Hunch On IT

The Hard Part of IT is the Organization

Posted in Behavior, Change, Information Technology, IT, OCM, Organization by carlkessler on November 22, 2009

The toughest thing about being effective in IT is the organization.  The technology, quite honestly, is the easy part.  We can bend those machines to our wills (plural intentional).  I’ve not come a cross a technical problem that couldn’t be solved.  Focusing all the humans involved on a common goal and ensuring all their actions actually move us toward that goal is the vocation of this blog.

I’ve “grown up” in IT in a large corporation and had, honestly, the pleasure of leading large scale changes across the entire organization.  My favorite metaphor is that it’s like shoveling water uphill.  The root cause of this is that many factors affect how the organization behaves:

  • we can only do what we know
  • we know less than we think we do
  • we do what we’re paid to (which may not move us toward a strategic goal)
  • we fear complexity
  • we don’t take enough time to measure
  • we misuse the measurements we have
  • we like to be comfortable
  • we like immediate gratification
  • we each have an opinion

I’m actually a people person.  I like the people I work with and find staff development to be the most rewarding aspect of my job.  Maybe its because I really care that people understand our strategy and have really engaged folks to get their buy-in that I feel this so keenly.

For you experts out there, yes, the solution to this is Organizational Change Management (OCM).  But like most managers in IT, I have to bumble through this as my background is technical, not managerial.

Going forward, I’ll work through real-world scenarios.  I’ll cover what we hoped to achieve and the behaviors we encountered.  In doing so, my hope is that you gain some insights into what you might be up against, where you may be ahead of the game, how you might overcome the challenges and how to press your advantages.