IT governance: 10 tips to get the most from your IT investments

IT governance, broadly defined as ensuring that an organization's technology investment and operations are in sync with its overall goals, isn't always easy to implement. In this excerpt from the book Glitch: The Hidden impact of Faulty Software, WebLayers Inc. CEO Jeff Papows offers 10 ideas on how best to implement IT governance -- plus 10 ways you might be squandering IT governance resources. Reprinted with permission of the publisher; copyright Pearson Education Inc., all rights reserved.

10 ways to maximize IT governance resources

1. Hold frank discussions with developers about the value of governance, and address issues without fostering a fear of voicing opinions.

2. Create a cross-functional, company-wide IT Governance Council responsible for ensuring appropriate enforcement and aligning technology with customer priorities.

3. Establish benchmarks, and evaluate progress according to agreed-upon metrics.

4. Promote IT governance as a positive contributor to the company's bottom line, and offer employee bonuses to help negate unfavorable connotations.

5. Make each part of the IT infrastructure transparent.

6. Extend corporate governance policies to outsourcers.

7. Create reporting dashboards that reflect business goals.

8. Raise awareness of potential trends among employees or teams that may signal dissonance or gaps in skills.

9. Apply governance at each stage of the software development life cycle to avoid gaps that lead to glitches.

10. Automate where possible, but don't abandon the human review cycle.

10 ways to squander IT governance resources

1. Enforce bureaucratic processes without explaining the context.

2. Include overlapping layers of oversight.

3. Create reports that nobody can understand.

4. Lock developers out of the code.

5. Take a department-wide approach.

6. Maintain a hyper focus on perfection.

7. Apply IT governance to only one aspect of the development cycle.

8. Don't track the cost and/or time savings IT governance provides.

9. Re-create similar policies.

10. Assume that existing IT governance resources cover compliance.

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