Senior leaders usually define IT transformation initiatives. After the initial vision and strategy is outlined, it usually falls to the next layer of management to work through the details. Often, the organization experiences delays in achieving the outcome and they never achieve the expected return on investment.
Why does this happen?
Management has staff that are busy handling the day to day operations. Their normal course of action is to shield their teams from projects that will take up their time. They participate in projects for them. With critical initiatives such as IT transformation, staff at all levels within the IT organization must participate to ensure the right outcomes and facilitate buy in.
A manager is monitoring the work, developing the team, and helping staff work through barriers to complete their operational responsibilities but they aren’t actually doing the work. They don’t know the details of what it takes to get the job done. When working on transformation activities, the IT transformation team needs to know the reality of how the work gets done. Without this information, they often pursue improvement opportunities that will offer little in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, or cost savings. Many times, the team won’t recognize the true root cause of the issue until they’ve spent time and money on improvement actions.
In addition, when frontline staff are not involved in defining the changes associated with the initiative, they are less likely to adopt the changes in a timely manner. They won’t initially change the way they work or they will make the change and then revert back to the old way of doing things.
Engaging staff at all levels within the IT organization is critical to success however; we must also address another critical audience – the customer.
With any IT transformation, the result will be changes to how the organization identifies services, makes investments, organizes to handle the work, manages services, and interfaces with their customers. Changes within IT directly affect your customers and end users.
How does an IT organization know the critical components of an IT transformation initiative without engaging their customers? Engagement of the customer requires more than a hallway conversation or a review of customer satisfaction data. Critical customers should be engaged in transformation strategy discussions. They will need a seat at the table.
Once the initial transformation goals and objectives are defined, end users should be engaged to understand their existing experience with IT and their recommendations for improvement.
Throughout the initiative, customer and end user feedback should be incorporated into key decision making. Open communication regarding decisions and key changes is critical.
IT customers and end users can provide a wealth of information which can help to formulate plans and activities. They can also become true partners in achieving the intended outcomes.
IT transformation requires more than a solid vision, strategy, objectives, and plan, it requires feedback and engagement of staff and customers at all levels in the organization.
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At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, innovation process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our Change Adoption Workshop, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.