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The easily transferable framework

F.Y. Teng | April 11, 2012
Reworking IT governance at the National Library Board Singapore and seeing it work for the rest of the organisation's operations.

CASE FILES: IT EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2011 | CHANGE MANAGEMENT The CIO office of the National Library Board Singapore (NLB) conceived the IT Governance Consultancy project in April 2008, initiated it roughly two months later and completed the setup of its intended base IT Governance Framework in September the same year. And from then through March 2010, the 2011 MIS Asia IT Excellence Award-winning initiative went through nine phases, each of which met its objectives successfully.

Phase 1 August 2008-the NLB held its first IT governance maturity assessment exercise.

Phase 2 September 2008-the IT Governance Framework was endorsed by the ICT Steering Committee (ICTSC) and IT Advisory Council (ITAC)

Phase 3 June 2009-The IT Report Card was formulated and endorsed by the ITAC.
Phase 4 May 2010-The IT Compliance and Assurance Program (ICAP) was endorsed by the ICTSC.
Phase 5 June 2010-The IT Governance Maturity Enhancement (IMAGE) Methodology was endorsed by the CIO Committee.
Phase 6 August 2010-The Business Case Management Process was endorsed by the NLB Senior Management Committee (SMC).
Phase 7 September 2010-The second biennial IMAGE exercise was conducted.
Phase 8 February 2011-The ICTSC gave in-principle approval to study the feasibility of instituting a Val NLB program.
Phase 9 March 2011-The design of the IT Governance Essence was endorsed by the CIO Committee.

It pretty much ran like clockwork. Indeed, it is still running. It will never end. "There is no finishing line for IT governance improvement in the NLB," says the NLB's Assistant Chief Executive and CIO, Chan Ping Wah, whose team led the charge with this initiative. "The NLB firmly believes that it has to continually and progressively strengthen key institutions within the organisation in order for the organisation to discharge its duties effectively and realise its mission to serve the people of Singapore well through library and information services. IT governance is one such institution."

When Chan and his team first looked at their governance setup in 2008, they knew they wanted to add greater integration and cohesion to it. "Like many mature government agencies, IT governance practices had, prior to the development of the NLB IT Governance Framework, been grown naturally and organically, out of necessity, but they were consequently disparate," says Chan. "By leveraging, organising, improving and systematising these practices within a coherent framework, NLB was able not only to put the framework in place fairly quickly, but also operationalise it almost immediately."

Clarity, Compliance, Assurance, Value
According to Chan, the main purpose of the framework was its use as a means to "to embed sound management practices and controls into IT processes to ensure that IT is aligned to the business, IT enables the business and maximises benefits, IT resources are used responsibly, and IT risks are managed appropriately."


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