Book Review – I.T. That Matters


IT That Matters
An Executive’s Guide to Maximising the Strategic Value From Your IT Investment

ISBN: 9780117080614


Dennis G. Ravenelle


This book is aimed at the business executive.


This executive guide distils and serves up the eight imperatives that executives must imprint into their organizations’ cultures and execute to make the ascent from the bottom of the maturity scale – initial, ad hoc, chaotic – to the pinnacle of maturity – integrated and optimized.



Karen’s Comment:

I love this executive guide. In just over 50 pages, Dennis manages to remarkably sum up the eight imperatives that must be executed to enable the organization to maximize the strategic value of its IT investment. Dennis describes these eight activities as:

1. Fix the foundation

2. Build the governance structure and leadership team

3. Define the vision and strategy

4. Assemble and prepare the team

5. Begin and prosecute the work

6. Communicate, communicate, communicate

7. Monitor and manage the progress

8. Rinse and repeat
Throughout this pocket book, Dennis incorporates real-world examples to illustrate the need to undertake the activities described. He cites supporting evidence from industry research and analysis and materials from industry experts such Kotter, Drucker, Carr, Westerman and Hunter, Weill and Ross, to name but a few.

Dennis’s writing style with well-placed quotations and references, make this an easy and enjoyable read. Dennis effectively uses the metaphor of a ‘road-trip’ to describe the steps on the journey to becoming a highly functioning organization. We need to know where we are starting from, what the destination looks like, the condition and capacity of the vehicle, how much time we have to get there, how much money is available and what our route will be.

I was also pleased to see, as I was with Sharon Taylor’s executive guide that I reviewed recently, a focus on organisational change within the guidance. I think that one of the quotes Dennis includes in the guide sums it up well.

‘Making IT work demands the same things that the other parts of the business do – inspired leadership, superb execution, motivated people and the thoughtful attention and high expectations of senior management’. Getting IT Right (2004) Charlie Feld and Donna Stoddard.

In addition to the materials cited within the pocket book, Dennis provides a list of additional publications that the reader may be interested in to help them reach the pinnacle of maturity that is occupied by only the top few percent.

I recommend this book not only to executives, but anyone wanting to ensure nobody questions that IT matters in their organisation.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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