Transforming the Business through it
With the new tech-savvy world and digital age, we live in; it is becoming essential for industry leaders to build synergy around collaboration within their workplace environment. Many companies gearing up to take on projects such as cloud solutions the transformation of old dying legacy systems, Machine Learning, or consumer experiences to name a few. A modern-day CIO already knows to survive they are no longer the sole owner of Technology. An organization needs to bring their IT and their business together to collaborate for enterprise change.
Keys to Collaboration
Ownership is the first key to successful collaboration. All critical parties must have a seat at the table. If business owners were involved throughout the process, they are more inclined to discuss what “we” built vs. what “they” made. People will usually describe what “we” built-in more favorable terms than what “they” built. This will also provide ongoing transparency, which will help to solidify the perception of the success within any organization. The business and the IT will walk this journey together, so they both understand how they got there.
Governance– While the risks of the development team not fully adapting to the new technology should be readily apparent, don’t overlook the importance of all of the buy-in of all of the leadership. The future of an organizations IT is dependent on a deliberately defined and carefully followed governance model. Everyone must participate in driving the methodology selected through the organization. This really must be a cultural shift for the organization. For that shift to take firm hold, the members of the leadership team must become champions of leading by example.
Dependencies between and among the business and IT must be considered to collaborate correctly. The individual project teams should not be working in silos
Planning – Laying out a proper strategy to follow is the foundation for success. Failure to do this will almost certainly result in scope creep. Failure to plan is planning to fail right from the start. If you haven’t clearly defined the boundaries so that everyone knows what is in and what is out, your estimates and budgets will not hold. Further, everyone will have different expectations which will go through your collaboration plans out the door.
Evaluating Talent – Each resource within an organization brings a unique set of skills and understanding based on previous experience. The team must be trained in standard methods of development to build collaboration. Consider pairing a new resource with a more experienced one early in an organizations transformation to reinforce the approach and methodology. Your organization plan should include an allowance for adequate training at the onset of any large project taking.
Dependencies between and among the business and IT must be considered to collaborate correctly. The individual project teams shouldnot be working in silos. While a detailed project plan must be created, the procedure itself must be adaptable as well. Different components may take less time or more time than planned. Resource availability may also not match the original plan.
Ongoing Training – Every project brings together resources with a wide variety of experiences. Some may have technical strengths, others may have excellent project leadership abilities, and some may have excellent business acumen for the subject at hand. Limitations of new resources can cause a project to lag in the early stages as everyone gets up to speed. The lack of experience can lead to re-work, but the iterative process that is the cornerstone of the philosophy supports overcoming this challenge. The key here is proper planning. If you can assess your resources’ skillsets early in the project, plan a bit of redundancy around initiatives covered in early sprints based on perceived weaknesses.
Communication is probably the most significant component of collaboration in IT. Both within and across teams and work streams will help to get resources up to speed more quickly. Use the talents and skills of the team members wisely. If you find that a resource may be more valuable on one team over another, don’t be hesitant to shuffle. After all, the philosophy calls for development to be an iterative process—your team structure should also employ an iterative approach where needed.
Architectural Foundation –Make sure that you include the right resources so that your plan fits into the overall architectural vision for the organization. For this planning portion, you may need to involve people outside of the project plan to gain input and assist with buy-inn. Improve overall productivity and reduce development time by thinking through some of the critical technical issues upfront to avoid fruitless professional paths and to minimize refactoring. All of this should be done with an eye toward building a system that can be efficiently maintained, modified, and upgraded.
It’s not at all uncommon for the end goal to get lost quickly in the daily and weekly task-level focus of the new IT program. Look for opportunities to keep the team engaged in how the daily work moves the project ever closer to the delivered solution. Transparency about the shortcomings of the current system or infrastructure, along with a continued communication about the direction of the project, will not only help to reinforce the objective but will solidify that the work being delivered will be the cornerstone of the solution.