Most resolutions are affirmative statements that have an implied negative statement. I am going to lose weight, I am going to exercise more, etc. In IT, there are a myriad of these things, as achieving new goals requires stopping things as well as starting them. Many of these things are attitudes and behaviors so I offer this personal list of things gained from working with CIOs and IT executives.
Not all and in fact most may not apply, but they are a good thing to reflect on as these and other behaviors set the context for your working relationships and results. Also think about these in terms of what your direct and their direct reports do and say as sometimes these behaviors exist at different levels of the organization.
The points below are in no particular order so do not assume that there is a priority to them.
- Being defensive, particularly around the current state of IT systems and operations, they are what they are and we now have technologies and opportunities to improve and transform them.
- Curtail development or purchase of applications that cannot readily support virtualization or transition to Internet based service infrastructure – the cloud. Go a step further and make this one of the criteria for applications that should be consolidated.
- Living in the past versus now or in the near future. These are times of tremendous change and therefore there is the opportunity to move forward and find new answers and actions to new issues.
- Requiring that you be invited rather than getting yourself invited to meetings and business discussions where IT should participate but sometimes does not.
- Using “and” wan you think about your business peers. There is no separation of the business AND IT, except one that IT creates. This may not be something you do as much as a correction required for your people as it sets the tone of relationships between two groups that have to work together.
- Reporting operational metrics as the primary proof of IT value. Sure operational metrics are important, as are project performance metrics; but both only tell people that IT is doing its job. Report on changes in business performance, how key metrics move through time to show that where IT is involved good things happen.
- Protecting your people, keeping them isolated and in IT. They need to grow and part of growth is actively engaging business peers and being exposed to the issues you deal with every day. Besides, if know one knows who they are, then you are all of IT and cannot move beyond it to create greater value.
- Thinking about risk as just the prevention of loss rather than the pursuit of value. There are risks that are best dealt with as loss prevention, but not all risks. Identify the situations where risk represents opportunity because if you can do it, then you have an advantage. Give these situations as much attention as the risks you minimize.
- Taking the suppliers word for it without checking and testing their advice. It is a competitive marketplace and you should be taking advantage of it not just in terms of contract negotiations, but making sure, you get the best contribution from your suppliers.
My apologies that these points have decidedly negative tone, but we are talking about things to stop. What are your – must not do – resolutions for the New Year.
What are you stopping in order to start some other things?