Reasons For IT-Business Misalignment (Part 2)

I my last post I said that the cause of the misalignment between business and IT is not caused by different pace of change. IT can change as quickly as the business – but it doesn’t. This post lists some of the reasons for this.

Reason 1: Business always gets a head start.
Given its relatively lowly position in most organisations, IT is always the last to know about what is happening – IT isn’t “kept in the loop”. The business can spend months planning something but IT is often contacted at the last minute and is forced to cobble together a solution in impossible timeframes.

Solution: The business must keep IT in the loop. The earlier in the process the better.

Reason 2: Poor solution development methodology.
Many IT Departments are ignoring modern best practice and continue to use outdated waterfall methodologies or work on multi-year projects. It doesn’t work. And history tells us it’s never worked. And I’m not talking software development specifically. The same applies to any IT project (e.g. implementing a new content management system).

Solution: It’s time for IT to get with the times. Develop interactively. Deliver early. Deliver often.

Reason 3: Trying to predict the future.
If you can predict the future I suggest you channel your talents toward pursuits other than trying to predict future business requirements. Most business will prefer to get something functional today than wait for something with bells and whistles. Don’t over-egg the pudding. If you can’t trace the work you’re doing right now to a business requirement then stop doing it.

Solution: Adopt the YAGNI principle. Learn to say “you aint gonna need it”.

Reason 4: Short-sighted views.
Some fall into the exact opposite trap of Reason 3 and build for the ‘here and now’ but don’t even consider what may be needed tomorrow. You need to find a balance. Some changes are easy to predict – factor them into the design.

Solution: Do things today in ways that doesn’t close any doors that may need opening tomorrow. Build extensible and easily maintainable solutions.


One Response to Reasons For IT-Business Misalignment (Part 2)

  1. E.A. Anon says:

    My response (FWIW!)

    1. Don’t agree. Most big companys nawadys have a CIO who sits in all senior leadership meetings and is well aware of what’s going on.

    2. Somewhat true, but supports what I said: IT (for various reasons) simply can’t move as fast as it needs to.

    3. Supports what I said. IT tries to build the ‘do it all’ app precisely because they know it’s going to be really hard to change the app later, when it turns out the app can’t do something. Again, IT moves slowly, hence misalignment.

    4. Same again.

    Overall, I think this post proves my point! For various reasons, IT moves slowly. It would be interesting to document all the reasons why IT moves slowly.

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