Mike Gilpin poses this question in the most recent post to his blog.  This question was sparked at Forrester’s Business Process & Application Delivery Forum during a conversation during the session “Using The Next Generation PMO To Promote Innovation.” What’s interesting is that the question came from an attendee — presumably aligned with their firm’s PMO — who said that in their firm, strategic investment planning is led by their enterprise architecture team, which is responsible for the strategic planning and business architecture processes. 

There are multiple ways to come up with the “best answer” to this question. Nigel Fenwick discusses the answer in terms of the CIO’s responsibility to own strategy development — and the coordination of functions necessary to carry out strategy. I’d like to answer this from the perspective of “what does it take to have an effective strategic investment planning process?”, examining the value the EA function and the PMO can provide. 

My colleague Craig Symons, who is Forrester’s expert on IT governance, defines effective governance as ensuring the best answers to these questions:

Effective governance answers the "4 Ares"




What EA can provide

What the PMO can provide

Are we doing the right things?

  • Business capability maps and road maps
  • Process to map business project proposals to capabilities and road maps and assess alignment


  • Process to evaluate business proposals and select the most attractive ones based on IT capacity and road maps

Are we doing them the right way?

  • Application portfolio plans
  • Architecture patterns and templates
  • Process for solution architecture development and review
  • Project management methodology
  • Project review gates

Are we getting them done well? 

  • Architecture review
  • Project tracking, issue and risk management

Are we getting the benefits?

  • Updated business capability maps and road maps
  • Benefits verification process

So, the answer is they both provide value to getting the best results from strategic investment planning, and in fact, without both, the results aren’t likely to be as good. 

This begs the question – are these groups positioned and chartered to leverage each other in an overall process? And if not, how do you make the change? Join the discussion at: http://tinyurl.com/2cxh8hd