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Publication Date: 27 May 2010 ID Number: G00200656

Internal Partner Scorecards Make Business Partners' Contributions Visible
Dave Aron

An internal partner scorecard for each business unit and function in the enterprise is a powerful technique. CIOs can use scorecards for making visible and improving the rest of the business's contribution to the value from IT operations andIT-intensive projects. Key Findings
Almost all IT-intensive projects deliver business value only through the participation of the rest of the business. It is often not very visible whether the rest of the business participated in IT-intensive projects as promised or required. The IT organization often gets the blame, or at least a credibility hit, when IT-intensive business projects fail.Recommendations
Create a scorecard for each internal partner (that is, business unit and function). At minimum, use the scorecards within IT to manage stakeholders. Consider sharing these scorecards more broadly to encourage participation. Include five categories of scorecard metric: forecasts of demand for IT, active participation in IT-related governance, active participation in IT-intensive projects,awareness and use of services, and achievement of promised benefits.

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The IT Organization Cannot Deliver Business Value on Its Own
It is often said that there are no such things as IT projects, only business projects (which may be more or less IT-intensive). Similarly, we have recently argued that the internal partners of IT should not be thought of in exactly the same way as the normal conception of"customer." These statements can be deconstructed into four aspects: 1. Business outcomes. All projects should have well-defined outcomes in terms of business value. That value may be about revenue, cost, risk or some other form of business value, but it should not be justified in terms of IT outcomes only. 2. Business sponsorship. All projects should have formal business sponsorship. Thatsponsorship may sometimes come from the CIO, acting as a business leader who is accountable for the business value promised. 3. Consistent approach. All projects should be managed with an appropriate rigor and approach, regardless of how IT-intensive they are. Project rigor should vary based on the risk to the business (although investment level is often used as a proxy for risk), but it should not differbetween projects that have little IT involvement and those that are very IT-intensive. 4. Co-creation of value. Almost all IT-intensive projects require activities to be performed by other parts of the business (including internal partners), outside of the CIO's control, in order to get to the value. For the purposes of this research, the fourth aspect here is important. The IT organizationcannot deliver the value alone. For example, in a sales automation project, the sales process must be changed, and the sales force must be trained and must use the system in order to reap the benefits. Similarly, IT operations cost and performance are strongly impacted by the behaviors of the rest of the business. If forecasts of demand are slow or inaccurate, or the rest of the business does not...