Posts Tagged ‘information technology culture’

17th

Have you ever noticed that many IT professionals seem to leap to a conclusion?jumping-frog

I once attended a training course on how to elicit business requirements using a facilitated discovery session to gather requirements.  By bringing all the stakeholders together to define the project, the shared information and decision-making process was to improve buy-in, reduce risk of scope creep, and increase the speed of delivery.

As the instructor briefed us on the method, she recommended that IT people not be included in the discovery sessions.  Having come up through the ranks of IT, I questioned the reasoning behind such a statement and asked the instructor at the first break.  She cited an example of a recent discovery session her company had facilitated to gather requirements for a large project at a client company.  In attendance at the discovery session were a number of stakeholders from throughout the company – including two IT developers who had been with the company for quite a while.  After the facilitator had laid out the ground rules for the discovery session, she began eliciting business requirements from the attendees.  As requirements were suggested, they were to be discussed and refined as necessary.  However, it happened that as soon as the first business requirement was mentioned, one of the developers said, “We can’t do that.” When the next requirement came up, the other developer remarked, “We’ve tried that before, and it doesn’t work.”  Read the rest of this entry »

10th

Do you have the courage required to be the IT leader your company needs?

A 2012 study by Ernst & Young (The DNA of the CIO) reports that many IT leaders find their roles hugely rewarding and enjoyable, but relatively few have broken out of their comfort Driver or Passengerzone to become true partners to the business and the executive team.  The study states that many CIOs are truly a C-level in title only and are not perceived to be at the same level as others in the C-suite.  For example, only 17% of the CIOs participating in the study were members of the executive team, and less than half were involved in strategic decision-making.  Further, there was a disconnect between the CIO and the rest of the C-suite as to the value of having the CIO involved in a strategic manner.  It appears that many of the C-suite beliefs about the CIO are rooted in a historical view of IT as solely a back office function – perhaps somewhat akin to facilities management.  IT is viewed as a cost-center.  As such, a primary focus is often to control the IT budget rather than to explore the additional value IT can bring the business. 

Changing the perception of business leaders is not an easy task.  It is a viewpoint that has developed over a number of years.  Many see IT as slow, unresponsive, reactive, costly, and resistant to change.  Further, they often seem to believe that IT is more focused on themselves than on the business.    Read the rest of this entry »

18th

Many IT professionals believe they have difficulty in saying “No” to others.  In fact, when an IT expert is asked he knows when and how to say “No’, the typical response seems to be a Decision cubesigh and a slow shaking of the head from side to side.  And this response isn’t limited to staff in a specific area or level of IT – it occurs from top to bottom throughout the department.

It’s interesting that I’ve even asked personnel from other areas of the business, and they agree that IT often doesn’t know when and how to say “No”.

Go ahead and ask the IT professionals at your company.  What response do they give?

So are IT folks like Ado Annie who “cain’t say no” when a ‘feller’ tries to kiss her in the play Oklahoma?  While she knows she should refuse, she somehow wants to kiss him back?

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6th

Why is there such an emphasis on the need for IT transformation? 

Think about it.  If everything was poking along at a glacial pace and everyone was satisfied with the results they are achieving through IT, then there likely would not be such a hue and cry for IT to undergo radical changes.

But that is obviously not the case.  Social, mobile, cloud, and big data analytics are combining to create what some have called the perfect storm for disruptive innovation (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Mack Institute for Innovation Management).  

In his book, Here Comes Everybody (p. 160), author and NYU professor Clay Shirky wrote, “Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies – it happens when society adopts new behaviors.”  Is there any doubt that social and mobile technologies are driving new societal behaviors?  And these new behaviors are having a huge effect on many elements of our businesses – marketing, sales, product development, customer service, and yes, even IT.

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30th

“How many of you know of a company where people aren’t real happy with their IT department?”  This question was asked in a room of executives from various businesses.  The response was immediate laughter.  There seemed to be almost unanimous agreement with the one executive who exclaimed, “No one is happy with their IT shop!”Dumb PC

In a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of BMC, 86% of the global business users surveyed reporting losing an average of 18 hours/month due to IT issues (Exploring Business and IT Friction:  Myths and Realities – free registration required).  That’s over 5 weeks a year!  #WOW!  Think about the effect that would have on the company’s bottom line!

 

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