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Tailored Seminars Get Results


IT Investment Management Seminar Design Example

Seminar Name: IT Capital Planning and Investment Control

This is an example of a seminar oriented toward the needs of federal agencies. Its focus is on supporting continued implementation of the agency's IT Capital Planning and Investment Control process and meeting the requirements for e-Government and the President's Management Agenda

Specific seminar topics are selected by the agency and the scope and content of the topics are tailored to the agency's objectives. The number of topics included in a seminar depends on the objectives for the participants, which can vary from creating general awareness to providing practice of desired performance.


The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 requires Federal agencies to implement an IT Capital Planning and Investment Control process. This is being enforced through the budget approval process of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). An agency's Investment Review Board (IRB) is the most important and most influential body in the effective implementation of its IT capital planning and investment control process.


The objective is to provide IRB members and their staffs (typically, many board and staff members are new) with a deeper understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the IRB and its staff. A secondary objective is often to provide the participants with knowledge of practical strategies, methods, tools, and best practices that can assist them in performing their functions.

The seminar includes practical exercises to demonstrate or illustrate concepts and best practices applicable to IRB members and their staffs.

Seminar Sessions

There are four sessions of three to four hours each. It is usually advantageous to present them over four days, one session per day. If participants must travel from distant locations, they can be presented in two days.


Topic: Introduction to IT Capital Planning and Investment Control

Introduces the seminar and describes the reasons for, and the scope of, the IT Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) process.

Topic: Legislation and Implementing Policy

Presents the legal requirements, with an emphasis on the areas of most value to the organization and of most concern to the oversight bodies (e.g., OMB and GAO). Specifically addresses recent changes in OMB Circular A-11, Exhibit 53 (Agency IT Investment Portfolio) and Exhibit 300 (Capital Asset Plan and Business Case)

Topic: The IT Capital Planning and Investment Control Process

Describes the overall process, from assessing competing investments and the initial business case to the IT portfolio and the budget justification. Emphasizes the activities and responsibilities of the Investment Review Board.


Topic: Enterprise Architecture

Describes the nature and benefits of an enterprise architecture and its relationship to the Federal Enterprise Architecture. Discusses the relationships between business architecture and IT architecture, which comprise the enterprise architecture, and how they are taken into account in IT investment management and business process performance improvement.

Topic: Aligning IT With Strategic Goals

Focuses on demonstrating the linkages between IT investments and the organization's strategic goals. Includes a discussion of achieving alignment and justifying IT-related budget requests through demonstrating an IT results chain to projected organizational performance results.

Topic: Developing Investment Assessment Criteria

Focuses on selecting and developing IT investment criteria and using the criteria for investment analysis and IT decision making. Discusses how the criteria reflect IT portfolio requirements and the organization's strategic and operational goals. Also discusses achieving alignment and justifying IT-related budget requests through demonstrating an IT results chain to projected organizational performance results.


Topic: Basic Financial Principles

Stresses the use of sound financial principles and analysis for justifying IT budgets, which is a focal point of GAO and OMB oversight. Presents and clarifies financial concepts and techniques that managers need to understand when justifying and defending funds for IT-based projects and other investments.

Topic: Risk Identification and Management

Presents concepts and best practices for IT investment risk identification and assessment that transcend the traditional approaches to project risk identification and management. Stress is placed on risk evaluation and risk-benefit-cost tradeoffs from the standpoint of IRB decision-making.

Topic: Portfolio Management

This activity is central to IT capital planning and investment control and a focus of the IT Investment Management Maturity Model (GAO's compliance audit tool). This session focuses on the nature of the IT investment portfolio, its purpose and use, its structure, and the trade-off analyses required to balance the portfolio to achieve agency goals and objectives.


Topic: The Business Case

Describes business case requirements, planning for the business case, cost-benefits-analysis, evaluating completed business cases, briefing the business case to executive committees, central role of the business case in all phases of the IT investment management process.

Topic: Performance-Based Management

Discusses the nature of performance-based management, the balanced scorecard, measuring performance, techniques for clarifying goals and performance indicators, preparing performance plans, performance feedback analysis

Topic: Earned Value Management

Examines the nature and purpose of earned value management (EVM), how EVM works, and management forecasts based on EVM reports.

Topic: Implementation Issues

Explores problems associated with implementation. This is an open discussion period and seminar participants are invited to raise any issue or problem related to IT investments and management that concerns them.

Who Should Attend. This seminar is tailored to the needs of managers and professionals who are

  • Members of an Investment Review Board
  • On the staff of an Investment Review Board
  • Are interested in preparing more effective IT proposals and successfully defending them before review boards
  • Are involved in business process improvement efforts

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