Saturday, October 17, 2015

Three “P”s in Running a Digital IT

The purpose to orchestrate all these fundamental 'P' factors together is to achieve the other P-PERFORMANCE.

IT organizations are facing the significant digital transformation, perhaps crossroads is an appropriate word to articulate IT position since IT seems to fall into two camps. The first is in the reactive mode to keep the light on, and take command of the business, but not on the "go to" list for implementing the strategy. The latter is the proactive mode to co-create business strategy and provide business solutions (not just IT initiatives) to achieve ultimate business goals. There is an “alphabetic soup” in running a digital IT which must lead to reaching high-level performance and maturity; besides triple “I”s - Information, Innovation, and Integration, triple “A”s - Automation, Analysis, and Agility, triple “C”s - Change, Collaboration, and Cloudification. Here, we introduce the triple “P”s in digital IT:

Principles: Principles are general rules and guidelines, intended to be enduring and seldom amended, that inform and support the way in which an organization sets about fulfilling its mission. First, principles are statements of belief that reflect values, culture, and real-world concerns of the organization. They normally have a longer shelf life than objectives, strategies, etc. Principles are certainly there to guide the organization, not just for the professional, they are not the same as ethics; but also for decision making, governance., etc. Setting the right set of IT principles provides the general guideline for making a fair judgment and inform business decisions. Here are seven IT leadership principles we summarize to run a digital IT.

Process: Process is the key component to implementing a good strategy. IT is in a unique position to oversee business processes, and IT is also one of the most critical elements in process management. Process underpins business capability, and capability underpins business strategy. Business strategy relates to the high-level definition of an organization’s vision, objectives, and the key initiatives that are required to pursue those objectives given a particular starting point. Thus, process thinking needs to be a type of strategic thinking, holistic, end to end and with a strong focus on business goals set by strategy. The strategy tells you what processes you should focus on because they are strategic to the company. It also tells you whether you are redesigning business processes to achieve changes in time, cost, quality or scope. Which of these have you decided on the strategy that is most important to the competitive advantage?  To keep process nimble, IT needs to prune “the weed” regularly: The approach is to implement a program that like a gardener would prune the tree and nurture the valuable solutions. Pruning the weeds would face resistance, keeping “IT Fit” takes both strategy and discipline, but it is worth the effort, and it is a significant step to transform IT from a cost center to value creator; from a controller always saying “NO” to the innovator that brings change to itself as well as business-wide scope, and from a big fat silo to the digital fit brain of modern organization.

People: Last but not least, PEOPLE. As the matter of fact, the right order is alway: First People – Then Process – Then Technology. Develop and nurture a high-performing IT team is the first priority for IT leaders. Strive to be leaner and more business-focused. According to industry surveys, IT skills gap is a significant challenge facing IT leaders today. The right talent is the one that has demonstrated he/she can solve complex problems. Businesses become over-complex these days, more often than not, the skills gap is caused by candidates not having the appropriate balance of the right technical skills with business/management acumen, or lack of Systems, Critical, and Creative Thinking, interpersonal skills, as at the end of the day, it all means how to solve business problems. The bottom line is: realistic expectations and focuses on fit, career development, and succession planning will go a long way to recruiting and retaining employees with the right attitude and aptitude to adapt to changing requirements. The value of your contributions and your ability to deliver value is frequently more important than technical expertise. IT people are accustomed to having to learn new things. If companies would embrace the idea of constant learning and invest in it and really encourage learning instead of giving it lip service, there would be no skills gap.

The purpose to orchestrate all these fundamental business elements (people, process, and technology) together is to achieve the other P-PERFORMANCE. Distinguish between quantitative and qualitative performance objectives/KPIs. KPIs and the associated metrics drive priorities and behaviors. Keep them focused on drivers of performance and, appropriately weighted. The performance KPI setting shall focus on achieving the ultimate goals of business as a whole.

The Alphabetic Soup to Run a Digital IT:

Three "P"s in Running a Digital IT
Three "I"s in Running a Digital IT
Three "C"s in Running a Digital IT
Triple "A"s in Running a Digital IT


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