Why is it important to me?
It wasn’t until I read “ A Seat at the Table” by Mark Schwartz, that I realized there was a problem. Mark Schwartz talks about the radical game changing approaches of Agile, Lean and DevOps tie into the IT Industry. Bringing on a new way of thinking but how they have evolved separately instead of converging together. I had accepted that there was a gap between IT and business goals and that this as the way things were as I had been taught in the IT industry.
But once I learned that it did not have to be this way, I was very upset.
An explanation of the problem
In many cases companies manage their IT department under the contractor control model. Under this model, an organization treats their own IT department as outside contractors. There is no shared ownership of the system or the work.
Just as a company values their marketing and sales departments, the thought of placing them under the same contractor control model would seem extremely out of place and down right silly. Communication between the teams would suffer. There would be no willingness to learn each others technical terms and would lead to a break down operations such as throwing cold “Requirements” over the fence to each other.
Without a lack of mutual respect, each user would present themselves as lacking intelligence and unable to communicate. Ultimately, resulting with IT viewed as being out of touch with the current happenings of the business.
Benefits and how to change this
Change can often promote improved cooperation and a positive outlook. Friction between departments creates waste, in other words the lose of productive work or forward progress. Creating the feeling of being forced to try and work together, or feeling stuck. Eventually leading to the creation of a hostile Cold War style environment of departments unwilling to cooperate or unwilling to spend time understanding each other
A key requirement in working with different teams is being able to understand each other. It would benefit IT greatly by spending more time to learn about the business procedures. Being able to test and see how best to deliver this technology would ultimately lead to learning these procedures. They must also be willing to compromise when “Best Practices” conflict with the organizational goals, and realize this in the process to try and avoid any major pitfalls.
This task should not only fall onto IT but should also be a focus of “The Business”. They should strongly consider using technology as a core competency. Everyone uses technology in todays businesses, its unavoidable and part of every day life. As an example, you would not outsource math to the accounting department. Similarly, you would not outsource reading to a reading department. The same ideals should apply to the IT department and having the rest of the departments come to the same conclusion.
The factory analogy
IT can be viewed as the machine maintenance people, looking over and managing the systems. A member of IT cannot remain ignorant of how the machine works to do his own job well. A user would be viewed as the machine operator. The user cannot remain ignorant of how the machine works to do his own job well. Read more: Why I Learned From Factorio
Reinforcing technology as a tool
Reinforcing that technology is a tool that can improve productivity in every aspect of your business. Again, every company these days is a technology company. Trying to separate company’s that leverage technology and those who do not. is as silly of an excursive as separating those that do not use electricity and those that do.
How e-Mayhem can help
The e-Mayhem team has over a decade of Enterprise experience. We are experts in applying technology effectively to help organizations perform their work better and more efficiently. There are no silver bullets to every problem, but with our assistance we can help you reach your goals with minimal downtime. Reach out to us and we can help identify the solutions that best fit your organization’s needs.