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How to simply break down the elements of a solid budget. The role of relationships in budgeting. A simple budget process flow. It is important for a CIOto have a philosophy around budgeting.
More important is that the philosophy be aligned with other members of the senior management team. This philosophy reduces the overall impact IT can have on improving the health of a company.
This approach can lead to companies that feel IT is not a major component of their competitive front, a conservative approach that might result in very tight spending, few to no projects, and a largely a sustaining-only environment. If this philosophy inhabits the entire enterprise, the CIO may need to boldly but carefully evangelize the value of change, persuading the executive team of the value of IT as a competitive weapon and a change stimulus.
This can be a difficult situation, but very rewarding if a turnaround is achieved. The budget is the bible. This means very tight monitoring of all major spending categories and little to no flexibility in adjusting for changes in major influencing factors.
Although the budget components might be very well planned, forcing a budget to survive for a full period of 12 months with little flexibility can lead to mediocre results in energizing the enterprise.
If this is the way of the enterprise, you must work on relaxing this boundary so you gain the flexibility you need to react appropriately.
Keeping executives abreast of trends in external influencing factors is one way to address this; another is to take advantage of opportunities created by significant changes in the enterprise acquisition, divesting, reorganization, a new product line launch, a new line of business to revisit your budget and propose necessary adjustments to make the change a success.
The budget is a guide. This looser definition implies flexibility, but too much of it over the course of 12 months can lead to overreacting to changes that do not necessarily critically impact the success of your enterprise. This philosophy can result in major overspending in one or several areas of IT.
If managed well, this approach is a good one; allow corrections based only on major changes in influencing factors. This means the IT budget is considered an investment, not a cost.
A budget stemming from this philosophy is usually balanced and filled with corporate and line of business LOB strengthening projects, a very healthy approach.
Adjustments are made for significant changes in influencing factors and in harmony with the rest of the senior management team.
This is the most effective in our opinion. Overall, the budget is a significant aspect of managing for success, but it is only one of many. Be serious in defining and using it in balance with the other aspects of successful IT management such as people, internal and external relationships, organization, and technology.
It is important to know the rationale behind the budget: A solid planning phase with clear budget impact statements, using a solid justification for the investments and attracted yearly expenses, is a necessity.
For all other investments, build the necessary support between the LOB and corporate function primaries. It is difficult to build a structure without a blueprint.Founded in , StepStone is one of the most successful online job board businesses in Europe today.
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