Does Maturity bring Alignment?

28 Nov

Hopefully by now you understand the importance of harmony between IT and business. If you don’t here is everything you need you know. I ve also mentioned in the past the importance of creating the right strategic fit for your company. As [Henderson and Venkatraman, 1999] illustrate functional integration is what separates business from IT.  Building on the work of ac04 in her work on how enables/inhibitors impact on alignment , I hope to expand on this by describing the strategic alignment maturity assessment method of [Luftman, 2000].

This method helps firms to judge where it stands on the road to alignment; it also flags potential opportunity for firms to tighten alignment. The method is really a model and this model has 6 areas of alignment. Each area is multi-faceted. The reason for 6 areas is as Luftman states because there “no single activity will enable a firm to attain and sustain alignment”.

http://businessitalignment.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/samm.jpg?w=300&h=270

Each unit is assessed by a team of business and IT executives and a score allocated from levels 1 to 5 with 5 being the worst.

The IT and business team must then agree on the firms current level. The conversation that ensues on how best to achieve alignment is extremely valuable to understand the firms current state of maturity and how best to improve it.

By recognizing what level of maturity the firm is at it can then gauge how best to reach the next level of maturity through outlining improvement areas. But arguably more importantly it provides a framework for IT/business managers to interact and discuss problems and potential improvements for the firm. The key for alignment is to get all six elements of the above diagram to work in harmony. This benchmarking approach is essentially a benchmarking process, that marries the twin dynamic worlds of business and IT.

http://www.sba.oakland.edu/Faculty/LAUER/downloads/MIS625/Readings/IT-Business%20Alignment.pdf

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2 Responses to “Does Maturity bring Alignment?”

  1. pm1083 November 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I like that model. It seems to stress the importance of communication in strategic alignment which is a recurring theme in many of the articles and journals I’ve read.

  2. thestrategicblogger November 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Thanks you pm1083 all other comments queries and suggestions welcome

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