How to set up an IT Steering Committee

Learn about the responsibilities of an IT Steering Committee and how to set up for success.
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IT planning requires the establishment of appropriate governance arrangements to ensure the application, management and review of the organisation's IT Plan are consistent with the goals and objectives of the organisation.

The creation of an IT Steering Committee or similar governance mechanism can assist organisations to comply with this principle. The governance mechanism should consider the following.

Responsibilities and accountabilities 

The responsibilities and accountabilities of each member of the IT Steering Committee should be determined when you set up the steering committee.  The overall responsibilities for the IT Steering Committee should include:

  • ensuring clear scope and Terms of Reference
  • providing necessary resources to achieve desired outcomes
  • conflict resolution
  • risk management
  • ensuring the committee achieves pre-defined objectives.

The IT Steering Committee should provide a report to the management body of the organisation.

Function of the IT Steering Committee

The organisation should consider including the following functions when establishing the IT Steering Committee:

  • define the mission and goals of IT resources to align with the strategic direction of the organisation
  • authorise and direct the development of the strategic and operational plans for IT resources
  • ensure that IT resources strategic and operational plan align with the organisations directions
  • review and approve business cases to ensure that IT resources are optimised
  • determine and monitor organisation security policies on an ongoing basis to ensure that they continue to remain relevant and complete.

Membership of IT Steering Committee

The membership of the IT Steering Committee should be of a appropriate to the size and complexity of the organisation. The organisation should consider the individual's level of understanding of both information management and the application of information technology to the organisation when determining the membership of the IT Steering Committee. In addition, it is recommended that the management of the information technology function should be included on the IT Steering Committee even if only in an ex-officio capacity.

Operation of IT Steering Committee

The IT Steering Committee should ideally convene at least every three months. The timing of these meetings should complement both organisation planning cycle requirements and ongoing review processes.  

Steering Committee Terms of Reference

Having a Terms of Reference for the steering committee will identify the purpose, membership, meetings and reporting required for the committee. This document not only helps to formalise the committee but also makes sure people understand their role and why it exists.

Download an IT Steering Committee Terms of Reference Template

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