IT Management Solution – Simple Wins over Complex
I’m in an out of different IT departments across the country most weeks. When it comes to managing their work, which is usually immense in scope, they usually have a number of cool complex applications, a high state of information overload, and two performance degrading conditions that seem to be consistently present… so much so you can bet your lunch on it.
1. They have acquired a number of high powered tools to manage everything from request tickets to extended project work break down structures, and are succeeding at using most of them for one purpose or another – but they don’t have the basics readily available across all the projects in play. In fact you could say there’s a general seduction factor operating with their favorite (high powered) software package. All others are second class. If their favorite application does not provide the basics, it starts getting managed piece-meal in spreadsheets email, and word documents, etc.
2. They have many tools, but no one central tool for tracking the basics across all of their projects. In fact they can only get the basics of status updates by having a meeting, actually multiple meetings, all of which impacts the ability to deliver per plan. Actually the plan isn’t identified on most projects. In fact if you push a little, you realize they are slightly out of control and hate to document… but they’re busy and find a way to get things done.
IT departments need a simple overarching or bridging information management solution more than most departments! It would make it a lot easier to manage their deliverables.
But that raises a certain question, “Why is IT so much in need of… simple IT?”
Partly it’s the nature of the work. It’s so varied with a diverse range of deliverables to accommodate – so you need one central place to track it all.
Partly it’s because IT people are extra sensitive about time spent to manage information. If they have to double enter something, you would think it’s a major trauma. They can spend more time complaining about the prospect of a double entry task, it would take to complete. So the idea of getting information from various tools into one central management tool seems extra laborious to them – and so it gets avoided.
But there’s more to it than that. I regularly see some prevailing belief systems that tend to push the fuzzy factor if left unchecked. See if you observe these as well:1. One belief system seems to be “If I know it in my head, why do I have to write it down… what, just so that you can complete a report?” “If you have a question, ask me and I’ll tell you.”2. Another one is “I only want to use tools that I think are the best. And until a tool can meet the outer range of my favorite features… I’m not sure, maybe even definitely sure it’s not worth using. Find something else.”
Given the current IT workload, the need to do more with less and the accompanying belief systems, I’m often struck that despite the appeal of sophisticated, slick, all encompassing solutions, what IT departments need more than anything else is the technology to provide answers to three simple questions on every project:
1. Where are we to date? (which can be as simple as a 50 word status update, or also include basic % complete, budget used and amount of budgeted hours consumed).
2. What’s the plan going forward or simply what’s next? Whether it’s a todo list or a work break down schedule, the question remains the same.
3. Where can I find relevant documents, and the contact information/people?
I worked with two IT departments today, and am on with two more tomorrow. For each, ManagePro provides a lot of features, but the most immediate value starts with answering those three questions. It still fascinates me that there’s so much discussion and reluctance to get the process in place to have those available in one click. Do you experience the same?