Knowing Where You Are, Part II: What Do I Do Now?
Yesterday we talked about two very different types of organizations: Those that “get it” in terms of today’s interwoven Business-Technology Weave and… those that don’t.
In either organization, what does the IT leader, the IT staff member, and the IT-engaged business person do? What is anyone’s obligation in truly understanding “where you are,” in order to craft the “where you’re going” – the ongoing route into the future?
¨ Understand and establish your authority
¨ Identify your sponsors
¨ Determine the limits to which sponsors can back you
¨ Understand the organization’s people
¨ Identify and know your resources (quality, quantity, flexibility, and so on)
· Equipment: platform, infrastructure, systems (both business and IT; inside the org, and necessary outside ones (such as public infrastructures, …)
· Vendors, contractors
· Etc. – that is, use your imagination in identifying everything that influences and defines “where you are.” Much of it will be unique and outside the purview of any specific guide or advice.
¨ Understand your sanction
· You must know where the organization wants to go
· Understand the limits of your “lead”
· Agree to levels of participation
· Agree to rates of progress
· Get “their” commitments first, when needed for “your” commitments
· Document commitments, agreements, etc.
In establishing where you are, don’t forget the status of readily observable and, relatively speaking, easily measured systems, infrastructures, and procedures – the state of those things also factor into where you are. Anything that is poorly maintained, yet easily measured, shows a problem in managing routine things. There’s a clue: Imagine the problems you’ll encounter when there are challenges in arenas that may have more subjective, and even political, considerations. So look to these empirically measured areas as an overall barometer to the organization’s effectiveness and success – its success culture as a feed to the overall eCulture.
Remember that one of our destinations is to get you into a specific successful eCulture, The Business-Technology Weave: a culture whereby business and IT engage optimally, for optimal outcomes – on an ongoing basis.
Understand “where you are” to effectively plot where you’re going.