Little cracks in the pillars of the IT organization can add up to some Samson-level chaos if you do not stay vigilant. In an article for Computerworld, Bart Perkins identifies some IT inefficiencies that seem bearable on the surface but are actually rotting away at the foundation. Beware these five:
- Unapproved projects
- Poor technology-purchasing practices
- Internal processes that aren’t clear
- Ill-suited infrastructure
- Poorly-run meetings
Not every project is a mission-critical explosion of innovation. Some minor maintenance and improvement projects just kind of happen, and IT workers slowly, quietly get pulled away from their more important tasks to help with these efforts. It is probably out of kindness that employees agree to divert their energy into these tangential projects, but it becomes problematic when it affects completion of the bigger projects. Here is one solution Perkins offers:
In addition to tracking how staff spend their time, it can be useful to limit the number of staff assigned to support each group or system. This accomplishes two things. First, IT staffers who work on understaffed teams learn pretty quickly that small requests interfere with their work and are more likely to want a mechanism to rank requests. Second, limiting support provides an opportunity to reassign staff to projects that create new IT services.
The second inefficiency has to do largely with bad vendor management. Someone needs to be reviewing every invoice just to make sure IT is not getting charged for services never rendered. And ideally, there should be virtually no overlap between various services being bought. Limiting the number of people with IT purchasing power can help to maintain this ideal.
By comparison to vender management, unclear internal processes are an inefficiency many are likely to notice and lament. Time is wasted in every instance that someone has to ask someone else for help locating the person responsible for overseeing a given service. Frameworks like ITIL and COBIT eliminate much of the confusion. The caveat is that players big and small must be on board with these IT processes once implemented in order for them to be effective.
Infrastructure is not quite as nuanced. In many cases, it either fits the business needs or does not fit the business needs. IT and users together should be able to determine what fits the bill. And about the final IT inefficiency, poorly-run meetings—well, the literature on the wastefulness of bad meetings is endless. Luckily, AITS has documented much of it, so if you need tips about that, we have your back.
You can view the original article here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3120375/it-management/the-guppies-will-get-you.html