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The development and use of a toolset for industrial IT portfolio management

By Mark De Chazal


A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.Many companies have had adverse experiences of information system costing more and delivering less\ud than originally planned. This thesis proposes a tool set for effective IT portfolio management. RollsRoyce\ud Naval Marine sponsored a study to create, develop and evaluate a practical IT portfolio\ud management toolset. One implication of this was tat the study took place entirely within a 'live'\ud environment - the tools were developed in close partnership with the employees of Rolls-Royce, and\ud the work performed was a significant contributor to the profit margin of Rolls-Royce Naval Marine\ud Support. The initial version of the toolset was piloted in the Configuration Management area of the\ud Submarine Support business units. Other Rolls-Royce business units then provided a test for the\ud general applicability of the methodologies and tools developed. The objectives of the IT portfolio\ud management strategy were to maintain current business capability, enable future business, and where\ud possible, identify possible cost savings through betrer usage of information.\ud The portfolio management framework drew upon Checkland's soft systems methodology, extensively\ud adapting it to suit the specific situation faced. Various tools were employed to solicit current and future\ud business requirements. Feature analysis was evaluated for use in matching features to systems, cost,\ud strategic intent, and process. Diagrammatic tools included different types of rich pictures, entity\ud relationship diagrams and contextual data flow diagrams. Gap analysis illustrated the difference\ud between capability and requirements. Techniques were developed to portray the results so that they\ud could be effectively communicated. Options were evaluated using various methods for assessing costeffectiveness.\ud A technique was developed to manage the various stakeholders involved in the\ud information systems strategy.\ud The output was a cost-effective, implementable strategy that supported both current and future business\ud requirements, and had buy-in from users, developers, and management. The IT portfolio management\ud strategy was evaluated by identifying actual and potential operational savings, leading to a\ud rationalisation of the methodology to provide more flexibility.\ud The IT portfolio management strategy developed is specific to the business site. However, the process\ud by which it was created can be used by any business, and is very flexible. Several of the tools have\ud been used in other parts of Rolls-Royce with success, two of them are under consideration for adoption\ud into Rolls-Royce processes for global deployment. IT portfolio management in other areas of RollsRoyce\ud is being increasingly influenced by the framework and toolset created during this thesis

Publisher: © Mark De Chazal
Year: 2002
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