By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)
The IT department is the most disliked unit in most organizations. A recent article on Forbes.com (Why Everyone Hates IT People) indicates that most corporate employees blame IT as the primary bottleneck for innovation and advancement. Can this be true? The majority can’t be wrong…right?
The article cites extended backlogs, long project cycle times, and onerous requirements documentation as the main culprits. Certainly, these things can contribute to business dissatisfaction with IT. I mean, every techie has probably worked with a business unit leader that keeps changing their mind or adding new requirements that are “critical” to the success of the project. In some of these cases, the IT project manager doesn’t have the wherewithal to cut off the stakeholder, push the new items to a future release, and contain scope creep. In other cases, the IT leadership permits the business unit to continue expanding their demands, creating an unending project cycle.
On April 5, 2012, I created a blog post discussing what I believe to be the primary reasons that IT projects fail. At the core, most functional business personnel don’t understand the role of technology or have the proper perspective for the purpose of technology in the operation. They also don’t appreciate the need for some pretty exhaustive analysis or discovery on the front end of a project so that the technology group can truly understand the business issue their trying to solve. So CIOs, IT executives, PMs, this is where your Business Analyst (BA) should earn the big bucks. They are the primary interface between the business and technology. A poor BA will lead projects that fail no matter how good the rest of the team of process is that’s in place. A great BA can overcome many of the weaknesses that exist on the project team or with getting the right level of face time and support from the functional business unit.
Don’t be categorized as the type of IT group in which “innovation dies.” Learn how to engage your business teams to set proper expectations, identify their true functional needs, and help to change the processes for business transformation.
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