach and asked for a balance between academic and practical aspects of EA. She asked we seek outside support in the entire process.
- Fourth, She asked leveraging, as much as possible, our existing people and resources in the EA program. She cautioned against creating an Ivory organization.
- Fifth, She asked if there is an EA maturity model that we can use to measure our progress. I promised her to talk to you and include that in our proposal."
Dr.EA: "Excellent points! I really like to meet your boss! Hope that could be arranged some time!"
Mr. CIO: “Yes, She is a wise leader and a great coach! We need to present our EA proposal to her and get her approval. I am counting on you to join me when presenting the proposal."
Dr.EA: "Sure! I will be there!"
Mr. CIO: "Thanks! I am ready to learn how to identify the right thing!”
Dr.EA: “Would you like to have a cup of coffee or a glass of water before we start?”
Mr. CIO: “Coffee would be great! I can use some caffeine!”.
Dr.EA: ”In that case, let’s walk to our cafeteria to get some good and fresh coffee. On the way, I will introduce you to some of my colleagues too!”
Mr. CIO: “That would be great! Let's do it!”.