TBM-Documentation

Methodical Documentation is the Cornerstone of Sustainable TBM

As IT organizations embrace Technology Business Management (TBM) to put in place standards and best practices for communicating the cost, quality and value of IT investments to their business partners, their excitement and effort tend to focus on planning and execution. Once the rollout of TBM concludes and training wraps up, attention often moves on to the next project.  

Documentation is a key success factor to ensuring TBM is sustainable for the long term, safeguarding against faded memories and departure of key personnel. And yet it is often left as a postscript and then poorly carried out or neglected altogether. Sufficient and rigorous documentation of the decisions, assumptions, calculations and estimates involved in TBM is essential to the success of the program and to effective IT governance.  

To achieve a sustainable TBM program, IT organizations must document details pertaining to: 

  • Cost to tower/ tower to service mapping 

  • Allocation methodologies 

  • Pricing services 

  • Service catalogs 

  • Monthly reports (billings) 

  • Model(s) specifications, including source data, data translation and assumptions and estimates, formulas and calculations, measuring conventions 

  • Infrastructure mapping  

  • Governance policies and procedures, including frequency and timing of updates to mapping, pricing and models  

The TBM project plan should include documentation as its own set of tasks that occur iteratively throughout the project, with a required review and sign off at each toll gate.  This ensures the completeness and accuracy of the documentation through each phase of the project. If possible, a full-time employee should be focused on documentation leading a collaborative effort involving the finance team, development team and service owners who are responsible for documenting their respective portions of the taxonomy.  

Enterprises that implement these documentation practices will reap the benefits of TBM years into the future. Strong documentation reduces ambiguity and imparts credibility to the TBM program, enabling the organization to quickly answer questions by referencing relevant documents and mitigate the need to backtrack and recreate past decisions. Centralized information is the foundation for maintaining and continuously improving a successful TBM program.   

Efficiently organizing and documenting the details of a TBM implementation is the first challenge and one that some companies never move past. ISG is a TBM Council Advisory Partner and has a standard documentation model and template for organizing and capturing policies, process steps, allocation methodologies and technical specifications. We can assist with your documentation efforts or manage it in its entirety. Contact ISG to find out how we can help you get started and maintain a valuable TBM practice in your organization.

About the author

Pamela Shoaf has over ten years consulting experience and five years with ISG. At ISG, she currently provides transactions services for clients seeking to obtain a collaborative and strategic partnership with their IT service provider(s) or aspiring to achieve a complete IT transformation. Pam leverages her 20 years of operational management experience to provide client service in the areas of TBM, business case and pricing analysis and process documentation.