Re: Stop Making Stupid Software Decisions
Happy to have your insight, John, and if I'm not mistaken, it sounds like I'm seeing a recurring theme in each of your points - all this IT investment is for naught if a) it doesn't solve the company's actual business problems and b) the users don't invest in it, like it, and use it. That may sound like a deceptively obtuse point, but I actually think it's kind of simple. The idea that people (in your example, the LoB folks) who don't know how the rank and file employees are working (like those people at Plant A you mentioned), don't know what the real business problem they're trying to solve is, and just shove something down the pipeline anyway is all too common, but it's inviting failure. This is not a new phenomenon - the difference is, thanks to modern IT, there's no reason it has to happen anymore. The technology is all caught up, and we have to accept our responsibility as IT people if it's IT who is not.
One great suggestion I've heard before is to embed IT specialists in each other department or business unit, not unlike what you're suggesting. It was actually here on InformationWeek, I think, but it was a long time ago, I don't know if I can find the link. They'll have the specific responsibility of knowing what IT processes and technologies are currently in use at that business unit, as well as being responsible for coming up with innovations there. It's their job to be able to translate company-wide IT initiatives into a language their department can understand, as well as collaborating with the other embedded IT people to know how the business units work together, bridge the IT gaps between each other's departments, and come up with new IT solutions that will help these departments work together and collaborate better, faster, and more easily. I liked that idea a lot.