Investment (ICT) planning

PLEASE NOTE - a review of the current ICT planning methodology is currently underway - you can view drafts of the new Digital and ICT planning methodology here.

Investment planning (also known as ICT resources strategic planning) provides techniques to agencies to help them align and optimise their ICT activities and investments with the strategic direction of the business. It assists agencies to:

  • better understand an organisation’s business, information and ICT environments
  • assess an organisation’s business, information and ICT holdings for business value and condition.

The Value created by the Queensland Government ICT Planning Methodology is achieved through Visibility of an agency’s strategic intent, business processes, information needs and investments in supporting ICT.  The following techniques have been developed to support Queensland Government agencies during their investment planning activities. The information on techniques for investment planning are:

Who might find these techniques useful?

Business planners, ICT planners, business analysts and ICT analysts may wish to include these techniques into their toolkits to better support an organisation in planning for future investments in business and ICT.

​What is the relationship to enterprise architecture?

Before exploring the relationship, the following definitions of enterprise architecture and investment planning may be useful.

Terms

Description

Enterprise Architecture Enterprise architecture assists in the design of the enterprise, its services, and associated processes, information, and ICT. It describes the terminology, composition of these components and their relationships. Enterprise architecture aims to understand the organisation (baseline) and its direction (future state) and provides evidence based techniques (assessment) to support a managed transition to an organisation’s future state.
Investment planning A structured and evidence-based process to derive a forward work plan. Planning entails gathering, classifying, mapping, and assessing a chain of entities from the high level of business direction and business processes down to specific initiatives. This chain of reasoning should be traceable in both directions and provides an understanding of current investments (assets), and provides a justification for specific initiatives including a level of confidence that those initiatives that are of most benefit to the organisation are those that are undertaken.

In reality, enterprise architecture and investment planning have a somewhat symbiotic relationship, and both are fundamentally concerned with ensuring investments and initiatives are aligned with and support business objectives and processes.

The Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture

The Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA) is a federated architecture, which acknowledges that the Queensland Government is a single enterprise composed of autonomous agencies. Agencies are responsible for their own enterprise architectures, yet are able to leverage and contribute to whole-of-government architectures and investments through a single consistent framework. For example the QGEA:

  • documents whole-of-government drivers and directions (e.g. QGEA policies)
  • provides a means to identify and define organisational elements through standard classification frameworks covering business services, business processes, information, application and technology classification frameworks
  • provides a means to describe the current state of the Government’s investment in information and ICT
  • facilitates processes for the development, management, approval and compliance of strategy, policy and related documents.

Thus the QGEA is a major information source for agencies to optimise their business and ICT investments. It provides guidance by identifying preferred approaches, processes, management techniques and ICT that agencies can adopt. This repository includes a range of documents such as strategies, policies, implementation constraints, methodologies and tools.

The figure above illustrates the components (and their relationship) that make up an organisation, in terms of context, constraints, change portfolio and support. For further information on these components refer to the QGEA website.

The investment management cycle

Investment planning is just one aspect of the broader investment management cycle. The figure below provides a graphical illustration from understanding future drivers, to planning the ‘right’ initiatives and finally realising the benefits of initiatives that the organisation has implemented.

As can be seen above, both enterprise architecture and project and program management play an important (but different) role within the investment management cycle.

Enterprise architecture ensures that the ‘right’ initiatives have been developed (will the initiative be of the most benefit to the organisation?). Project and program management ensures that the initiatives are managed ‘right’ (have the benefits of the initiatives been realised?).

The ICT planning methodology (2008)

The ICT planning methodology (June 2008 version 3.1) was developed to be used by agencies to complement their existing ICT planning methods where they exist, or where agencies did not have in place an ICT strategic planning methodology.  It takes a systematic approach to the examination of an agency's business objectives, strategies and processes, and the support afforded them by the agency's ICT investment, and provides analytical techniques which help define a future direction for ICT investment within an agency.  The ICT planning methodology was documented in three parts:

PLEASE NOTE - a review of the current ICT planning methodology is currently underway - you can view drafts of the new Digital and ICT planning methodology here.

For further information about the investment planning process or the techniques handbook, please contact qgcio@qgcio.qld.gov.au.

Acknowledgements

The Investment (ICT) planning methodology was developed by Don Ashdown, Alan Chapman, Narelle Grudgfield, Jeff Tendero and Paul York of the Architecture and Standards unit of Government ICT and updated by Peggy Hebblethwaite, Sam Higgins and Robert Winchester of the Enterprise Architecture and Strategy Unit.


Last Reviewed: 20 September 2017