Oracle’s Profit magazine has a nice article titled “The Go Betweens: Ten Tips for Connecting Information Technology with the Business” has some excellent tips for closing the IT – Business gap.
The ten tips are:
- Create strategic discussions between business and IT
- Include specialists from all relevant areas
- Choose team members with great care
- Make sure go-between teams do not report only to IT
- Include senior-level IT staff on the team
- Do not put the go-between team in a project management role
- Make sure liaisons meet on a regular basis, even if they are assigned to separate business units
- Don’t make the team the only point of contact between business and IT
- When devising a go-between strategy, consider the size of your organization
- Assure a clear career path for the team (and beyond)
All excellent tips for bridging the chasm that exists between most IT and business groups. I especially like #4….and if you’ll jump over and read the article, you’ll see a quote from someone you may know regarding tip #4:
4. Make sure go-between teams do not report only to IT. IT consultant and author Eric D. Brown discovered an issue when a client required that projects go through a project management office-which reported to the CIO. “The only projects that got done were ones that interested the IT group or the CIO,” he says.
But even a team created and funded by the IT department will be most effective if it also reports to top business managers. “I don’t generally believe in ‘matrixed’ organizations, where employees report to more than one area at once. But in this case, it’s justified, because you need them to report to two different managers and have access to two different managers to do their jobs effectively,” Luftman says.
Indeed Brown says one of the most effective go-between groups he’s seen reported to a chief strategy officer, completely separate from the IT department. “They were involved early in any five-year plan, and that helped them set strategy not only for technology but for the organization as a whole.”
Sorry for the shameless plug :) It is a great article with excellent insight into bridging the gap between IT and the Business.