I&O executives frequently build strategy documents that read like technology adoption roadmaps. Focusing solely on the answers to the operational level “how” and “when” questions neglects the importance of strategic principles and definitions of success. Spend more time on the “why,” by identifying goals and strategic principles, getting the right stakeholders involved in the process, establishing a process for regularly revisiting the document and, potentially, revising the strategy for the future.
Strategy documents fail when the goal is not clearly defined or when the defined goals do not connect to what business executives care about. Identify the organizationwide priorities that the IT organization supports, consider how I&O supports those priorities and use this goal cascade to shape the contents of the document.
Strategy documents fail when they do not involve and invoke the right people. A good strategy document is clear about the three “whos”: Who is the audience, who is participating in the strategy creation process and who does the strategy document affect?