It Support And Direction

While the above activities are IT responsibilities, IT can also help the business area by:

■ Defining the alliance's critical success factors: IT can identify specific items to be measured and communicated regarding the alliance's success, including conversion ratios, revenue, expenses, and quality factors. It is much easier to design systems to meet these needs up front, rather than redesigning them later.

■ Working with the business area to map out key processes: IT can draw a diagram of all the processes to show what is happening and when, so people can clearly understand what must take place in the alliance efforts. If there are gaps, it is easier to find them early on. Understanding the timing is key for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly exchanges. Mapping will also highlight differences in the companies' reporting schedules; for example, use of calendar year versus the corporate year-end.

It is important to map key business, financial, and systems processes, including critical dataflows and timing. Mapping business processes requires showing how the current processes work now and how the new processes will flow in the future. Changes to business processes might target phone call routing, procedural changes, and technological changes based on different systems used.

Financial processes will be mapped in different degrees of detail. For example, highlevel financial reporting can be shown by summary numbers from a paper report, while detailed reporting is necessary to pay compensation based on transactions.

Systems flows are important in showing different physical implementations of technology. Also, when an IT organization is switching to the new environment, it should not remove the old technology infrastructure too soon, in case there are transition issues.

■ Defining gaps in data definitions: In new alliances, where there is no existing business to transition, this step may not be important because each company will bring its own definitions to the table. Gaps in data definitions become more important when there is a transition of business from one company to another and detailed data mapping is required. The first step is to define data requirements for each system; for example, to illustrate what each field or file layout represents. Key business and IT staff must be assigned to work through the issues.

■ Developing comprehensive plans to address the gaps: It is important to bring alternatives and solutions to the table because IT has invaluable experience and knowledge. When IT understands the overall alliance objectives, it can strengthen its relationship with the business area by offering recommendations in solving business problems.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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