Avoid long-term strategies
When it comes to information management or content management strategies, particularly at the enterprise level, there is a strong tendency (and desire) to create long-term plans. These plans may outline activities more than of 18 or 24 months in advance, starting with the deployment of base infrastructure, through to the final delivery of strong business functionality.
These plans mostly fail, and few ever end up delivering the hoped-for benefits. While this is not an argument for abandoning strategic planning entirely, it raises a question whether long-term plans are the most sensible approach.
This briefing will explore some of the issues encountered when creating and executing long-term plans, and will argue for an approach that delivers benefits on a much more frequent basis.
Source of long-term plans
Two- or three-year strategies are common in the domains of IT and IS. These types of strategies arise as a natural result of working backwards from the final objectives:
- The end result is identified, typically involving widespread and fundamental changes throughout the organisation.
- Major activities are identified to deliver these benefits, including changes to both technology and business processes.
- Underlying infrastructure will need to be put in place to enable the new functionality to be delivered. This typically involves purchasing new software.
- Detailed plans and specifications are needed to guide the selection, design and implementation of this solution.
- Business analysis needs to be conducted to identify overall business needs and specific requirements, as the primary input into the plans and specifications.
Each of these steps takes three to six months to complete, making the total project at least 12-24 months in total.
[CM Briefing 2007-12, read the full article]