COBIT is the ‘mother’ framework connecting all IT standards. Interestingly it does not start with Information Technology, it starts with business.

COBIT 5 provides ready to use goals cascades where you can start from top and go down to the specific IT processes – latter being the foundation for COBIT Gap Analysis.

There are 4 layers to Goals cascade – each goal connected to another.

  • Stakeholder Needs – There are 22 of them. They are linked to Enterprise Goals.
  • Enterprise Goals – They are 17 of them further divided in 4 balanced scorecard (BSC) categories. They are linked to IT goals.
  • IT Goals – They are 17 of them, and are linked to IT processes.
  • IT Processes – 37 of them. Divided between 5 Governance and 32 Management processes.

In COBIT 5 you start with assessing stakeholder needs, and once that is ascertained, identification of IT 37 process becomes easier using the ready to use Goals cascade.

Here I show how using the ready to use goal cascading feature, you can do your own gap analysis.

Stakeholder Needs – List of ready to use questions that enable you to identify what management really wants. You can take the questionnaire and ask management to rate it on a 3-point scale, where the values are directly proportional to management relevance. Lets understand with an example. Lets say – you go the management and seek their opinion which of the two listed issues is more relevant? (COBIT provides 22 such needs)

  1. How do I get value from the use of IT? Are end users satisfied with the quality of the IT service? (Lets say your CEO rated as 3) 
  2. How much of the IT effort goes to fighting fires rather than to enabling business improvements? (Lets say your CEO rated as 2)

You can select all the 3s(higher priority), and ignore the 2s as a priority.

Shareholder needs to enterprise goals – COBIT provides a ready to use matrix where each stakeholder need is mapped to Enterprise goals. All 3 point rated stakeholder needs can now be mapped to know which enterprise goal is really relevant. An example?

If you chose A in the previous section, the relevant enterprise goals from COBIT are as follows:

  1. Stakeholder value of business investments
  2. Portfolio of competitive products and services
  3. Customer-oriented service culture
  4. Business service continuity and availability

(there are more but just to make it simpler, lets say we focus on 1)

Enterprise goals to IT goals – COBIT again provides a ready mapping that correlates Enterprise goals to IT goals. Example?

For all of the above Enterprise goals now, you can chose the provided IT goals. So for Stakeholder value of business investments the relevant IT goals are as follows:

  1. Alignment of IT and business strategy
  2. Commitment of executive management for making IT-related decisions
  3. Realised benefits from IT-enabled investments and services portfolio

IT goals to IT processes – COBIT provides a list of processes. So for Alignment of IT and business strategy the following IT processes apply:

  1. EDM01 – Ensure Governance Framework Setting and Maintenance
  2. EMD02 – Ensure Benefits Delivery
  3. EMD03 – Manage the IT Management Framework

At the end – what you really have are a list of applicable IT processes – which are really relevant to you. To begin implementation, use these processes only.

COBIT also provides a balanced scorecard (BSC) dimension to the selection of processes – which can be content of another blog.

Hope this helps!