Thursday, June 8, 2017

Digital IT Management Continuum

The payoff of IT digital transformation is not just for the quick win, but to build the long-term business competency.

Today’s IT organization plays a significant role in the journey of digital transformation, IT matters not only because it’s pervasive, more about it continues to advance, and its nature of the "constructive disruption," with the ability to make continuous deliveries. IT needs to become more strategic, innovative, forward-thinking, agile, flexible, speedy, and customer centric.

Continuous IT delivery: To adapt to the increasing speed of changes, digital organizations have to be more nimble about updating technology and managing information effectively. IT needs to deliver the right information to the right person at the right positions to make the right decisions. Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent. With increasing speed of changes and fierce business competitions, nowadays, IT maturity is not based on how many years IT organizations have been around and keep running to support the business; but about how well IT can provide innovative solutions to meet business needs and delight customers; how adaptive it is to respond to changes. Or put simply, make continuous improvement more than discover an elegant solution. The IT management focus should include the IT strategy as an integral part of the business strategy and actions designed to sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity. It involves people, process, and technology, and it’s getting in the positive, creative, and productive way that educate, support and celebrate every emotional step of the change curve and collective transformation journey.

Continuous performance management: Digital is the era of people. People shouldn’t just be treated as headcount or human resources only, but the human capital for investing in. There is a need to evaluate the performance of employees in more objective and continuous way. Digital talent fitness is all about putting right people in the right position with the right capability to solve right problems at the right timing. Mindset, behavior, and outcome are all important elements in performance assessment. With increasing speed and hyper-connectivity of digital businesses, talent/performance management systems and processes are also gradually moving away from a static, unidirectional (often top-down), and time-bound avatar to a more dynamic, continuous, and interactive state. Performance is related to expectations that management has when it comes to an employee's role. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined and mutually understood. It is about managing both performance and potential, performance keeps the lights on, and collective human potential brings the business to the next level; well align employees’ career goals with the strategic business goal, to engage employees and achieve the win-win situation. Improved transparency, goal tracking, real-time feedback, and enterprise-wide acknowledgment/recognition of achievements are some of the key drivers for advocating continuous performance management.

Continuous learning and training: Due to the overwhelming growth of information and shorten knowledge cycle, today’s digital workforce has to continue learning and keep updating skills, practice critical thinking to ask tough questions, make sound judgments and decisions. As often yesterday’s answers or best practices are less useful than today’s questions for discovering the better way to solve old or emergent problems. Hence, continuous learning needs to become a lifestyle, not only a job requirement, continuous learning and training become more important in the digital era. In order to effectively and efficiently perform one's responsibilities, it is generally accepted that a system of continuous education is good practice. The emergence of social platforms provides the new way to learn, share and collaborate via direct applications at the corporate level.  Informal learning at the corporate level starts to be more accessible to employees. The forms of informal learning take place in some of the most progressive organizations that support talent development. And the quality education, regardless of styles, should open, not close one’s mind, helps receivers to inspire critical thinking & independent thinking, recognize opportunities, update knowledges, and build new capabilities and skills all the time.

There is no one size fits all formula to run a highly effective digital IT, different IT organizations and enterprise as a whole are at the different stage of the business maturity. To adapt to the increasing speed of changes and manage a smooth digital IT continuum, organizations have to be more nimble about updating technology and managing information effectively, grow their talent like plants, and build a culture of learning and innovation. The payoff of IT digital transformation is not just for the quick win, but to build the long-term business competency.



IT department values the tool more than the purpose of the tool, its values become misaligned with the values of the overall organization.

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