It’s no secret that many business executives have a low opinion of IT, but more surprising is how many within the IT/engineering ranks are also frustrated with how collaboration with the business has nearly always set them, and the business, up for disappointment. In working with our Fortune 1000 clients over the years, I’ve compiled a list of the most common frustrations with IT that undermine the outcomes the business hopes for.
- IT Is Paralyzed By Process
The processes established to make IT reliable and efficient rival the tax code in complexity. When challenged, IT justifies the process overhead by invoking the excuse that the business makes half-baked requests and is clueless about enterprise impact.
- Business Needs Responsiveness, It Wants Predictability
IT nags the business for detailed requirements and complains when changes are routinely thrust onto previously locked-down requirements. Business leaders wonder why IT doesn’t understand that change should be expected and embraced in a dynamic business environment.
- Reducing Costs Through Offshoring Has Only Made Things Worse
While moving work to Asia may have satisfied the bean counters by lowering the average burn rate on hourly cost, the accommodations typically made by IT to make working with remote teams possible has decreased IT responsiveness.
- IT Proposes Complex When Simple Is Good Enough
The business makes a simple request that often spawns a boatload of specialists and weeks, if not months, of analysis. What they hoped for was a timely, cost-effective solution—not an expensive discovery process.
- Progress on Projects Is Never What It Seems
It’s not just a recurring Dilbert cartoon: IT projects are now routinely late, almost never reach full completion, and nearly always disappoint project sponsors when the final functionality is revealed. The lack of transparency in progress reporting undermines the trust required to build a more engaged collaboration during project execution between business and IT.
- IT Is Reactive Rather Than Proactive
When the business needs unplanned help, it faces the prospect of going door-to-door, begging for help from functional specialists who complain that you should have gotten them involved earlier.
- IT Is Dismissive Of Solutions They Can’t Control or Invent Themselves
When the business tries brainstorming with IT about new technologies to innovate—like modern social collaboration tools or new mobile engagement apps—they often patronize the business by dismissing questions and noting that staff aren’t properly utilizing the systems already in place.
- IT News is Almost Never Good
No matter how much upfront time and money is spent analyzing and planning your new initiative, the solution the business seeks seems to always be out of reach. Even the successful launch of new systems is accompanied with the inevitable disappoints of defects, crashes, and change requests.
The good news is that Agile offers a way to resolve these (and other) common sources of frustration, and it offers the benefits that the Suits and Geeks agree on. Notably, Agile can improve speed, productivity, flexibility, quality, and cost savings. The key to doing so is ensuring smooth collaboration between IT and the business.