Imagine there is a critical client meeting in Las Vegas. You plan to attend and think it would be important for your IT leader, Ted to join. You’re excited to use the opportunity to take a cross-country roadtrip and you ask Ted to drive. On day 2, a number of hours into the trip, you notice signs for Oklahoma City and wonder how that path will end up in Las Vegas in time for the meeting tomorrow. After driving through the night, you wake up in Denver and miss the meeting. You ask Ted what he was thinking, and he says “Oh, I decided to take a much more scenic route, I thought you would be excited to see the mountains.”
Do you think you would ever let Ted drive again?
Delivery is not about the journey, it’s about the destination - the Key Initiatives that will ultimately build real value for the business.
IT Leaders sometimes get so wrapped up in the Delivery journey - the tools, methodologies, and cool new technologies, that they can lose sight of the real business destination. And business leaders sometimes assume that their destination is clear. When you wondered about going to Oklahoma City, why didn’t you say something? Both parties need to work together to ensure predictable delivery on the initiatives that matter most. Business leaders should invite IT leaders into the planning conversations, and IT leaders need to learn all they can about the business goals and objectives. Ideally, the IT leader is a part of the core leadership team and can contribute to the strategic planning conversations directly. This will ensure that both parties get to the right destination on time.
Are your IT Key Initiatives clear and aligned with the business destination, or are you more engrossed in the Delivery scenery?
Here are a few of the most important foundations that should be in place to ensure alignment between Business and IT leadership:
This list might seem obvious to some, but in my experience they are much easier said than done. Establishing these foundational processes and building collaborative and consistent execution among Business and IT leaders will ensure you Deliver on Key Initiatives!