Knowledge Outline

The BIG BoK is broken down into Chapters and Sub-Chapters and the ‘Knowledge Outline’ is FREE to the public and accessible below.

Under the Chapters are Sub-Chapters. You can use the +button alongside each heading to expand the section to see a short summary & a link to the complete Chapter which consists of rich, PDF based content accessible to members only. The full chapters are fully written, including diagrams, tables and links to further content – which include many useful links, Data Model, Example Dashboards, Agenda Templates and a Readiness Model.

It is easy and FREE to become a member here. Then, when you login, the details will become accessible to you.

For Member convenience, you can jump straight into the chapters here:

There will also shortly be an e-Book – which will have all the Chapter content in one file.

Alternatively – you can work your way through the knowledge outline below, and open the contents along the way:

Foreword

The BIG Foreword introduces the lead author and his motivation to lead the BIG Initiative. It explains the origin and development of the Core P3M Data Club, BIG V1 and BIG V2.

Most importantly, it provides perspectives on BIG from leaders, academics, authors and respected practitioners from across strategy, governance, product management, P3 (portfolio, programme and project) management, information management and agile delivery.

While none of the elements of BIG are new in themselves, the notion of looking across all perspectives perhaps is. It is therefore extremely important to hear all the points of view provided on this somewhat novel approach to the connection of purpose to strategy to delivery and back again.

Members can download the Foreword PDF HERE

Chapter 1 - Summary and Purpose

The management summary provides an outline of:

  • What BIG is
  • What are the key drivers for an organisation to consider BIG
  • The expected outcomes from BIG
  • The BIG Framework – consisting of key concepts, principles, and capability component definitions
  • Who the BIG stakeholders are
  • An outline of the BIG Journey
  • Suggested first steps

The purpose and audience provides an outline of:

  • The core purpose of BIG
  • Purposes of BIG that readers may wish to leverage
  • The contents of the BIG BoK
  • Who the intended audiences are including (not limited to):

Senior executives and management teams responsible for strategies.

Heads of strategy, overseeing the strategic process.

Transformation directors, leading strategic transformation delivery.

Sponsors, programme managers, and stakeholders involved in initiating a BIG initiative.

Operations heads who are stakeholders in Business-as-Usual and Product Panagement.

Existing support offices, such as strategy execution offices and project/program management offices, participating in the operation of integrated governance.

Governance, risk, and compliance teams responsible for integrated governance.

Enterprise, business, and solution architects responsible for operating models and information/data infrastructure.

Members can download Chapter 1 PDF HERE

Chapter 2 - Introduction

This chapter simply introduces a definition of Busienss Integrated Governance, and that there are related concepts, principles, and capabilities.

Business Integrated Governance (BIG) is a comprehensive approach to corporate governance that goes beyond traditional practices. It involves integrating governance principles into all aspects of an organisation’s operations and decision-making processes. Unlike conventional governance frameworks, which focus on legal compliance, financial reporting, and risk management, BIG also supports the expansion of scope to encompass strategy, performance, ethics, sustainability, social responsibility, and stakeholder engagement.

The core concept of BIG is that governance is not a standalone function or set of rules but an integral part of how an organisation operates and generates value. It emphasises the integration of governance principles into the core business activities to enhance decision-making, accountability, transparency, and long-term sustainability. Accountability is a crucial element in BIG, as it ensures that accountable individuals are empowered with the necessary resources to fulfil their roles effectively.

The BIG Framework offers tools and knowledge to help organisations understand their current state and adopt key BIG concepts and principles. Achieving a BIG Capability involves creating mechanisms and a cultural environment that support integrated governance delivery. This capability can span from the board level to all organisational levels, encompassing overarching operating models and information systems that facilitate collaboration across business functions.

Aspects to BIG Capability include dynamic strategy management, integrated governance operations, information and data infrastructure, business support, assurance, and leadership. Implementing a BIG Capability begins with recognizing the need for change and building consensus within the organisation. This can involve tactical approaches to address specific issues using the BIG Framework or strategic approaches that address multiple challenges through integrated decision-making and governance practices. Tactical examples could involve solving governance issues for a specific change program, while strategic examples might focus on overall strategy delivery and decision-making challenges.

The Business Integrated Governance (BIG) initiative began in 2018 and has garnered contributions from more than a hundred professionals across various fields such as strategy, governance, change management, IT, finance, and project management. This initiative has grown into the BIG Community Interest Company (CIC), with over six hundred members of a LinkedIn Group. The initiative outputs are accessible through the BIG CIC website, YouTube, and LinkedIn Group, welcoming volunteers to participate.

The core strategy of BIG is integration, aiming to combine different areas of expertise and operational models to support strategy delivery. Rather than reinventing existing knowledge, BIG seeks collaboration with other Bodies of Knowledge. The approach is centred around accountability and integrated governance, providing a pattern to integrate various domains and operating models.

Originally designed to enhance governance in portfolio, program, and project management (P3), the BIG Framework evolved to address broader challenges in integrated governance. Many assumptions made by P3 publications regarding strategy management, resource effectiveness, project delivery, and cross-functional information availability are often unrealistic.

Traditional organisations are structured to delegate objectives within specific domains, leading to challenges in cross-functional collaboration for strategic goals. This misalignment can result in delays or failures to meet strategic priorities. The central focus of BIG is to facilitate effective integrated governance, managing the flow from strategy to delivery and prioritizing tasks across hierarchies. This requires seamless communication and integration across strategy, day-to-day operations, value creation, and change initiatives.

Members can download Chapter 2 PDF HERE

Chapter 3 - The BIG Rationale

This section introduces the rationale for BIG. It is based on accepting the importance of:

  • Effective strategy delivery as key to achieving purpose, (strategic) performance, and delivering best value
  • Integrated governance with clear accountabilities across all areas to ensure integrated strategic priorities and focus

This section also introduces stakeholders and example perspectives. Each stakeholder group may have its own view of strategy and the delivery pains and the gains they expect. The challenge with BIG is to provide an integrated solution (e.g. Figure 4), while recognising that there is no ‘one size that fits all’.

Having considered example stakeholder perspectives, it is possible, to a degree, to make a case for integrated governance to improve efficiency (e.g., streamline operations, make savings and manage corporate risk better). However, it is arguable that the strategy delivery improvement message (e.g., build an organisation responsive to changes in drivers, focused on strategic objective delivery) is more appealing / pertinent to potential senior sponsors.

Please also see the section on Introduction to the BIG Journey, where the rationale and reasoning for BIG are turned into an organisation’s business case as part of a BIG Lifecycle.

For more information on the challenges of strategy delivery, see links in the Appendix.

The significance of strategy implementation and delivery, as viewed through the Business Integrated Governance (BIG) lens, is paramount. Strategy encompasses an organisation’s path from its current state to its envisioned future, guiding its actions and decisions. The BIG perspective defines strategy as a plan of action designed to achieve long-term goals, with strategic plans outlining how the organisation will adapt to its evolving environment while maintaining alignment between goals, capabilities, and opportunities.

Strategic plans serve as blueprints for strategy delivery, guiding actions within various constraints. Larger organisations might require multiple subsidiary strategic plans for different units or functions, necessitating consistent integration and alignment under effective leadership.

One of the driving forces behind the development of BIG is the prevalent reputation of poor strategy delivery within organisations. Many organisations lack clarity on the relationship between strategic initiatives, business drivers and resulting priorities. Numerous instances of strategy delivery failures are documented, with studies indicating that a substantial proportion of organisations struggle to execute their strategic objectives. Reports cite statistics such as only 10% of organisations achieving over two-thirds of their strategic objectives and estimates that around 67% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution.

In the context of BIG, effective strategy delivery directly correlates with an organisation’s future success. Without the successful execution of strategies, organisations face challenges in achieving their goals and maintaining competitiveness. In essence, strategy delivery serves as a linchpin for organisational prosperity.

The importance of integrated governance, as defined by the Business Integrated Governance (BIG) perspective, can be summarised as follows:

Integrated governance serves as a comprehensive framework that addresses multiple challenges in strategy delivery within organisations. These challenges encompass issues like ineffective communication of strategy (e.g., cascading into the business units, and through middle managers), conflicting strategies, inadequate accountability measures, difficulties in balancing Business-as-Usual (BAU), Value Creation, and Change, absence of assurance capabilities, limited resources for business support, and deficiencies in the information infrastructure.

While many organisations have governance structures in place, fewer possess a truly integrated governance operating model. Often, various areas within organisations manage their governance locally, resulting in conflicting processes for strategy management, budget operations, and product/service development. This lack of integration leads to disconnected data sources, varied reporting timeframes, and a lack of a unified truth, impacting the achievement of strategic objectives.

Efforts to address these challenges often involve adding more processes, support functions, or advanced tools, but these solutions can exacerbate the problem. True integration lies in building an effective model that combines existing governance elements while shifting from local unit-based governance definitions to a holistic organisational governance structure.

Progress is being made in this direction as organisations recognise the significance of projects and programmes in driving change. The growing expectation of business agility further emphasises the need for integrated governance. ISO 37000’s release, focusing on value generation through governance practices, and technological advancements in data collection and distribution contribute to this shift.

Integrated governance helps organisations effectively navigate the divide between “run the organisation” and “change the organisation” by providing a cohesive framework that encompasses both aspects. Overcoming challenges related to perceptions of governance as compliance, understanding change approaches, overcoming inertia, and engaging senior stakeholders is essential. The BIG Framework offers a resource-rich material for stakeholder engagement.

In essence, integrated governance is the key to enabling effective strategy delivery within organisations. It facilitates the alignment of Business-as-Usual, Value Creation, and Change, ensuring a balanced and holistic approach to achieving strategic objectives.

The stakeholders of the Business Integrated Governance (BIG) initiative encompass a wide range of roles and responsibilities within an organisation. These stakeholders include:

  • CEO and Main Board
  • Head of Strategy / Portfolio Steering Groups
  • Head of Transformation / Projects & Programme Management
  • Head of Human Resources
  • COO / Management Teams
  • CFO / Commercial & Finance Teams
  • Director-Level Sponsors
  • Department Heads
  • Portfolio, Programme, Project Managers and Support Offices
  • Product / Asset Managers
  • Commercial and Finance Professionals
  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance Professionals
  • Enterprise, Business, and Technical Architects

(Please note – organisations may have different names for these examples, and addition roles which contain some elements of several roles – and layers between Department Head and Main Board who are not Director Level Sponsors).

Identifying these stakeholders, understanding their challenges, and anticipating their expected benefits is a crucial step in the BIG Journey. It allows the initiative to cater to the specific needs and concerns of each stakeholder group, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored approach to implementing integrated governance.

For further details, refer to the Appendix and BIG Beneficiaries.

This Sub-Chapter covers what is and is not BIG:

  • Distinction Between Governance and Management
  • Perceptions and Misconceptions
  • BIG Solution and Capability
  • Clarifying what BIG is
  • Clarifying What BIG Is Not
  • Customised Communication

In summary, BIG is distinct from management, provides a framework for governance, and is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires tailored communication to engage stakeholders effectively and should not be mistaken for a complete replacement of existing practices or technologies.

This Sub-Chapter covers the rationale behind the Business Integrated Governance (BIG) initiative, explaining:

  • Enhancing Strategy Delivery Connection
  • Balancing Priorities
  • Cultivating Accountability
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making
  • Comprehensive Problem Solving

The BIG initiative aims to address challenges in strategy delivery by presenting a rationale that centres on connecting strategy, balancing priorities, fostering accountability, enabling data-driven decisions, and providing comprehensive problem-solving through integrated governance.

Members can download Chapter 3 PDF HERE

Chapter 4 - The BIG Framework - Key Concepts

The BIG Framework provides a toolbox (not a template) with which to deliver a (tailored, situation specific) BIG Capability. It includes:

  • Key Concepts
  • Principles
  • Components
  • Models and Methods
  • BIG Culture
  • BIG Capability

Chapter 4 covers an introduction to the Key Concepts.

It makes sense to explain several theories, ideas and definitions used in BIG before describing Principles, Models and Methods. This is especially important as every organisation is different and may use different terms for the same things and the same term for different things, leading to confusion.

Key Concepts introduced include:

  • Strategy and Strategic Processes
  • Strategy Information Model
  • Strategy Implementation and Delivery
  • Operating Model
  • Strategy Operating Model
  • BIG Operating Model

Please find the glossary with further BIG definitions in the Appendix.

This Sub-Chapter covers:

  • Clarity of Purpose and Goals
  • Strategic Process
  • Inputs to the Strategic Process (OTIG)
  • Artefacts of the Strategic Process
  • Implementation of Strategy
  • Agility and Governance

In summary, the Strategic Process involves formulating strategies based on OTIG drivers, with a focus on achieving the organisation’s Purpose and Goals. The process guides the organisation’s direction, and successful implementation requires effective communication, iteration, and alignment between levels of management and throughout the organisation. Innovation can also influence strategy, either as a tactical tool or a guiding force for emergent strategies.

This Sub-Chapter covers The Strategy Information Model (SIM):

  • Core Components of the SIM
  • Constituting Documents and Accountability
  • Fair Accountability
  • Additional Artefacts in the SIM
  • Empowerment Process
  • Review and Improvement
  • Future Scenario Planning

In summary, the Strategy Information Model (SIM) encompasses core elements like Vision, Strategy, Strategic Plan, and OTCs, alongside constituting documents and fair accountability principles. Additional components like Operating Plans and Business Plans contribute to the clarity of an organisation’s response to its strategic goals and challenges. The SIM must be periodically reviewed and improved to ensure alignment with evolving Drivers and strategic objectives.

This Sub-Chapter covers:

  • Strategic Lifecycle Phases
  • Strategy Implementation
  • Strategy Delivery
  • Key Points
  • Alternate Definition – Strategy Execution

In summary, Strategy Implementation involves translating the Strategy into the initial stages of Strategy Delivery by preparing the necessary ecosystem, while Strategy Delivery is the ongoing process of planning, managing, and evaluating activities to achieve dynamic objectives. This process encompasses Business-as-Usual, Value Creation, and Change activities in a balanced manner to achieve organisational goals.

This Sub-Chapter covers key aspects of an Operating Model:

  • Elements
  • Scope
  • Assurance and Governance
  • Integration
  • Target Operating Model (TOM
  • Strategy and Integrated Governance

Challenges in developing a Business Integrated Governance (BIG) Capability include assessing the suitability of the organisation’s Operating Models for strategy delivery and integrated governance. This process may involve updating or developing new Operating Models, particularly for strategy and integrated governance areas. Ideally, existing methods, standards, and development lifecycles used by the organisation can be leveraged for this purpose.

In summary, an Operating Model encompasses various aspects of an organisation’s operations, including processes, people, service delivery, information, technology, and governance. It serves as a framework for delivering value and managing internal operations. In the context of BIG, it is essential to ensure that Operating Models are aligned with strategy delivery and integrated governance requirements.

This Sub-Chapter covers the Strategy Operating Model (SOM). Key aspects include:

  • Cyclical Operation
  • Vision and Strategy Management
  • Risk Management
  • Balancing Priorities
  • Local Operating Models
  • Governance Integration
  • Information and Tools
  • Management and Oversight
  • Adaptation and Alignment
  • Overall Alignment

In summary, the Strategy Operating Model is a crucial framework that supports the effective implementation of strategies and the alignment of organisational efforts with Purpose and Goals. It provides the structure, processes, and tools necessary to translate strategy into action, manage performance, and respond to changing business drivers.

This Sub-Chapter covers the BIG Operating Model (BOM). Key aspects include:

  • Integration and Coordination
  • Orchestration
  • Business Support and Assurance
  • Accountability Nodes
  • Accountability Map
  • Data Integration and Information Flows
  • Technology Integration
  • Dependencies
  • Visualising Operation
  • Alignment and Coordination
  • Dependencies and Connections

In summary, the BIG Operating Model acts as the connective tissue that binds together various operating models, processes, and accountability nodes to achieve integrated governance and effective strategy implementation. It addresses the challenges of coordination, collaboration, and information sharing, providing a cohesive framework for seamless decision-making and strategy delivery across the organisation.

Members can download Chapter 4 PDF HERE

Chapter 5 - The BIG Framework - Principles

Principles are fundamental truths or propositions that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning or a rule or belief governing one’s behaviour or a fundamental quality determining the nature of something. BIG principles help us to:

  • communicate what BIG is
  • engage stakeholders on their readiness to improve strategy delivery or leverage the BIG Framework
  • engage stakeholders on what solution components need attention in their situation

The process of development involved:

  • Identifying and developing the Components of a BIG Capability
  • Brainstorming maturity aspects of those Components
  • Condensing the maturity aspects into a reasonable number of key points
  • Condensing them again into as concise wording as retention of meaning permits
  • Creating a story which links the principles together

There are 14 BIG principles can be visualised together.

The Principles include:

  • Strategy is necessary to achieve purpose
  • The organisation has structure
  • Strategy management is an ongoing process
  • Governance is integrated
  • Governance facilitates information-based decision making
  • ‘Run’, ‘Change’ and ‘Value Creation’ are prioritised and balanced
  • Governance has a specific operating model
  • Accountability underpins governance
  • Those accountable are empowered
  • Data underpins information
  • Information underpins governance, accountability and assurance
  • There is dedicated management for governance processes and orchestration
  • Independent assurance provides checks and balances
  • Lifetime executive sponsorship

The BIG Principles table included in the BoK offers:

  • Component – to which area of the BIG Framework does the principle relate
  • Action – simplistically – what does the principle imply an organisation has to do
  • Description – elaboration of the principle

It also offers a link to a readiness model built around principles in the Appendix.

BIG is not a manual to direct and manage an organisation. It provides Key Concepts, Principles, Methods and Models for Business Integrated Governance. It is advisable to consult material broadly when considering a BIG Capability. There are many other sources of guidance that alongside BIG that provide different focus and emphasis. For example:

Members can download Chapter 5 PDF HERE

Chapter 6 - The BIG Framework - Components

BIG Components are elements of, or assets within the BIG Capability operating models and infrastructure.

Components are built according to Principles based on Key Concepts using Methods and Models.

The definition of these Components enables focus on the assets / workloads needed to deliver them and the overall BIG Capability.

There are eight BIG Components:

Organisation

Governance

Accountability

Information

Data

Assurance

Business Support

Leadership (see next chapter)

This section introduces the theories, ideas and definitions used for each Component.

The Building a BIG Capability section breaks components down into example deliverables.

BIG Capability Key Components emphasise the significance of clarity in the Organisation Structure, roles, Operating Models, and Strategy Information Model for effective governance and strategy delivery.

The Organisation Structure is the framework that encompasses both permanent and temporary entities within an organisation. Permanent entities, such as functions or departments, Business Support, and Commercial and Finance units, have accountability for objectives and resource allocation. Temporary entities, including Projects, Products, Programmes, and Portfolios, are responsible for delivering value, executing change, and achieving specific objectives.

Key points to consider for an effective organisation structure are:

  • Clear Definition of Entities
  • Role Clarity
  • Integrated Governance
  • Alignment of Operating Models
  • Complexity Handling
  • Different Approaches for Change
  • Challenges Spanning Structures

In summary, a clear and well-defined Organisation Structure, along with aligned roles and integrated operating models, is crucial for effective governance and successful strategy delivery. The structure should facilitate collaboration between BAU and Change activities and accommodate challenges that span various organisational units. The implication is that if the Organisation (Structure, roles and integrated operating models) are not working, issues/risks should be flagged for consideration.

Governance is essential for the effective direction, control, and accountability of an organisation to achieve its core purpose over the long term. In the context of BIG (Business Information Governance), governance is the human-based system that directs, oversees, and holds an organisation accountable for fulfilling its defined purpose.

Key points about governance include:

  • Corporate Governance Focus
  • Inclusive Governance
  • Governance Bodies
  • Tailored Approach
  • Integration and Orchestration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Clear Line of Sight
  • Portfolio Direction and Progress Groups
  • Operationalisation of Governance

For each Governance body, BIG provides terms of reference, Accountability Node linkage, ceremonies, recommended cadence, participation requirements, assumptions, suggested agendas, Management Information (MI) definitions, and dependencies with other Governance bodies or individuals.

In summary, Governance is crucial for an organisation’s health and longevity. It operates at all levels and should be tailored to different contexts. Integrating and orchestrating specialised governance areas is essential for long-term success, and flexibility is needed to adapt to changing needs. A clear line of sight and operationalised governance contribute to effective decision-making and accountability throughout the organisation.

Accountability is a central concept within BIG (Business Information Governance), ensuring the fulfilment of responsibilities. It involves assigning Objectives, Targets, and Challenges (OTCs) to various organisational entities, whether permanent, temporary, or semi-permanent. Each of these entities has an Accountable Person who is responsible for achieving the assigned OTCs.

Key points about accountability include:

  • Mechanical and Cultural Aspects
  • Clear Accountability Assignments
  • Empowerment and Support
  • Cascade of Accountability
  • Cross-Functional Strategic Objectives

Terms we introduce below:

  • Accountability Node
  • Accountability Node Types
  • Accountability Map
  • Operating Accountability
  • Model Agenda

Accountability is closely related to responsibility, where accountability focuses on goal setting, resource allocation, assurance, and oversight, while responsibility is about the daily execution of duties. The distinction is important, particularly in complex activities like portfolios, programmes, and projects, where different roles are responsible for benefits and delivery.

An Accountability Node is a fundamental concept in the BIG (Business Information Governance) Framework that represents a point of accountability within an organisation. It’s often associated with an Organisational Entity, which can be permanent (like departments or units) or temporary (such as projects, programs, or products). Several Accountability Nodes may be linked to a single Accountable Person (but not vice versa).

Key points about Accountability Nodes include:

Definition: An Accountability Node defines the point of accountability within the organisation. It encompasses attributes such as accountability and resources.

Continuous Delivery vs. Finite Delivery: Accountability Nodes can exist within different activities, including Business-as-Usual (BAU), Change, and Value Creation. They can be associated with continuous delivery (ongoing processes or services) or finite delivery (specific outputs from projects or programs).

Elements of an Accountability Node: An Accountability Node comprises several elements:

  • Accountable Person
  • Assigned Governance Body
  • Assurance Bodies
  • Objectives and Deliverables
  • Business Plan or Case
  • Authority and Priority
  • Prioritisation
  • Resource Allocation
  • Updates and Reassessment

Overall, Accountability Nodes play a crucial role in defining accountability points within the organisation. They include the Accountable Person, Governance structures, assurance mechanisms, Objectives, deliverables, Business Plans or Cases, resource allocations, and prioritisation processes. These elements ensure effective management, empowerment, and achievement of desired outcomes.

In the BIG Framework, Accountability Nodes come in various types to account for different workloads and responsibilities within an organisation. These Accountability Node Types include:

  • Finite Delivery Nodes – e.g. project, programme, portfolio
  • Continuous Delivery Nodes – g. department, function, team
  • Hybrid Delivery Nodes – e.g. product Group, product Team
  • Support Function Nodes – e.g. PMO, P3O, assurance, internal audit, engineering management, manufacturing support, logistics support, commercial support
  • Governance Body Nodes – e.g. Main/Exec Boards / sub committees, portfolio direction group, programme steering committees, investment committees, product steering groups, department leadership teams

These Accountability Node Types cover a range of organisational responsibilities, from specific project or programme management to continuous delivery, hybrid product management, support functions, and decision-making bodies. Each type has its own set of responsibilities, objectives, and methods of operation. The BIG Framework provides guidelines and examples for these various Accountability Node Types to ensure effective governance and accountability across the organisation.

Accountability Nodes may be formed for ongoing Performance Targets for which a permanent department or team is formed and dedicated. They may address finite Objectives or Challenges, which may have a dedicated core team that needs collaboration across business functions.

The mapping of accountability through and across functions is referred to as an Accountability Map, showing authority, dependency and information pathways.

The relationships between Accountability Nodes in an organisation are complex and may be unclear unless mapped. The mapping of accountability enables the organisation of integrated governance.

The Accountability Map also plots the dependencies that temporary Entities (e.g., Product, Project) have on permanent Entities (e.g., Management Teams) for resources, information, deliverables, e.g.:

  • for a strategy board – showing how the change portfolio, product portfolio and operational leads support it.
  • likewise, the programme leads can prepare to support the change portfolio.
  • the project leads make ready to support the programme leads and so on.

Simplistic examples of high-level Accountability maps are provided in the content.

An Accountable Person appoints people (e.g., a Project Manager, Product Manager, Team Manager) to manage the work required to meet Objectives according to appropriate policies, standards and processes within the organisation (see more in the Methods section).

Where seeking allocation or seconding of resources, the Accountable Person negotiates with the relevant Management Team using the Business Case or Plan priority. In case of conflict, issues can be escalated. This may be an ongoing task, as while funding for the Business Case or Plan may have been agreed upon, the release of funds may be staged.

Operating Accountability in BIG terms is about operating an Agenda (see below) where business is conducted based on information inputs, escalations and steering from above, leading to setting actions, making decisions and issuing communications.

Business Support enables Accountable People to operate Governance. Assurance checks that the Accountability Node is doing the right things the right way at the right time.

In BIG, ‘Agenda’ refers to the scope governance activity carried out in relation to an Accountability Node or a Governance body. This business may occur at a meeting, a series of meetings or via desk activity.

Naturally, business governance will change over time, with matters arising and closing, so Agendas are not static. However, governance needs some core information elements. The BIG proposition is that while the selection and presentation of specific information varies, the core remains the same. Hence, Model Agendas and typical Management Information (MI) needs about governance can be standardised for much of the necessary information.

The core of any Model Agenda is as follows:

  • Directions – the Accountability Node receives Objectives, Targets and Challenges along with remit and empowerment
  • Controls – the Accountability Node receives performance, forecast and issue / risk information
  • Inward Escalations – issues and risks brought to the Accountability Node from outside the team
  • The business of the agenda is to provide advice, workshop solutions, make decisions / set actions, define communication and escalate matters it cannot deal with – determined for each specific meeting. Agenda business varies over time but the core business is ever-present and provides the basis for operationalising governance
  • Communications – explaining decisions / actions, conducting communication and escalations

For example Agendas – please see the Appendix.

In the context of the BIG Framework, “information” is defined as knowledge or data with context that is communicated or received regarding a particular fact or circumstance. This information serves as the foundation for decision-making and performance monitoring within an organisation. Good governance relies on accurate and timely Management Information (MI) that supports the decisions and actions of Accountable People.

Appropriate and meaningful MI is derived from accurate data. In the BIG Framework, information needs to flow effectively from those who manage it to those who need it. Historically, information has often been compiled and sent, leading to potential loss of meaning and efficiency in the process. The solution is not just to create enterprise systems, as these can be complex and challenging to implement for everyone’s needs.

Instead of focusing on specific tools or complex system integrations, the BIG Framework emphasises defining information needs across all Accountability Nodes and promoting data sharing among stakeholders. The goal is to spend less time searching for one-off information and focus more on automating, validating, and compiling data with traceability. This way, designated individuals can access accurate and up-to-date information from a common and reliable source.

The BIG Framework achieves this by following these steps:

  • Agenda-Based Information Needs
  • Common Core Information Needs
  • Information Mapping
  • Consolidation and Standardisation
  • Information Sharing and Tailoring

The aim is to simplify information management, reduce duplication, and enable smoother flow of information for both operational and governance needs. This approach avoids ad hoc and unreliable information gathering and instead promotes structured and standardised information sharing across the organisation.

Ultimately, the BIG Framework’s approach to information management supports efficient decision-making, performance monitoring, and effective governance across different Accountability Node Types.

In the context of the BIG Framework, “data” refers to accurate, traceable, and timely information that is crucial for making informed decisions and supporting the overall governance process. Data can be stored in various forms, including files like spreadsheets, presentation slides, and documents, as well as in systems and databases. These data sources can hold a variety of information, from financial data to HR records to risk registers.

The BIG Framework’s approach to data involves the following key points:

  • Data Sharing vs. Point-to-Point Transmission
  • Common Data Model (CDM
  • Data Strategy
  • Development and Evolution of Data Model
  • Management Information and Data Solutions
  • Hybrid Approach to Technology
  • Data Feeds and Integration
  • Flexibility in Data Integration

Overall, the BIG Framework promotes the effective use of data by focusing on data sharing, a common data model, a comprehensive data strategy, and flexible data integration. This approach ensures that accurate and timely data supports informed decision-making and efficient governance processes across the organisation.

In the BIG Framework, “Business Support” refers to the support function responsible for orchestrating, operating, and sustaining governance, accountability, and assurance processes within an organisation. The concept of Business Support emphasises assistance and support, while “Assurance” focuses on prevention and checks (not just compliance).

One example of a Business Support function might be a PMO – which is a support function provided for projects. A growth path for a PMO might be to support strategy management, product governance, or corporate / department governance – depending on the business support services needed.

Key points about Business Support and Assurance in the context of the BIG Framework include:

  • Business Support Function
  • Independence of Assurance
  • Hub and Spoke Model
  • Benefits of Hub and Spoke Approach
  • Impact of Absent Business Support
  • Leadership of Business Support
  • Benefits of Senior Management Sponsorship
  • Placement of Business Support
  • Benefits of Greenfield Approach

In summary, Business Support and Assurance play a pivotal role in enabling effective governance, accountability, and assurance within an organisation. The BIG Framework emphasises the importance of leadership sponsorship, structured support functions, and a cohesive approach to facilitate informed decision-making and efficient processes.

Members can download Chapter 6 PDF HERE

Chapter 7 - Building a BIG Capability

Capability is the power or ability to do something. BIG Capability is the organisations ability to operate Business Integrated Governance.

BIG Key Concepts and BIG Principles imply logically what is needed in a BIG Capability.

  • Key Concepts – a language, a set of ideas to define problems and solutions
  • Principles – enabling engagement on what good and bad look like

Stakeholder engagement determines specific organisational requirements for the BIG Capability.

BIG Components provide a model structure and taxonomy to assist in understanding what is needed to operate Business Integrated Governance.

Components also constitute a BIG Capability and can be built with the contents of the BIG Framework, which include:

  • Models to copy and re-use where appropriate
  • Methods to apply in the right circumstances
  • The BIG Journey offers a lifecycle to deliver a sustainable BIG Capability with

(Please note – the BIG Framework does not provide every Key Concept, Principle, Model and Method, needed to build a BIG Capability, but this material attempts to signpost other useful sources – for example, in the ‘Alignment to Example Publications’ in the Principles section above and the Example Methods Appendix).

Focus on Components enables an organisation to define, construct and sustain:

  • processes, roles, IT and support
  • operating models to manage governance with
  • information models underpinning operating models (e.g., the Strategy Information Model to enable a Strategy Operating Model)
  • alignment of operating models (for example, alignment of an operating model for portfolio management with a BIG Operating Model)

BIG Capability is achieved with BIG Culture (the right organism) and Deliverables (the right mechanism).

Company culture is a shared set of workplace beliefs, values, attitudes, standards, purposes and behaviours. It reflects both the written and unwritten rules that people in an organisation follow. Your organisation’s culture is the sum of all that you and your colleagues think, say, and do as you work together. Organisation culture includes how you do what you do in the workplace.

Hence, however well processes and standards are defined, the effectiveness of a process or standard is determined by people’s attitudes. Moreover, where processes or standards:

  • conflict, or
  • do not extend to cover all business aspects, or
  • are not ‘sold’ to people

…people decide, for themselves, how to work and develop their own attitudes and culture (i.e., the way we do things around here).

BIG Key Concepts and Principles contain challenges to some aspects of the way things are done in an organisation – i.e. the culture. For example, however well-defined the expectation is for elements of the Strategy Information Model (SIM), or however well-trained people are in the Strategy Operating Model (SOM) – the attitude to SIM and SOM – or the ‘culture’ – determines how well these BIG aspect work, and ultimately how BIG works.

It should, therefore, be clear that in some areas, an organisation may have to adjust / develop culture to include appropriate BIG behaviours. For example:

  • Attitude to accountability
  • Data quality
  • Meeting behaviour
  • Issue escalation
  • Attitude to flexibility
  • Risk management

Clearly, attitudes and behaviours are more about hearts and minds that standards and procedures – but nonetheless – any change journey stars with an ‘as is’ and culminates in a ‘to be’, so attitudes need to be canvassed, and stakeholder perspective may need to be changed.

Aside from any targeted perspective development, and while culture develops among people who work together, it is nevertheless greatly influenced by the ‘tone from the top’ – i.e., how people in leadership and management communicate and behave. Hence culture development is not just a job for a change team or Human Resources, it is a key matter for executives and managers to influence.

In establishing a BIG Capability, it is imperative that organisational culture factors are included in developing an understanding of the current state, vision and roadmap development, scoping of the enablers required, readiness planning and communications.

The BIG BoK has much useful content:

These sections provide impetus, language, and definition for a BIG Capability. However, a question that remains is – so what does an organisation actually have to define, build, implement and sustain?

Clearly – the answer to that question depends on the scope of interest (and business case!) the sponsors have, the current state of enabling capabilities, the facilities, budget and resources available to a change team.

This section offers a set of examples outlining deliverables to be defined and built for a BIG Capability using the headings of the BIG Components.

Please note this is not a perfect template or complete playbook – but it should be very useful when scoping out the enablers and culture change aspects of a BIG Capability.

Please see the Member content for full details.

(Become a member here)

BIG Definitions: Model – an example to follow or imitate, usually a miniature / limited representation of something. Method – a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.

There are several Models to use within BIG, for example:

  • Lifecycle – Adoption / Change
  • Governance Agendas
  • Management Information (MI) examples for Accountability Nodes
  • Data Models

These examples are provided in the Appendix.

Methods are the building blocks for the operating models needed for integrated governance. They typically provide procedures and guidance for how work should be managed or governed so that aspects of work are repeatable, can be trained / supported, build experience / capability, and reduce operational risk.

BIG does not attempt to be a Body of Knowledge for everything – it provides an approach to integrate through governance. BIG references some Methods. For example:

  • (Corporate) Risk Management
  • Strategy Development
  • Systematic Prioritisation
  • Portfolio, Project, Programme, Product, Line Management
  • Resource Management
  • Change Management
  • Funding Management
  • Performance Management
  • Benefit / Value Management
  • Assurance Management

Enabling processes and capabilities are beneath these and related capabilities within people. For example – Planning, Risk / Issue management, Configuration management, Negotiating etc.

Most of what needs to be integrated has material developed and maintained by Professional bodies outside the BIG Framework. Many of these processes and capabilities are compiled into commercially available Methods, Handbooks and Bodies of Knowledge from specific domains of application. For example:

  • Project Management bodies of knowledge – APM, PMI®
  • Product Management body of knowledge – AIPMM
  • PRINCE2®, MSP®, MoP®– Axelos Limited
  • Portfolio, Programme and Project management – the Praxis Framework
  • GovS 002 – the UK government Project Delivery standard – HM Government
  • The Agile Manifesto
  • The Domains of Business Agility – Business Agility Institute
  • International Association for Strategy Professionals – Body of Knowledge 3.0
  • ISO 37000:2021 Governance of organizations – International Organization for Standardization

The attitude in BIG to Methods and Models is:

  • BIG Provides integration through governance, accountability, information and data. This is vertical (e.g. strategy to delivery and back again, portfolio to programme to project etc.) and horizontal (dependency management, resource management etc.).
  • If there is opportunity to achieve greater strategy delivery with greater agility, or consider it.
  • Most organisations probably have existing operating models to enable strategy, delivery, governance and manage related workloads. If something exists and is fit for purpose – don’t change it.
  • However, if enabling processes and capabilities are not sufficient to provide the information needed, further work will be needed to address the deficient processes and capabilities
  • If there is opportunity to be more efficient or more effective – consider it

Members can download Chapter 7 PDF HERE

Chapter 8 - Introduction to the BIG Journey

The BIG Framework offers an alternate approach to strategy delivery, portfolio, programme, product and project management improvement that embraces business-wide engagement to bring Business-as-Usual (BAU), Value Creation and Change into closer alignment.

Getting an initiative started is not easy. Existing connections of strategy to delivery are likely opaque and probing for issues within strategy delivery is a professionally perilous activity. There are many senior stakeholders to engage, and the answer will be complex.

The BIG proposition is to use integrated governance as the means to achieve greater strategy delivery. Integrated governance requires an integrated approach. Rather than trying to stitch together governance from the organisational entities, the approach is to design governance into the organisation and operate it with an integrated operating model. BIG thinking coupled with modern Information Technology now exists to make this a feasible exercise. The suggested lifecycle consists of:

  • Achieve Consensus
  • Vision, Roadmap and Business Case
  • Prepare Core Enablers
  • Deliver Culture Change
  • Manage Sustainment

The steps below outline the BIG Lifecycle.

There are may reasons why change projects fail, but instead of looking to the project management, we should instead often look to whether there was appetite for change in for first place.

For change projects which need the support of a broad range of senior stakeholders – like one to improve strategy delivery, integrated governance or address business support across the board – it is vital to ensure that key stakeholders will support a BIG initiative – not just with cooperation and coordination – but in setting the right tone form the top – primarily – is there consensus to do something?

As an alternative to delivering a holistic solution – stakeholders may decide that it is sensible to look at a solution in one business area – e.g. from a change portfolio or a product group. They may be tackling a particular thematic issue e.g. communication, delegation or empowerment. They may be addressing a particular solution – for example a Corporate RAID, an OKR Platform, or a PPM Solution. Any approach will require a level of consensus to get moving (successfully), and sponsor to drive it.

As mentioned in the Leadership section, a board / senior management sponsor may be needed (depending on the breadth / complexity of the initiative implied). The Leadership Component to BIG Capability starts here and is present at every lifecycle stage.

If starting with a limited tactical solution (which may not be seen as BIG), a sponsor is still required – but the sponsor may not be as senior.

  • A sponsor will understand the pains their organisation has, and the gains possible using the BIG Framework
  • Sponsors can persuade key senior stakeholders that there is enough pain for key stakeholders to support change in each of their domains
  • The BIG Readiness Model provides a principles-based approach to gathering perspectives from individual senior stakeholders
  • Results gathered may be used to develop a common view of pains and gains
  • Should the results be compelling, the intent is to achieve agreement to ‘do something’…

Top Tip – with senior stakeholders – instead of starting with what you suggest they do – demonstrate you understand their pains, outline the benefit realisation you propose. Then explain what you plan to do.

The steps below outline the BIG Lifecycle.

In response to the ‘Consensus to do Something,’ the next step is to determine the approach (top-down, domain led, specialist-led, digital transformation led – depends on the sponsor)

  • A Vision is prepared to define the high-level response to the common view of pains and gains against the possible BIG Capability Components
  • A Roadmap is defined to show the sequence, high-level timing and decision points needed to progress the Vision in a Programme
  • A Business Case is prepared for the Vision and Roadmap, containing the outcomes and benefit expectations, risks, expected costs and proposals for the first projects

In readiness for change, the first projects address building Components (scope to be defined – please see example deliverables in BIG Deliverables above):

  • Organisation
  • Governance
  • Business Support and Assurance
  • Information and Data

Preparing the core enablers makes the organisation ready to address fixing the Strategy Information and Operating Models, and the Business Integrated Governance Operating Model.

The process of change and benefit / value realisation is where Governance and Assurance bodies and Accountable People receive support in adapting and adopting the BIG Operating Model and related operating and information models to fit together.

Stakeholder groups are identified, prioritised and adoption activities are planned specific to each group.

Typically there are four workstreams:

  • Strategic workstream – mapping and defining the governance framework – defining points of accountability, local policy / process
  • Management workstream – connecting governance requirements to operational needs
  • IT workstream – adopting the enabling capabilities for information and data
  • Integration workstream – aligning and supporting adoption – from cleaning information to supporting new behaviours

Please note, further details are:

  • available in the current Adoption guide mentioned in the Appendix.
  • being considered for development for BIG v3
  • are in any case, specific to a particular situation

Energy for change needs to be maintained until culture changes. Ultimately, the energy for BIG change comes from the initiative sponsor. Too senior a sponsor and they may not have time to share. Too junior and they may not have enough ability to influence across the business to drive the change and own the BIG Capability going forwards. Please see the section on Leadership.

The Business Support function is responsible for the BIG Capability – ensuring it works today and tomorrow. It is imperative that BIG Capability develops, adapts and flexes to fulfil future governance needs.

All the assets developed (technology, processes, service definitions, agendas, dashboards etc) must be sustained, developed or replaced. This involves effective configuration management of all the BIG Components within the BIG Capability.

While day to day Business Support activity orchestrates operation, background Sustainment activity keeps the BIG Capability serviceable.

One aspect to the BIG Capability is Information & data need – which may be sustained by an IT function – not the Business Support function – provided through a(n internally) agreed service level that Business Support is the customer for.

The Business Support function manages minor changes to the BIG Capability with continuous delivery of a service level (sustainment) and may define projects iteratively (e.g., Phase 2, Phase 3?) to make further step changes.

Members can download Chapter 8 PDF HERE

Appendix (Chapters 9-11)

The BIG BoK Appendix contains useful supplementary material to the Core Concepts, Principles, Components and Lifecycle.

The section on Models provides example building blocks for some of the Components a BIG Capability can be built with. There are links to many examples (please note – these come with no warranty).

The Section on More Information contains a rich list of stakeholder perspectives, examples of usage, and links to further BIG CIC content and external links.

The Glossary defines some of the terms used in the BoK.

Please note – examples in the Appendix come with no warranty. Furthermore – they have had less review than the other parts of the BoK. If you have ANY opinion or suggestion to make on the Appendix Contents – please join our LinkedIn Group and post a comment there (all gratefully received) – or email info@big-cic.org with issues or suggestions.

This part of the Appendix contains Example Models:

  • Example Agendas are offered for Main Board, Portfolio, Programme, Project, Product, Management Team, Business Support, Commercial and Finance
  • Management Information Examples and their Derivation – shared outputs and experiences
  • Data Schemes – Following on from the Management Information examples and their derivations above, the BIG CIC has created an example data model to share

Please note – these examples come with no warranty. Furthermore – they have had less review than the other parts of the BoK. If you have any opinion or suggestion to make on the Appendix Contents – please join our LinkedIn Group and post a comment there (all gratefully received) – or email info@big-cic.org.

Members can download Chapter 9 PDF HERE

A significant model is the BIG Readiness Model.

We realise there are many perspectives on BIG – strategy, GRC, product management, change management, project delivery – lots. Instead of looking out of one perspective at the others the BIG approach is to be holistic, using integrated governance as the cross-organisation driver and toolset.

If you sense your strategy delivery needs improving – where do you start – and HOW do you start – without upsetting people or damaging your own standing?

The BIG Journey offers a lifecycle-based approach to engaging your organisation. The BIG Readiness Model offers a number of principles based ‘challenge’ questions to help organisations realise their current strategy delivery situation WITHOUT pointing fingers or trying to expose failings.

These 14 principles – and their component questions – help key stakeholders realise what is operationally needed – generally and in their specific situation – to achieve strategic outcomes. Do you meet the conditions for what ‘good looks like’ or do you recognise more of what ‘bad looks like’?

Take the emotion-laden risk out of exploring strategy delivery capability with sensitive people by asking some simple yes/no questions and seeing how you score. The membership area contains a readiness model and an information pack to support using it. (See links below).

Please note – these examples come with no warranty. Furthermore – they have had less review than the other parts of the BoK. If you have any opinion or suggestion to make on the Appendix Contents – please join our LinkedIn Group and post a comment there (all gratefully received) – or email info@big-cic.org.

Members can download

Chapter 9 PDF HERE (includes information on the Readiness Model)

The Readiness Model Template HERE (see downloads)

This part of the Appendix contains:

  • BIG Beneficiaries – Examples of expectations from key stakeholder groups, and example responses that can be found in BIG. It lists key stakeholder groups, typical requirements and how the Business Integrated Governance Framework supports the requirement.
  • Examples of usage – The best explanation of the BIG’s delivery perspective is illustrated with real examples – anonymised to protect confidentiality. In each case, the organisation has not ‘implemented BIG’ – but BIG Components, Principles and Methods have been used in their scenarios.
  • Links to More Material – Links to supplementary BIG Artefacts, and links to useful pages external to the BIG CIC.
  • Comparison to Other Frameworks – this is a simple illustration of where / how several frameworks relate to BIG. (BIG does not knowingly attempt to replace Bodies of Knowledge with depth in particular areas – the point made with this illustration id to show that while implementing BIG Principles and Components, there will be overlaps to manage)

Please note – these examples come with no warranty. Furthermore – they have had less review than the other parts of the BoK. If you have any opinion or suggestion to make on the Appendix Contents – please join our LinkedIn Group and post a comment there (all gratefully received) – or email info@big-cic.org.

Members can download Chapter 10 PDF HERE

The Glossary defines some of the terms used in the BoK.

Please note – examples in the Appendix come with no warranty. Furthermore – they have had less review than the other parts of the BoK. If you have ANY opinion or suggestion to make on the Appendix Contents – please join our LinkedIn Group and post a comment there (all gratefully received) – or email info@big-cic.org with issues or suggestions.

Members can download Chapter 11 PDF HERE