The approach to the implementation of COBIT 5 depends on the circumstances and preferences of the organisation concerned. The ISACA approach is described in the "COBIT 5 Implementation Guide". It is for "enabling change" through programme management and comprises a number of initiatives/projects within a programme. This is not the same "programme management" as described in the process BAI01 Manage Programmes and Projects, which could be an alternative to the Implementation Guide. 

cobit implementationThe ISACA Implementation Guide's programme management approach is characterised by the need for a sponsor to take responsibility for the successful implementation of changes that are often driven by external requirements for improved "GRC" or "pain points" raised by the business. The sponsor authorises the business case for the change and takes responsibility for its success.

An alternative approach for implementing COBIT 5 would be to commence with improving IT governance. This approach is driven by the CIO and starts with implementing an IT governance framework and the various governance mechanisms at the governance, management and operational levels of the IT organisation, and across business units. 

Some organisations prefer to focus on building capability, either generally, or specifically in selected process areas, a process or collection of processes. This approach promotes organic growth in capability to achieve predefined outcomes. 

The management system enabled approach focuses on continuous improvement using small, incremental changes across the operational environment driven by the respective managers and process owners. (The ITGN makes use of a pre-configured, COBIT-based management system to jump start the use of a management system.)