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IT-Business Alignment

How You Can Improve Business Support

While on a support call recently, I had the misfortune of suffering through long hold times, dreary music, and being transferred from person to person with no end in sight. While I waited I had plenty of time to think about what could be done better not just for this experience, but also from my own perspective to improve interactions with my own business. Listen More, Speak Less First, start by listening to your business—really …

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Using the Hierarchy of Purpose to Prioritize Your Company’s Projects

Every business makes an effort to track and prioritize projects, but too many of those efforts are hollow. For instance, implementing a project management tool to track projects and compare benefits will do no good if nobody can be convinced to use it. It requires a comprehensive and committed strategy to understand a business’s project portfolio and plan accordingly. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez introduces the “hierarchy of purpose” to achieve …

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Top 10 Signs Your Company Needs Project Portfolio Management

The truth is that any business could benefit from project portfolio management (PPM). However, if you find your company running into the following signs, you could be in more dire need of PPM than most! Sign #1: Project and resource managers often fight over resources. Example: The head of the Finance department asks IT services to install a new accounts payable system. When approached by the project manager requesting to assign two financial analysts to …

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10 IT Basics That Business Managers Need to Know

From your computer at work to brushing your teeth, technology has managed to permeate almost every aspect of human life. It has become essential for everyone to understand some basics about technology, even those outside of IT. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett shares 10 of the most pertinent concepts every manager should know about IT: Defining how new technology can help How to work with IT vendors Understanding what IT truly does How …

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How to Use Metrics to Optimize Service Delivery

I want you to think about all the different types of organizations you worked for. Whether they were Finance, Communications, Energy, Agriculture, or Transport, there was likely one similarity among them: The reporting that was done from an IT perspective did not produce metrics that mattered. Why? It’s simple—we (as an IT organization) tend to loop endlessly on the metrics as they apply to IT. We must move away from thinking that “recovery from failure …

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3 Ways to Become a Strategic Project Manager

Does strategy only apply to old-time war generals or the elite CEOs of modern time? Of course not! In a post for Project Management Hacks, Bruce Harpham elaborates on why maintaining a strategic view can help any person be better equipped to handle the barrage of challenges life may throw their way. Developing Business Perspective There are three trends that are challenging leaders today in their efforts to keep the strategic view clear of debris. …

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5 Lessons for Managing Massive IT Projects

Change can be hard on even a small project, so can you imagine the growing pains of change on a massive project? In an article for TechRepublic, Conner Forrest shares the five tips Eben Hewitt, CTO of Choice Hotels International, uncovered as the secrets to success to projects of any scale. Hewitt conducted a session in which he shared five lessons for project management in the grandiose sense: Find what is necessary. Find where the …

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Mission Impossible: The Elusive IT Alignment

Patrick Gray argues for TechRepublic that there’s no reason to believe that IT-business alignment is always a favorable scenario. And when it is, there’s no reason to expect perfection: Even with the utility and project execution capabilities of your IT organization well under control, you still may find it impossible to achieve alignment with your business peers if there’s no comprehensive business strategy. Moving Targets In the IT strategy game, alignment is actually not fixed. …

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3 Tips to Optimize Sponsor Relations and Strategic Alignment

Alignment is everything, and it all starts with the sponsor. Communicating with sponsors is a linchpin of portfolio management according to David Wakeman in a post for Voices on Project Management. If your project matches your strategy, then it’s on to bigger and better things. Wakeman offers three tips to keep things in sync. Three Threads of Sponsor Relations Tough questions Being busy Talking through change Sometimes sponsors are less than forthcoming with answers when …

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5 Mistakes IT Leaders make in IT-Business Alignment

An attempt at aligning the business and IT can fail at several different levels. In the event that your IT department is seeking better alignment, it would be well to understand the five layers of failure and how to overcome each. An article for Boardroom Metrics by Brian Whitelaw describes several ways in which IT could be its own worst enemy. Five Sources of Alignment Failure Doing something the organization does not want you to …

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