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COBIT 2019: The 7 Phases of Implementation Life Cycle

 7 Phases of Implementation Life Cycle

COBIT 2019 is a comprehensive framework that integrates IT governance into organizational governance purposely to balance the benefits and risks of IT. Enterprises can utilize the COBIT 2019 framework to better plan and implement leading practices that can help to govern and manage the digital enterprise. COBIT 2019 was designed to be a central framework for any enterprise willing to develop Enterprise Governance of Information and Technology (EGIT).

The continual improvement life cycle approach enables enterprises to address the complexity and challenges that are commonly encountered during the EGIT implementation. The life cycle has three interconnected components, namely:

• The core EGIT continual improvement life cycle

• Change enablement - a holistic and systematic process of ensuring that relevant stakeholders are prepared and committed to the changes involved in moving from a current state to a desired future state

• Program management - an integral part of the implementation life cycle

Continual improvement of EGIT is accomplished using a seven-phase implementation life cycle. In this article, we will further elaborate each of the phases in the implementation life cycle.

The 7 Phases of Life Cycle Implementation

1. What Are the Drivers?

This first phase identifies current change drivers and fosters a desire for change, which is then expressed in an outline of a business case at the executive management level. A change driver is an internal or external event, condition, or critical issue that acts as a stimulus for change. Events, trends, performance gaps, software implementations, and even enterprise goals can all act as change drivers.

2. Where Are We Now?

This second phase aligns IT objectives with enterprise strategies and risk, and prioritizes the most important enterprise goals, alignment goals, and governance and management objectives. The enterprise must identify critical governance and management objectives and underlying processes based on the selected enterprise and alignment goals and other design factors. Management must be aware of its current capabilities as well as any gaps that may exist.

3. Where Do We Want to Be?

The third phase establishes a target for improvement before conducting a gap analysis to identify potential solutions. Some solutions will be quick wins, while others will be more difficult, long-term tasks. Priority should be given to projects that are easier to complete and are more beneficial. Longer-term tasks should be divided into manageable pieces.

4. What Needs to be Done?

The fourth phase explains how to plan feasible and practical solutions by defining projects that are supported by justifiable business cases and an implementation change plan. A well-developed business case can assist in identifying and continuously monitoring the project's benefits.

5. How Do We Get There?

The fifth phase provides for putting the proposed solutions into action daily, as well as establishing measures and monitoring systems to ensure that business alignment is achieved, and performance can be measured. In this phase, success can be achieved through engagement, awareness and communication, top management’s understanding and commitment, and ownership by the affected business and IT process owners.

6. Did We Get There?

This sixth phase is concerned with the long-term integration of improved governance and management practices into normal business operations. It also focuses on tracking the progress of the improvements using performance metrics and expected benefits.

7. How Do We Keep the Momentum Going?

The last phase assesses the overall success of the initiative, identifies additional governance or management requirements, and emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement. It also prioritizes additional opportunities to strengthen the governance system.

The amount of time spent on each phase will vary depending on the enterprise environment and maturity, and the scope of the implementation or improvement initiative. However, the total time spent on each iteration of the full life cycle should ideally not exceed six months to avoid losing momentum, focus, and stakeholder buy-in.

The successful execution of the 7 phases of implementation life cycle is dependent on defining the roles of each group of role players in the phase.

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ISACA. (2018) COBIT® 2019 Implementation Guide: Implementing and Optimizing an Information and Technology Governance Solution. ISACA

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