Some months ago, Terri Griffith wrote a blog on HBR asking “are we asking too much of our CIOs?” My answering post on InformationWeek: it’s complicated. “If IT is now accountable for the success of virtually the entire business, why not put IT in charge of the whole business?”
Of course, that’s a snarky answer that you might get from a petulant teenager. The real answer is that business units must acknowledge that IT can’t execute EVERYTHING having to do with tech — IT generally spends 2%-6% of organizational budget, so “going it alone” simply doesn’t work. But IT must also acknowledge that not all technology at the organization can be under IT’s tight span of control.
This is a freak-out idea to many IT organizations, to say the least. And, for those business units that have this weird idea that IT is the technology sherpa of the organization … it’s a little uncomfortable as well.
I’m still getting comments about this idea; I recently got another interesting note from a reader:
We have insanely bad/ignorant users here at critical upper levels, which filters down to their staff. The SVP of the division we are putting an enterprise system in for is asking “why are you asking me for sign-off?” and throwing a hissy when we refuse to do a non-critical enhancement to a system going soon ….without providing solid reason why it is critical.
It seems there is a training that could be done on how to be a good client – along the lines of your mentoring. Instead of train-the-trainer, it’s train-the-client:
What is your role (as sponsor, as product owner, etc)?
What does the IT-business partnership really look like?
How client attitude and actions help/hurt the project and project team.
What to expect from the “project management triangle” (e.g. you change the scope, then the date and/or the resources MUST change).
How and when to communicate (issues, changes, compliments 🙂
A colleagues said she sat through something similar put on by Marriott for event planners. If you want a certain date, we set the price. If you have a certain date and number of attendees, we set the price, etc. It would teach how and when to communicate changes, and so on.
What do you think? Have you heard of anyone doing this? I think it would be a great service if it doesn’t exist!
The trouble is that some people do not see the “value proposition”when it comes to what IT recommends.
This is because IT is perceived as “free.” Which leads me to think, sometimes, that IT should charge for service as a consultant does.
But somehow I think that would be like paying your life partner for affection.
IT is a partner, not a consultant. Internal IT brings a LOT more than just the fee-for-service to the table.
These things are symptoms of relationship problems.
I like the idea of a service.
But maybe the service is “relationship rescue”? 🙂