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The #1 Cause of Organizational Dysfunction

Dysfunction is any malfunctioning part or element that disrupts performance. It gets in the way of a business trying to achieve its goals and objectives. But what causes organizational dysfunction? The root cause for almost all the dysfunction in organizations is metrics, metrics that we use to measure employee performance. In this Forrester Research article, author Nigel Fenwick delves more into the root cause of organizational dysfunction.  

There is dysfunction, to some degree, present in all companies. Fenwick mentions that there is a greater discontent between IT and the rest of the business. That in some ways it seems that IT does not align with the business’ goals. Even worse, it is seen as “an impediment to business units.” Fenwick offers an example of a marketing client who believed that IT was making bad decisions. However, it was the database technician that decided to restart SAP, which the website was tied to, resulting in the website going down as SAP went down.

Use Metrics Carefully

Does using performance metrics bring more good than harm? Yes, but not often. Establishing useful metrics is worth the time and effort and from there can one start to oversee and motivate the performance of individuals and workgroups. Fenwick adds: 

If CEOs and CFOs measure the effectiveness of CIOs and IT on things like keeping the IT budget low, delivering projects on-time and on-budget and keeping the lights on, then IT will inevitably appear dysfunctional to the rest of the organization. If, however, CEOs were to measure IT on the same measures as the rest of the exec team, such as business growth, customer retention or overall profitability, then I would expect to see far less dysfunction with respect to IT.  

To read the full article, click here: http://blogs.forrester .com/nigel_fenwick/13-06-28-the_1_cause_of_organizational_dysfunction

About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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