Monday, 22 September 2014

How do you relate to your Business?


How do you, whether IT or another department, relate to your business? This is an important question to ask as we strive to achieve business objectives. How do we manage that if we don’t understand how we relate to their needs?

It doesn’t really matter what department you are in whether it is IT or something else, fundamentally you need to ensure your teams goals line up to the bigger picture of the business. What I am interested in knowing is:

·         Do you have a formalized BRM model in place?
·         Do you have something else, some type of ‘go between’ from the business to your department.
·         Perhaps you are relying on leadership to provide you direction.
·         Of course there may be nothing at all that integrates your team’s activities with the business.

In my experience the challenge is that there is always a degree of fog the further up the mountain that you go. Having less people directly involved with the business on their needs presents a risk that we rely on those few to pull us across the goal line. When we have a more communicated and understood view of what the business goals are we are better positioned to discuss regular activities and think in terms of the bug picture with all daily activities. People are able to ask “how will this help the business achieve its goals?”

At the base camp, to use the analogy you are likely to have a collaboration of business relationship managers, service desk analysts, vendor management and support staff in IT just to name a few. At this level of communications and working towards the business goals there are several integrated teams working towards one goal.

As we move towards the summit there may be less of a relationship with the business and the teams which support the business are relying more on fewer people to guide them in a direction which also reaches the same business goals.

Leaving things strictly to leaders presents a challenge of interpretation from one leader to another. As the goals are disseminated to teams there may be small deviations on the initial interpretation which leads to some slight differences to what all teams perceive as the business objectives. I am not saying that this can’t work; the risk is that the devil is in the details and everything rides on the leader’s direction rather than the collective group understanding of direction

So again I pose the question to you. What type of relationship do you have with your business and what success and challenges have you faced as a result?

I look forward to your comments and feedback

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