Written by: Dan Biggs
Ask the Specialist and Don’t Prevaricate
After prevaricating for years around a pain in my hip, I took myself to a specialist who identified early onset of arthritis and recommended having it replaced. My initial reaction was one of concern around both the procedure and the on-going effect. So I read some information on the internet but found the advice conflicting and not very helpful, so I consulted the specialists, those who had been through the process and other experts in the area of hip replacements, and in the end, I took the plunge and had it done.
The effect was almost instantaneous. Within hours I was up and walking with none of the grinding pain that accompanied my daily life. While the pain of the surgery was there and slowly subsiding, I came to realise that by not having a constant pain in the background, my energy levels were higher, I was achieving more and in general my life was better.
The philosophy could be applied to CIOs / IT Managers that feel they have on going issues reflecting the value of IT and ensuring ITs alignment with the business, however are not able to identify those issues, and more importantly, how to fix them. You may not realise the misalignment exists as it has built up over time and it may be painful having it revealed, particularly to those you report to, but once it has been identified you will need a clear path forward with confirmation that the transformation will be worth the effort.
The first place to check is whether the IT strategy aligns with the Business Strategy. If the business can see that IT is focused on the same vision, there will be greater support for future efforts. Once that support is seen by the staff in IT, they will become better motivated and engaged and will return that support by offering innovative thinking to help drive the business. By focusing on what is agreed by the business, IT is delivering only what is needed and then seen as an enabler rather than just a cost centre.
The question is always: How do I approach this or how do I get started? And there is always the fear of the unknown. If I go down this path, what will it show? Will it highlight my shortcomings or what if it is something worse?
Stop prevaricating and get some guidance (which we all need at some point) from someone who has done this before. It is more important to identify the cause of the pain and get on with the remediation than to persist with a problem that is dragging you down daily.
What should I expect from a Specialist?
A specialist will identify the problem – take an independent look at the business from the outside with real world experience to help pin point what needs to be done. This will show where the problems lies – like an x-ray or MRI.
- Please don’t do it yourself! Just like using the internet to identify a medical problem, it never ends well. The same goes for do-it-yourself surgery!
- Again, don’t prevaricate, once the cause of the problem is identified, go through the short-term pain of remediating those causes. Once the underlying, ongoing pain is removed, things work better and energy levels of all concerned and the performance of IT are lifted.
The specialist will outline the best way possible to alleviate the pain with a clear view of:
- What the business thinks of IT, as perception is more important than reality
- A comparison of the IT Function with industry peers
- A plan for how to improve ITs capability with focus on the areas that the business perceives as most important with a balance of what they should perceive as being important
- A clear roadmap of how to make these improvements in time, with the right amount of priority, for the programmes, projects and tasks ahead
- Perform an annual review i.e check-in with point 1, where you can expect to see good improvement each year
Read more on how Effectus can identify and alleviate the pain point.