Information Technology, Strategy, Technology

What does IT and a State Trooper have in common?

In the case of this Massachusetts State Trooper, a lot.

In case you are to lazy to click over, the linked story is about a Massachusetts State Trooper who didn’t believe a lady was pregnant and refused to help her and her husband get to a hospital during rush hour.  To top it off, he gave them a $100 ticket for driving on the shoulder of the highway (they were trying to get around the traffic I guess). Oh…and…the couple had already been given the ‘go ahead’ by 2 other state troopers to use the shoulder of the highway.

So…how does this relate to IT?

Think about it.

How many times have you been moving along with some plan or project thinking that everything is OK athen you have someone in IT through up a roadblock?

How many times have you gone to IT to ask for help and been told “no” or “you can’t do that” or “give us a business case”. Or…how many times have you been told ‘yes’ by one person in IT and ‘no’ by another?

I’ve seen this happen many many times and have been in the position of both throwing roadblocks and being blocked.  Many times the reason for saying “no” is very valid…but the person we say “no” to doesn’t understand the reasons.

How do we (IT) keep from being named the ‘worst person in the world’ (a title given to the state trooper in the above story)? How can we turn IT from a roadblock to getting things done to an enabler of business?

Here’s a few thoughts I have:

  1. Insert IT into business discussions.
  2. Stop looking for ways to say “no”…look for opportunities to say “yes”
  3. Communicate better.  Make sure the business understands why IT processes and rules exist.


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About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
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Mike Schaffner
15 years ago

An amazing story but I can see some similarity to the way IT operates at times.

For me the it a good reminder that we constantly have to work on developing a good customer service attitude throughout our IT organization. We are there for the benefit of the customers not the other way around. Someone with a problem is an opportunity not an interruption.


Eric D. Brown
15 years ago

Hi Mike: Thanks for the comment. If more IT organizations (and all other orgs & people) saw problems as opportunities, we’d be in a much better place.