Sunday, August 6, 2017

CIOs as "Chief Inspection Officer": Three Aspects of IT Management Quality Check

IT management quality checkup is important for improving IT and the entire business performance and maturity.

Organizational excellence is achieved via delivering qualified products or services and continuously improving business performance. Quality is defined by a number of factors such as efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility, innovation, or maturity, as a degree of quality is in everything people do and experience. IT management quality directly impacts the entire business’s quality, competency and resilience, surviving and thriving capability. Hence, CIOs should do the periodic IT management quality check which includes to make an objective assessment of IT effectiveness, efficiency, speed, scalability, flexibility, resilience, etc, to ensure its performance and maturity, and the overall digital fitness of IT organization.

IT management quality begins with the quality of the business requirements: IT is the business in the business. IT quality check starts with WHY - to ensure doing the “right thing” before jumping into HOW - doing things right. Every IT initiative is the business initiative, to either delight customers or improve business performance. Hence, IT management quality begins with the quality of the business requirements. With emerging digital opportunities and risks, business leaders (including IT leaders) should ensure IT strategy is an integrated part of the enterprise strategy. There’s difference between business requirements and IT requirements. IT needs to take the traceability path of where the requirements come from, IT requirements are allocated to IT from the business requirements, and IT requirements need to be functionally structured to meet the business needs. IT has to oversee the full set of the business requirements to ensure the cohesiveness and to determine all the customers, users, and stakeholders and obtain their involvement. It is impossible to deliver an acceptable application to a business without a clear understanding of what is to be delivered. There are the needs to develop an effective IT management framework so the CIOs can run the IT organization via keeping them informed the process they need to develop, and it will also help the sponsors to understand the specific development plan and consideration such as IT roadmap, resource, skill, etc., they should develop. Practicing a structural way to manage IT enables the IT leaders to walk through of the business requirement and identified opportunities can be done as part of the joint assessment to allow IT to begin shaping system/IT requirements. Looking for and assessing new technologies, determining viability and alignment with the organization's strategic direction should all be part of IT management quality check.

IT management quality check also includes assessing responsiveness - how IT meets the needs of the business and doesn't waste time: Due to increasing speed of change and overwhelming information growth, IT must speed up for delivering the qualified business solutions timely. However, traditional IT organizations are perceived as the controller, slow to change based on the fact that most IT organizations still run in a reactive and order-taking mode, get stuck at the lower level of maturity. More and more businesses expect the consumerization style responsiveness from IT, businesses count on IT to process data, refine information and capture insight, to grasp the emergent business opportunities or prevent the potential risks. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. Running a real-time digital IT organization means high-responsiveness. What is required for IT management quality check is clarifying the purpose and engaging all the people involved working together as a team to excel in the delivery of product/service with accelerated speed. And the business goal to run a real-time digital IT organization is to create synergy and achieve digital synchronization of the entire organization.

IT management quality check needs to evaluate IT system maintainability and cost as well: Most IT systems cost more to maintain than build! Therefore, IT products/services quality and overall IT management quality are defined by a number of factors, such as efficiency -measure how well you are in what you are doing in terms of the available resource, and effectiveness - measure how satisfied the customer is or how well the business performance runs. And cost optimization - achieving cost effectiveness without sacrificing quality. Generally speaking, IT cost includes operational cost, financials, or a calculation of cost to fix structural quality problems. IT vendor cost includes monthly expenses, license cost, procurement cost, etc. People cost include salary, training investment, and other incentives, etc. Quality is doing the right thing right, the first time. It is with no backlog and wastage and highest customer satisfaction rate. Make sure systems run according to plan, schedule, cost, and performance standards. IT system maintainability assessment is to measure how great you are in what you are doing in terms of available resources. Then it is a good way to measure the effectiveness and bottom line. Efficiency is to do what is effective, achieve high customer satisfaction with less operating cost, and achieve productivity and satisfaction for employees using good teamwork.

IT management quality checkup is important for improving IT and the entire business performance and maturity. When a CIO is able to position and maintain the IT organization to ensure it addresses both "IT effectiveness" and "IT efficiency," "IT agility" and "IT maturity," measure them in the right way and solidly build IT as the business partner, they have earned their stripes.


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