Course info
Apr 26, 2018
1h 31m

Too often, the business and IT sides of organizations don't see eye to eye. This course shares some fundamental tips that can help you bridge this divide, no matter which side you may find yourself on. In this course, Aligning IT and Business Strategies you'll discover how to better understand and express the strategic goals of organizations. First, you'll learn how to describe and analyze your organization's value chain, in order to understand the impact it can have on the decisions your organization makes. Next, you'll see how effective collaboration strategies can help you bridge knowledge gaps and differences in backgrounds. Finally, you'll explore how taking an enterprise architecture approach to your organization's planning can result in better alignment between your IT and business strategies. By the end of this course, you'll be better prepared to collaborate with others in your organization, regardless of their technical acumen, in order to achieve success.

About the author
About the author

Casey has experience leading projects in many fields, including healthcare, digital media, mobile app development, consumer product design, education, and event management. He's constantly in pursuit of new challenges and loves to share what he learns along the way with others.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone, my name is Casey Ayers, and welcome to my course, Aligning IT and Business Strategies. As a project manager and strategic consultant, with experience in mobile development, health care, consumer product development, and more, I've had the opportunity to learn from environments where IT and business objectives were properly aligned with each other, and from situations where they haven't been. In this course, I'll be sharing some fundamental tips that you can use to help bridge this divide in your organization no matter which side of the trenches you may find yourself on. Some of the major topics that we'll cover include understanding and expressing the strategic goals of organizations, understanding the value chain, and the impact it can have on the decisions organizations make, effective collaboration strategies that you can employ to ensure your perspective is able to bridge knowledge gaps and differences in backgrounds, as well as a look at the fundamentals of planning using an enterprise architecture approach. By the end of this course, you'll be better positioned to collaborate with others in your organization, regardless of your or their technical background. With these new skills, you'll be able to put your shared objectives first, and better determine how technical assets can help you to achieve them. No prerequisites are required for this course, but during the course, it may be helpful to consider how lessons you learn might have been applied to your past experiences, so you're better able to harness what you learn in the future. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn more about reaching your organization's goals with this Aligning IT and Business Strategies course here at Pluralsight.

Understanding the Value Chain
Welcome back. In this module, we're going to look at a primary driver for most business decisions, the value chain. A value chain is formed when a set of activities are performed that create a product or service that's more valuable than the sum of its parts alone. By taking raw materials, refining them through a set of processes, and then distributing them to customers, value chains create opportunities for business to profit, and therefore for them to exist in the first place. Value chains can be either predominantly physical or digital in nature, though in today's global, digitized economy, they're often a mix of both. We'll start by looking at an example of a traditional physical supply chain as a way to introduce this concept and its underlying framework. Then we'll look at how the value chain concept applies to digital products and services, and how tying components in the value chain together can lead to strategies that are better aligned with business objectives. Let's get started.

Effective Communication Strategies
In order for business and IT strategies to align, everyone involved must be properly prepared to both understand and be understood. This is why communication skills are so key to success in aligning strategies. In this module, we'll first look at the standard communications model, in order to see how messages so often get lost in translation between technical and nontechnical professionals. Then we'll look at the soft skills that you should be mindful of an effective communicator. From there, we'll look at techniques for collaboration and methods for resolving conflicts, both of which can help you come to a consensus in developing a plan for success with your colleagues. Finally, we'll look at the landscape of methods for sharing information, and how choosing the right one can help you adapt your strategies most effectively to a changing environment. Let's jump right in.

Planning the Enterprise Architecture
At this point, you're deeply familiar with your organization's mission and vision. You've come to understand or even help to develop many of your strategic goals. You've learned to identify challenges and opportunities by analyzing the value chain for your lines of business. And you've learned how to communicate and collaborate more effectively with others, so you can better understand what needs to get done, and how to align focus towards objectives. Now it's time to discuss one last tool, which can help define a unified strategy for progress, and help you turn your shared goals into tangible success. Enterprise architecture is a field of study that focuses on unifying an organization's IT efforts to match its strategic and business needs. The idea isn't necessarily to use one broad tool for all of the organization's needs, but rather to maximize the free flow of data and information, and to minimize areas where tools duplicate one another's functionalities, and more importantly cost within the organization. In this module, we'll first explore the concept of enterprise architecture more deeply, then look at the unique benefits this approach offers from an IT, business, and strategic standpoint. After that, we'll look at how we can help ensure IT and business strategies remain aligned moving into the future. Let's get started.