Business Framework

IT Development Framework

IT changes are part of a larger business development process. They are done either to reduce cost or add value to the business both of which should increase the profit. The adding of value should grow the business. The IT development changes are dependent on the quality of the business change. Independent of business changes IT changes will provide minimum value and may actually reduce profit and value. IT changes have been used to drive business change but that can represent a failure of leadership.

Here is a framework for thinking about the work that may be done. The size of work depends on scope and the quality of the inputs, if they exist. In smaller organisations not all inputs would be needed and may be trivial though that can be surprising.

Each stage has a cost and it refines the development/implementation cost/value and the risk profile. The major difference between buy and build implementations are typically a major reduction in the cost of implementation though people can make the mistake of assuming that the activities are not needed.

Each stage should deliver long lasting assets (which because they are long lasting will be valuable) though depending on complexity a number of temporary/transitory items are required to deliver a stage.

It is important to see that it is an iterative process as it is impossible to predict a fast changing IT industry. Learnings from each iteration can be applied in the next. The cost of doing detailed planning for a long development cycle is high and is nearly always wrong by the time you get to implementation so the value is negligable. The art is doing enough planning to not end up in a back water or blind alley but not so much that it changes significantly by the time you get there. Business cases can be eroded if they are long running. The further out the change the less precise the planning needs to be.

To see the true value the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and value needs to be measured and considered. An accountant maybe needed to do the financial planning for the change.



Some Common Stage Inputs/Deliverables

Value Measurement

Cost and Value Factors

Current State

Organisation Strucuture

Business Processes

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

System Architecture


Describes where your business is at.

Current Profit

Quality and number of inputs influence the cost and value of knowing where you are in more than just dollar terms. (eg Efficiency and Value Measures)

Future State

Strategies, Policies

Business Analysis


Business Plans

New Processes

Architectural/System Options


Business Case


Describes where you want to be.

Estimated Implementation Cost (EIC)

Number of options

quality of business plans and strategies

avaliability of resources






Describes how to get there.


Capacity for change

Extent of change

Level of risk tolerance and mitigation.

IT Implementation Plan

Functional Requirements





Describes IT development/implementation.


Option selection

Tools and resourcing applied






Implementation/Development Cost

Tools and resourcing applied

Typically the largest cost for a build


New Organisation Strucuture

New Business Processes

New System Architecture

New Financials/Metrics

Describes how your business is now run. Setup for the next iteration of change.

Changed Profit

New new current state description.