Sometimes CIOs and IT managers get frustrated trying to communicate with clients ,business managers and process owners. They are supposed to have answers and proposals for a wide range of issues within the organization . But ,as the matter of fact, our world is not perfect and they don’t! On the other hand, business managers do not always understand the challenges and complexity of IT projects and environments. This make both feel unpleasant and insecure poisoning the relationship or partnership between these two “worlds”. I’ve seen more than once IT colleagues trying to explain projects, budgets or other IT stuff to puzzled mangers, or IT personnel feeling uneasy because the didn’t catch what businessmen wanted.
There’s not a unique way to address this problems. But there are things that Business and IT people should aware:
- Language sharing: Some may say that executives speak only money language. That’s not true. Money it’s only a measure, like others. A CFO could understand a IT portfolio but a lawyer maybe needs other means.
- Risk alignment: Do not show tech/project risks alone try to link them to well-understood business risk. If possible to business objectives and they associated metrics.
- Think at the margin: Utility is a marginal concept. Exchanges happen in marginal terms.
- Set good metrics: How we measure results is complex matter, but how we interpret the metrics is even messier. We should expend more time in defining and clarifying what for the metrics stand and what does it mean. This is specially important when some divergences arise.
- Win-Win: Good deals make always both parts better off. If anyone thinks that he is wore off it couldn’t be called a deal.
All above are only a bunch of different ways to say “Talk with them”. They are humans, they have specific incentives (as you have). If we discover how improve communications that will, maybe , not resolve all our disagreements but at lest we have better tools to manage them.
StrategIT Tip: Soft skills are commonly forgotten, communication is very heart of business processes. Improving it, will improve the overall organization performance. Do like with your wife/husband just try understand other’s needs.