IT Transformation – Part 6 – Communication

This is part 6 of the Information Technology Transformation series, detailing the importance of two-way communication (speaking and listening) with your customers and colleagues.  If no-one understands “what, why, when and how” you are going to fix things, then they will resist because they do not understand what is going on.  This is human nature.

This is a six part series describing Information Technology Transformation within a struggling company:

Spreading the Word

Once your strategy has been approved by senior management and you have an approved budget (CAPEX and OPEX) for the 5 year strategy, you then need to spread the word.  Transparency is better than secrecy (unless you work for a government entity that requires security clearance and information compartmentalisation – even then you have to tell your customers and colleagues something).

You need to ensure that everyone has a vested interest in change and that you are all working together to achieve the same goal.  Once you start delivering projects as part of your strategy, you need to actively seek feedback to ensure your strategy is actually fixing the problems you had and that new problems have not been created, merely shifting the focus of frustration.

It sounds very obvious and logical, but so many organisations fail in this.  You need to create and maintain trusted relationships with your customers and colleagues.  The more you communicate, the greater the synergy and effectiveness of the team.  Here some some things you can try:

  • Baseline / Architecture / Strategy Posters for the CIO, Department Managers and Meeting Rooms – must be updated yearly.
  • Deliver presentations to the entire IT Division – making sure you change the focus of the content to the expertise of the team you are presenting to.
  • Master-Class sessions to spread knowledge within the IT Division.
  • Pushing vendors to recognise your achievements and write case studies about your company’s success.
  • Signing Up for Industry Events as “Speakers” to talk about your problems and how you fixed them.

Receiving Feedback

Probably even more important than speaking, is listening.  Based upon the feedback of your customers and colleagues, you can fine tune your strategy year by year and also make operational corrections to fix any issues.  Here are some things you can try:

  • Micro-surveys to your customers and colleagues.
  • Regular discussions with your customers and colleagues.
  • Monitoring the number of Service Requests being opened and closed.
  • Monitoring the “actual” SLA metrics of the services you are delivering to your customers.

Other Resources

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Chief Enterprise Architect and Strategist, 4xVCDX#133, NPX#8, DECM-EA.