Things never remain static. If you are not planning the action, driving the action, managing the action – taking action – you are still moving. The stream of time and surrounding change is carrying you whether you paddle and steer or not. As your competitors progress, as your business tools fall out-of-date or become less than optimal, as your organization falls behind on evolving best-practice – you will in fact be moving backward – by a comparative default. Make sure you’re moving forward.
The “Whens” of action should become evident by virtue of the forward-looking postures we’ve described for individual and organization through discussion in the BIT forum, and the delivery of prudent action to the matrix of Five-Year, One-Year, and Individual Action Plans.
A huge assist to moving forward effectively in technology’s support to business is to identify actions that can be turned into routines, and to put them on schedules: a leveraging of “whens.” Business should facilitate thorough understanding by IT of the organization’s business burdens through exposures: the annual calendar of events, any regularized absences of key personnel, business cycles, predictable tax on resources, etc. IT should strive to optimize schedules, in sympathy to the business: workstation upgrade and deployment; fileserver review and update; infrastructure review and update; documentation and policy review and update – get these things identified and slotted to a particular quarter of the year. Even if exigencies change your priorities, you can easily swap one thing from one quarter with something from another quarter. You’ll still have a balance on your routine and your resources, and you’ll still have everything identified – things are less likely to fall off the table.
The proper schedule of ‘whens’ will yield an efficient cycle. The more comprehensive your cycle, the more time you will have for special projects. You will move forward in the best posture for controlling outcomes. If you wait to do something until you are forced to take action, you’ll likely move forward, but you’ll do so at greater expense – in terms of money, effort and efficiency. You’ll find yourself lurching from one area of problems to another. Therefore, find the “sweet spot” for action in all of your routines, in accordance with the organization’s events, distribution of resources, and cycles of business.