IT Strategy Director

This role is one of my aspirations to work in near future. I have been working on IT industry for 21 years on different roles and I have invested on learning about strategy for so long, as this strategic view of the work enabled me to succeed on my duties.

The title name? it could be IT Strategy Director, it could be Chief Strategy Officer, it could be strategy consultant….

All this background gives you experience on the ground about how things works.

Values when working on Strategy

There are some bases I consider important when working on strategy, and I would like to mention it:

  1. Strategy is an iterative process: you define a purpose, a direction and then you adapt through the course of your journey.
  2. You cannot separate strategy of execution: this means, you have to work on the real things happening, gain awareness of it and adapt your capabilities to the new challenges happening.
  3. Strategy is not just at executive level: all roles of an organization has a strategic perspective, a healthy organization understands it and promotes this way of thinking.
  4. Technology is an accelerator lever for almost any strategy. I work with technology because you can use it to accelerate and change the way things are done. There is still a lot of things that are done in the old way: some still not realize it, some others asks for help (I need a “transformation”) and some others have it in their DNA (business and IT are the same thing). Are there exceptions? sure.

Responsibilities

Depending on the purpose of the role, the responsibilities and accountability can change (subject to context), but in general I would say these duties are critical for the role:

  • Facilitate the creation of strategy
    • Define a common language that enable the definition of basic principles when discussing about strategy.
    • Work with senior management on the key questions and elements of the strategy, so these people can define the choices they have and how to tackle the capabilities they have into value.
    • Identify, the evolution needs of the identified components of the portfolio, enable the prioritization of them.
    • Understand the climatic patterns that mainly affect the context analyzed.
    • Support the identification of predominant doctrines into the organization, and work on the definition of actions to improve them.
    • Work on a set of potential gameplays that will enable the competitive advantage expected to create a superior value to the customer.
    • Support the definition of the “user”, all its features, how it works, how it behaves…
    • Set measurable OKRs.
  • Coordinate the Creation of Strategy
    • Once the strategy at different levels is being defined and approved, they have to be coordinated. The right link of them and ensure they are enabled are
    • Resolution of conflicts at strategic level, and enablement of the right positive tension between the different teams.
    • Track and link benefits and enablers for the business of these actions on component evolution.
  • Ensure the Consistency of Strategy
    • Choices are taken and discarded at many levels of an organization, the different groups have to be able to understand their context, define their strategy and put it in place. These one have to be aligned with the strategies dependent of them.
    • Identify and eliminate duplications in the environment.
  • Portfolio Value Alignment & Governance
    • Partner with business leads to develop and review lean business cases, linking business benefits to IT investments for funding and allocation requests.
    • Help mature Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) and their use / tie to work plans.
    • Ensure governance processes are applied consistently for different type of delivery (Waterfall, Scrum, Scaled Agile, ITIL…).
  • Program Team Leadership
    • Work with business leads to capture and track new demand requests, ensuring tie against portfolio goals / strategy through end to end process.
    • Support routine meetings for portfolio reviews, namely: new demand request adjudication, portfolio re-allocation, and status reporting.
    • Work with specified accountability and working on details “Cross the river feeling the stones”.
  • Finance
    • Identify the value of each IT asset provides to business.
    • Identify the main cost issues that each IT asset has, and how these costs are allocated.
    • Link the assets duplication with cost duplication.
    • Build business cases with the IT responsible of the assets to remove operational costs and duplications.
    • Link financial goals to maturity evolution goals.
  • How is your day?
    • 5% of your time is for reviewing strategy and adapt when needed. It looks like it’s not so much time, but you are here to work on execution and transform the whole thing This is the reason because you have to move quickly on this side and have clear of these concepts of strategy.
    • 95% is execution, execution and execution. Things do not move just because you think about them.

Where can I find something else?

You can access to these two sections of this site:

I am looking forward to work on this role and being able to provide value to your organization. Please, in case this is appealing to you, get in touch with me.

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