- You go back to the sponsors, assign a business analyst and work on requirements and a project plan. Once requirements are largely stable, you then look at delivery options, technology choices, assign teams, etc. We all know this as the waterfall approach.
- Option b, the agile methodology - would essentially assign a team to work with the business manager to identify the most business critical, or technical risky aspects of the project. The team would then commit to some deliverables it would provide in a relatively short iteration - usually 2-4 weeks. The team would then offer to demo their work at the end of the iteration, then would focus on the next set of critical items for the project.
In agile, the CIO is getting the following significant advantages:
- Low up front business investment - Teams can start working on the most critical features and risky technical areas without overtaxing the business sponsors for up front information.
- Frequent delivery leads to better execution - Let's say your teams does two week iterations - in three months they complete six iterations giving them plenty of time to prove themselves, mature the agile process, and time for the CIO to make adjustments. This is really one of the key points since no team is perfect and tech execution always carries risk. CIOs can leverage this process to prove the team's credibility.
- Allowing Sponsors to prioritize at the beginning of each iteration leads to better Business / IT alignment. The Sponsor gets to prioritize based on customer feedback, the CIO gets the IT team direct engagement from the Sponsor.
Credibility + Dialogue = Collaboration and that Collaboration between Business and IT Leads to Innovation.