Demand statements and IT Strategy
In this Newsletter we will talk about what i like to call Demand Statements, what they are, why they are useful in developing your IT Strategy and how to create them.
When developing an IT Strategy it is important to be able to:
- Succinctly summarise the vast quantities of information you receive from stakeholders
- Very quickly play back what you have learnt from stakeholders to show that you’ve listened and understood, and ensure continued buy-in from stakeholders
Demand Statements along with many other techniques and approaches will be covered in more detail in my upcoming How to IT Strategy course, sign up at howtoitstrategy.com for early access (and an early bird discount!).
We’ve talked in previous Newsletters about the importance of stakeholder engagement and using Structured Interviews to extract as much information and insight from stakeholders as possible, to inform your IT Strategy development. Demand Statements are a great way of summarising the insight you’ve got from your structure interviews and stakeholder engagement
What is a Demand Statement?
A demand statement, is a textual description limited to a single page of A4, focused on a specific functional area of the organisation (e.g. customer services, marketing, finance, etc), written from a stakeholders perspective. I’ve found this simple structure to be very effective:
- Overview: A paragraph overview of the functional area, why it exists and the key things if focuses on
- Observations: A 2-3 paragraph summary of what you have observed during your discovery phase and interviews
- Opportunities: A paragraph and bullet point list of key opportunities for the functional area that should be addressed through the IT Strategy
This type of Demand Statement serves the following purposes:
- They can form part of a formal playback with stakeholders for them to review to make sure you’ve captured the key points from your interviews with them
- They force you to go through the process of filtering the large amount of information you have gathered into a small number of summary Demand Statements, helping you focus down on what is important for your strategy
- They help distill key messages and opportunities for you early in the strategy development process so that you can then replay to other stakeholders to aid influencing and early seeding of potentially contentious issues
- They form a useful part of your IT Strategy document that helps contextualise the what of the strategy with the why of the functional business perspective.
In this Newsletter we’ve discussed how we can use Demand Statements to help contribute to our strategy development, aid with stakeholder engagement and buy-in and help hone our key messages and influencing as we continue to develop our IT Strategy.
Newsletter, Podcast and Course
If you want to learn more about how to create great IT Strategies then please sign up at howtoitstrategy.com for early access (and an early bird discount!) to my upcoming course.
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