Of course, software practice has been continually improved. Yet, C-suite's biggest issue has not gone away: technology\u2019s poor contribution\u00a0to organizational strategic agenda. Why? A simple reason: we made strategy-related improvements in governance, but failed to make strategy-related improvements in practice.\n\nGovernance improvements\n\nWe thought that strategic business outcomes is almost entirely an IT governance issue. So, we attempted improvements in IT governance.\u00a0For example, we tried changing the CIO\u2019s reporting, role, and responsibilities.\n\n\nAnother example: we tried using frameworks that make recommendations on what should be done to achieve strategic alignment. "Fix cross-discipline disharmony" is a typical recommendation. There is in-fighting\u00a0between IT and business professionals due to differences in disciplines, objectives, culture, language, and incentives. So the framework recommendation would include efforts to establish trust between the two groups, a mechanism for consensus decision-making, getting IT folks to sit closer to business folks in the office, and getting IT folks to talk the language of business folks.\n\n\nWhile these two changes are certainly helpful, some of the other improvements are debatable: creating a so-called \u201cStrategic IT Portfolio\u201d and picking a software from this pre-determined list, for example. Anyway, fixing IT governance alone did not fix the strategic alignment issue.\n\nPractice improvements\n\nWe\u2019re grateful to software practice innovators, who have given us a steady stream of improvements.\n\n\nWe have a strong technology focus\nWe pay attention to human\u00a0factors while designing software user interfaces\nWe\u2019ve also improved our\u00a0project management\u00a0capability.\n\n\nWhich is all necessary. But wait a second. In essence, these improvements have been aimed at achieving software quality, faster development, and reduced project risks, right? If so, where are the practice improvements that could help deliver strategic business outcomes? Well, some experts have tried to improve the requirements process, but then you could still ask a very fundamental question: how do we even know that we\u2019re not wasting money gathering requirements for a wrong (unaligned or poorly-aligned) software? Another very fundamental question you could ask: do we have a method to integrally design software and business change from a strategy standpoint?\n\nWhat we need: a strong business phase in software practice\n\nSoftware practice must improve.\n\n\nAs the technical, human, and project management factors dominate software practice, the business factor receives very little attention. Look at the business phase in conventional practice. This phase has just one business-specific activity: the requirements process. Can such a business phase help translate an organization\u2019s strategic agenda?\u00a0A software team that merely has access to the agenda will still deliver unaligned or poorly-aligned software.\n\n\nWe need a clearly-defined strategy translation activity in the business phase. What tasks should this activity comprise? Who should perform the tasks? These are the two broad questions we must find answers for in order to create a strong business phase.