Masterclass – Strategic IT decisions in times of transition: How to remodel the ship while sailing?


Strategic IT decisions Masterclass Banner

  • When: Wednesday, June 26th, from 9:30 until 17:00 + networking drinks.
  • Where: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Main Building (location will be confirmed a week prior to the event)

Digitalization has made its entry in every segment of society, and technological developments are following one another in rapid succession. Your organization needs to deal with the changing environment. Whether you decide to pursue radical innovation for the long term or optimize business processes in the short term, the dependence on IT is inevitable and increasing.  

Bottom line, you are being confronted with two crucial questions

  1. How to make strategic IT decisions for your organization to be successful in the short AND longer term? 
  2. How to organize your IT function in such a way that you can execute the strategic choices? 

In this Masterclass, that we are hosting on Wednesday the 26th of June 2019, you will learn how to remodel the ship, while it’s sailing. In other words, how do you simultaneously decide and organize for current operations, while preparing for the future?  

The full-day program starts with a Strategic Portfolio Management Perspectiveon IT (Dr. Ir. Linda Kester, JigsEye) in which you will learn what it takes to make effective strategic IT decisions. Strategic Portfolio  Management enables you to see, at a glance: what you have as an organization, where you need to focus, and how to balance your projects and activities to prepare for a (fast changing) future. 

Subsequently, the masterclass will deep dive on how to organize for the changing role of IT (Prof. Dr. Bart van den Hooff, KIN Center for Digital Innovation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and the implications for the organization. Based on recent research, we will discuss how to navigate the governance dilemmas inherent to (a) aligning strategic choices with IT operations, (b) combining IT’s traditional role with a digital business innovation role, and (c) scaling Agile (and DevOps, and BizDevOps) to a corporate level.

Regular Price: €895 including lunch, drinks, and materials. Early bird (if you sign up before May 31) for €795.

To apply, please fill out the following form:

Learning objectives

The masterclass uses cutting-edge scientific insights, real-life business cases, and vibrant debate to illustrate the challenges (IT) management faces, and how they can be overcome. The program contains the following elements: 

1. Organizational mechanisms underlying effective strategic IT decisions 

  • What is strategic portfolio management and why is it important? 
  • Understand the organizational challenges and drivers of effective SPM. 
  • How effective is your organization? In-class analysis on where you can improve.

2. How to establish effective Strategic Portfolio Management in your organization 

  • Learn where to start: create an overview and focus. 
  • Create a basis for clear choices: what (not) to do.  
  • Understand how to onboard Top Management.

3. From IT strategy to IT operations: Governance dilemmas and business-IT alignment 

  • Understand the dilemmas encountered in IT governance. 
  • How to align business and IT at different levels – from strategy to operations.

4. Organizing the IT function for digital innovation 

  • Get insight into the balance between alignment and an effective IT function.  
  • How to combine the IT function’s traditional role of systems provider with the emerging role of digital business innovation partner. 
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities of Agile, DevOps or BizDevOps teams.


09:30-10:00 – Welcome and coffee
10:00-11:30 – Module 1: how to make effective strategic IT decisions
11:30-11:45 – Break
11:45-13:00 – Module 2: establish strategic portfolio management & on board top management
13:00-14:00 – Lunch
14:00-15:30 – Module 3: From IT Strategy to IT Operations
15:30-15:45 – Break
15:45-17:00 – Module 4: Organizing the IT Function for Digital Innovation
17:00-19:00 – Closing and drinks


Linda Kester - a scientific expert in strategic portfolio management and partner at JigsEye. Based on over ten years of award-winning research she has developed methodologies that help companies accelerate the execution of their strategy in the context of technological disruption and digital innovation. Her expertise is in consistently creating overview and focus while assuring strategic alignment. 

Bart van den Hooff - Professor of Organizational Communication and Information Systems at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research and teaching interests focus on the alignment between business and IT – from the changing role of the IT function to Agile IS development, and from managing IS complexity to the interaction between technology and people’s daily work. His work has been published in leading journals in IS, communication, and management.

Price and cancelation

Regular Price: €895 including lunch, drinks, and materials. Early bird (if you sign up before May 31) for €795.

Cancellation policy: 

  • > 45 days before the event = 0% 
  • 45-30 days before the event = 10% 
  • 30-15 days before the event = 25% 
  • 15-7 days before the event = 50% 
  • < 7 days before the event = 100%
To apply, please fill out the following form: