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Partnering for Success

If IT organizes itself quickly, it could respond rapidly to the overall needs of individual business groups. This requires a planning process tightly integrated with each of the business groups and an enterprise-wide vision within which all needs can be met. To accomplish this you must establish working relationships at individual and group levels with all business partners.

All members of this business team are scheduled with accountabilities and deliverables. Priorities are determined through jointly developed business cases. All projects are required to build a business case; a technology case is insufficient. All business cases are required to discuss alignment of individual objectives with enterprise objectives.

The Importance of Relationships

Relationships are encouraged both on an individual level as well as on a group level. For example, if a partner has been unable to form a relationship with technology staff, the technology department must acknowledge this lack and take steps to forge the right relationships. In so doing, senior technology managers will be forced to identify the source(s) of the problem(s) and proactively make corrections. This process may involve issues of competence, mutual respect, credibility, business knowledge and perspective, and even communication, but relationships are not built overnight. Relationships require great amounts of patience and extensive consistency. Communication is a relationship-building opportunity of which you must take full advantage. As part of standard management process, IT should review its relationships on a regular basis.

IT's partnering/relationships depend strongly on senior management support. The tone is set at the executive or senior management committee level. Relationships are built from the top down and from the bottom up. Yet it's quite probable that it may not rise beyond a certain level in the organization without active senior management support. It's interesting how a whispered word in the right ear works wonders (a requirement of true senior management commitment).

Delegate relationships upward, downward, and sideways. Avoid jealously guarded relationships, which can defeat the purpose.

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