Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Creating Quantitative IT Governance

Over the past few months I've been talking to many industry leaders about the challenge of matching IT supply and demand.   Governance committees are essential but are not enough when the number of project requests is so large that they become difficult to triage.

Objective, quantitative scoring criteria can help.

 Intel has implemented a Business Value Index that is based on numerical scoring of

Customer need
Business and technical risks
Strategic fit
Revenue potential
Level of required investment
Amount of innovation and learning generated

My colleagues at Stanford have developed a quantitative approach based on a weighted scoring of

Quality and Effectiveness
User Productivity and Satisfaction (includes providers, patients, referring MDs)
Compliance (required by law or external regulatory/accreditation body)
Patient Safety

Their process is very robust as described by Dr. Pravene Nath

"We take all inbound requests, whether captured by helpdesk or in meetings. A clinical informaticist reviews the request and presents it at our scoring committee meeting, which lasts for about an hour each week. The informaticist provides a preliminary scoring, and the group either confirms it, adjusts it, or sends it back for more research. Occasionally a request will be outright denied at the meeting if it just doesn't make sense. We have an appeals process for the requestor but it is rarely used. All requests, regardless of age, are kept in a rank ordered list by priority based on score. The application teams work from the top of that list downward, and they don't pick up anything new from the list until something currently underway is completed. Lastly, we reserve some capacity for fast track (easy items) which can be done even if lower on the list."

BIDMC has prioritized capital projects (IT and others) by scoring

Return on Investment
Strategic Alignment
Impact factor (Employees, Clinicians, Patients)

We have policies that require CIO sign off of all IT-related projects to ensure grant funded/departmental funded IT projects are prioritized along with institutionally funded capital projects.

This year, we're looking to expand quantitative IT governance to those projects which are not capital funded and simply use existing staff resources.

I welcome your input on approaches you have used to rank project requests in a way that stakeholders feel is objective, transparent, and fair.

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