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IT Management (3/3) - Outcome...

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We have everything we need right here, right now ― Organizational
Learning provides IT organizations with a way to unlock their 'higher
purpose' potential.


Context

Increasing maturity in any organization can be an exigent and arduous task, one that requires both patience and eagerness in measured amounts.

Increasing maturity in IT organizations is often convoluted by a level of systemic complexity that involves deep knowledge and understanding of IT people and processes. It requires a blueprint that provides the greatest level of support for both people and processes across IT.

In order to generate the level of Outcome required of modern IT organizations increasing maturity must be addressed systematically, incremental increases must be planned and harvested over a long-term horizon ― it is very much a long-haul journey.

Like all thousand-mile journeys it starts with one step, but before we take that step let's focus for a while on the objective. What is Outcome? How do we define Outcome?

I prefer to avoid the generic and almost profane definition of Outcome as we know it in "delivering outcomes", instead I will return to the roots of IT, because in my book Outcome in the context of IT is all about Innovation.

In IBM Global Business Services’ CIO Study one of the key roles of IT is driving technology innovation to make it a reality. We looked at Innovation in the first post in the series and in this last post we shall return to Innovation ― this time as the tangible Outcome of IT.

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IT Management (2/3) - Leverage...

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As IT leaders we must set our sights on The Living & Learning IT
Organization ― how to increase the intellectual output and
cohesiveness of an organization made from disparate units or
islands that sometimes appear to have little in common.


Context


In the last post on Developing IT Management Style we discovered by means of the Case Study that the most challenging issues faced by IT Management in delivering innovation were enablement and leverage. It is quite often said that a high percentage of new ideas fail, not because they're bad ideas, but rather because their inventors can't leverage them.

Many great ideas fail because they cannot get off the ground; add to the equation a busy IT support environment, budgetary constraints, resource issues, deadlines, priorities and governance, and it's hardly surprising that even the most brilliant of ideas quite often get shelved. Sometimes for good, especially in our rapidly changing organizational environments.

If we also consider an organization's inability to learn, then it's very surprising that we manage to deliver any innovation at all. Quite often we're struggling to keep our heads above water, in implementing somebody else's innovation, let alone bringing our own innovation to the table.

We have looked into some fundamental ways how to enable and develop the innovative management style, what we need to do next is find out how to leverage the whole of IT in bringing the newfound innovation to fruition. Moreover, we need to build a central nervous system through which is channeled knowledge, information and organizational learning.

A central nervous system that connects and unites the whole of IT, from CIO to Data Center Operator, each member of the IT organization must be connected to the same bus concurrently in real time. Often the central nervous system only works when we feel pain ― "get it fixed", "restore service", and when the lights return to green once again we become disconnected.

In the human body the cervical vertebrae (neck bones) in the neck connect the brain to the spinal cord and rest of the body, which enables the central nervous system to function, any fracture or injury of the vertebrae can result in loss of sensation, paralysis, or death.

How is the central nervous system in your IT organization? Does it suffer from a momentary loss of sensation, is it partially or completely paralyzed or has it already passed away to be resurrected by an IT outsourcer?

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